Beware Uninsured Employers!
As you may know from prior articles, you are entitled to certain rights if you are injured as a result of or in the course of your employment. Should you sustain injuries as a result of your employment, you are entitled to reasonable and necessary medical treatment, as well as temporary disability benefits while the doctors indicate you are medically unable to work. In addition, you may be entitled to permanency benefits, should your injury cause a permanent injury with lasting effects.
These rights do not change, should your employer not have workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, there is an agency known as the Uninsured Employers Fund, which an attorney can assist in joining in your action. This agency, should there be no available insurance, will assist and pay for reasonable and necessary medical benefits, as well as temporary disability benefits for the period you are medically unable to work. This is done only after the uninsured employer defaults on payment.
Should your injury involve permanent lasting effects, you, with the assistance of counsel, can proceed against the employer directly. The law has created the ability to pierce the corporate veil in this instance, and you will be permitted to proceed directly against the principals of the company for a personal judgment for your permanency benefits. You are unable to proceed against and collect from the Uninsured Employers Fund for permanency benefits.
In addition, the employer is not safe from collection of the costs of reasonable and necessary medical benefits and temporary disability benefits. Although the Uninsured Employers Fund will assist in providing these benefits to you in order that you may get the medical treatment, it then will proceed against the employer and its principals for reimbursement of that which was paid. In addition, there are many costs and fines attributable to the uninsured employer for not maintaining the mandatory workers’ compensation insurance.
So, as an injured employee, you are protected from an employer without insurance. However, as an uninsured employer, your employees will get the statutory workers’ compensation benefits, but at a significant personal cost to you and your company. As such, as an employer, it is best to confirm and maintain that you and your employees are appropriately protected. It will protect your company and your personal assets in the long run.