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September 2019

What If My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Comp Insurance?

By Workers Compensation

Most employers offer their employees numerous benefits including health and dental insurance, 401K and more. When employees are injured at work, they usually have to go though New York State’s workers’ compensation system to get reimbursed for medical treatment and to receive other benefits.

New York State Employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance through a third party insurance carrier or through a self-insured program set up by the employer. In most cases, employers must get workers’ comp insurance when just one person is hired. Large employers may insure themselves but need to apply with the state and meet very stringent self-insurance requirements. Even if they aren’t required to buy workers’ comp insurance, many employers choose to have it for their employees.

But what happens if your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance? You may sue the employer in a civil court by filing a personal injury claim. In this case you can seek the full amount of your losses without being subject to an arbitrary cap set by law. Most states only pay around two-thirds of the worker’s wage loss for temporary disability benefits only up to a certain amount for a limited period of time. You can also collect money damages for emotional distress caused by your injuries otherwise known as “pain and suffering” and may be able to collect punitive damages which are intended to punish the employer if its bad misconduct caused your injuries. Neither of these can be rewarded through workers’ comp.

If you sue in court it can be a much slower process. It can be months or even years before you see any money through a lawsuit rather than a few weeks with workers’ comp. Since workers’ comp is a no-fault system you will need to prove that your employer was at fault for the personal injury accident. Talk to a lawyer immediately so that you can start the process and make sure your suit is filed in a timely matter.

Many states have special funds reserved for people who are injured while working for an uninsured employer otherwise known as “Uninsured Employers’ Funds”. Under these funds you may be able to get your medical bills covered or receive payments for a portion of your wage loss from it. Check with New York State’s workers’ compensation office for more information on how to file a claim or call the Workers Compensation Attorneys at Losi & Gangi today at 716-854-1446 and we can get you the proper representation you will need in your case.