Workers Compensation Lawyer
Only three states do not require employers to purchase worker’s compensation: Texas, Oklahoma and New Jersey. Texas has no requirement to purchase either worker’s compensation or private employee liability insurance, whereas Oklahoma and New Jersey have to choose one or the other. If you work in one of these states, and your employer might be a non-subscriber for worker’s compensation, learn what you should do if you are injured on the job.
1. How Do I Find Out My Employer’s Subscriber Status?
There should be a sign posted in a common area, such as a lounge or break room, that notifies workers that the company subscribes to a state-sponsored workers compensation plan. The posting should also include the contact information of the worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
If you don’t see a worker’s compensation memo, then look for alternative insurance information in the same employee gathering area. Make sure the employer’s insurance lists the benefits as well as the carrier’s name, address, phone number or other ways to reach them.
2. What Are the Differences Between Workers’ Compensation Subscribers and Non-Subscribers?
State worker’s compensation laws are very specific regarding worker protections. For example, employees are promised no-fault compensation, so they are entitled to benefits even if they caused the injury. Worker’s compensation also protects employers by limiting workers’ personal injury lawsuits.
A non-subscriber’s alternative insurance usually allows more flexibility in coverage for employers. Employee benefits, such as pay for lost wages, are often not as reliable as those allowed for worker’s compensation. Many times, the injured are unable to pay for living expenses from non-subscriber payouts. Your employer might be benefiting financially as a non-subscriber; however, they leave themselves open to more lawsuits because they don’t have the liability protections that worker’s compensation provides.
3. Should I File a Personal Injury Claim Against My Non-Subscribing Employer?
If your employer’s alternative insurance has not met your needs, you should consider filing a personal injury claim. You may be entitled to damages that are not covered under worker’s compensation such as pain and suffering. An important factor for winning a non-subscriber claim is proving employer negligence. If your company ignored reports of unsafe work conditions or failed to properly train employees in safety precautions, they could be held responsible for causing the injury. Like worker’s compensation, employers can’t blame the employee for causing their injury unless the injured person was intoxicated or intentionally hurt themselves.
If you have any questions about your legal options, a workers’ compensation lawyer can give you all the information that you need to move forward. You have the right to receive much-needed compensation, and to work at a safe job site. Seek help from a workers’ compensation lawyer with experience in non-subscriber claims. They will help you fight to get the payment you deserve.