The idea of workers' compensation insurance is to protect employers in the event that employees are injured. With the exception of Texas, every state has some sort of employer requirement for workers' comp insurance. If you were injured on the job and your employer did not have insurance, this is what you need to know.
What Can You Do?
The first available option to you if your employer does not have insurance is to file a lawsuit. The lawsuit is viewed as a personal injury lawsuit, which can work for and against you.
What Are the Advantages of a Lawsuit?
One of the biggest advantages of filing a lawsuit against your employer is that there are no limits on how much you can ask for in compensation for your lost wages. With workers' comp, injured workers only receive a portion of what they normally earn while they are unable to work. However, in a lawsuit, you can ask for the full amount that you are missing.
Another advantage is that you can ask the court to award you for pain and suffering. In a workers' comp claim, there is no compensation for pain and suffering. It is also possible that the court might award punitive damages to you. It is likely that you will receive punitive damages if your employer's actions leading up to the accident were particularly harmful.
For instance, if your employer failed to provide safety equipment that it was required to, you could argue that this was a particularly dangerous act that led to your injury.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Lawsuit?
In a workers' comp case, you do not have to prove that your employer is responsible for your injuries. Unfortunately, in a lawsuit, you do. Just as with any other personal injury case, you have to show that your employer had a duty to provide a safe environment for you and that it failed to do so. You also have to prove that your injuries were a direct result of that failure.
Another disadvantage of a lawsuit is that it can take time. Depending on your local court's backlog, it could take months before your case is heard in court. In the interim, you would be responsible for your medical expenses and other related expenses.
There is also the possibility that you could lose your case. If you do, your employer would not be liable for paying for any of your expenses.
If your employer does not have workers' compensation insurance, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. He or she can help evaluate your options and take action.
For a workers' comp lawyer, contact a law firm such as Crowley Ahlers & Roth Co LPA.
If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may qualify for social security disability payments. This money comes from a fund you have probably contributed to during your time in the work force, and it is likely that you have the right to disability payments using this money. As an attorney specializing in social security disability, I have a great deal of experience in helping clients determine if they qualify for disability payments. I hope that this blog will help people who have been injured understand what it means to qualify for social security disability benefits and how to go about getting that help.