If an employer does not comply with work comp laws, then they are opening themselves up to being sued by their employee.
Employers in the state of Missouri that are in construction or have more than five workers, are required to carry a type of insurance called workers’ compensation insurance. It is meant to ensure that, if a worker is injured while at work, their injuries can be paid for without bankrupting a business.
Many workers don’t typically ask if their employer is carrying the proper insurance. They just assume that their employer is following the law. Sometimes, however, businesses can imply that they have proper coverage when they don’t. So what happens if your employer tells you that they have workers’ compensation until you suddenly get hurt and are told they don’t?
Am I out of luck to collect for my injury?
If your employer either didn’t keep up with paying their premium for insurance coverage or they didn’t have insurance at all and you are hurt, are you out of luck to collect for your injury?
Since employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation, the employer opens themselves up to litigation if a worker is injured and the business does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Most businesses and employers will want to carry workers’ compensation insurance. After all, if a worker collects workers’ compensation benefits, they are not allowed to sue their employer. If an employer does not comply, then they are opening themselves up to being sued by their employee, which can end up costing more than simply having the required workers’ compensation insurance.
On what grounds can I sue my employer if I was injured?
If your employer has more than five workers or one if you work in the construction industry, then you are entitled to sue your employer for your injuries if they aren’t carrying insurance. If they are not carrying the mandatory workers’ compensation insurance, you can sue them for personal injury to cover the costs of your injury.
What are the benefits of suing for personal injury?
When you collect workers’ compensation insurance, you are only entitled to damages that are economic in nature like medical bills and lost wages. You are not entitled to collect for those damages that aren’t economic losses such as pain, suffering and emotional distress.
If you sue for personal injury, then you are entitled to recover those non-economic damages like pain, suffering and loss of consortium, if you can prove your case in court.
The only drawback to initiating a personal injury lawsuit versus collecting on a workers’ compensation claim is that there is no guarantee that your employer will have the assets necessary to cover your injuries. If they don’t have the means to pay you, then the lawsuit will likely lead them to bankruptcy, meaning that there might not be any money for you to collect, even if the judgment is in your favor.
St. Louis Workmens Compensation Attorney
If you are injured while working, regardless of whether or not your employer carries workers’ compensation, it is a good idea to protect yourself by hiring a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer. A lawyer can guide you about how to proceed to get the compensation that you are entitled to.
To speak with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer, call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300. We can evaluate your case for free and help you determine the best way to get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.