Contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer.
Employers who have 5 or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If an employer fails to comply with this law they can be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. This can be accompanied by a penalty of either $50,000 or three times the amount of the annual premium, whichever is greater. After being penalized, if an employer continues to violate the law, this may qualify as a class D felony. The Fraud and Noncompliance Unit of the Division of Workers’ Compensation will investigate reports of employers who willfully violate Missouri law and fail to maintain workers’ compensation insurance.
Injured workers may still be able to recover compensation for medical expenses even if their employers have no workers’ comp insurance. The Missouri Second Injury Fund may cover the cost of medical expenses, but this does not relieve employers of financial responsibility. Both the Second Injury Fund and your employer will be responsible as the Second Injury Fund is required to seek reimbursement from your employer.
In the event of a workplace injury and an uninsured employer, medical expenses will generally be paid by the Second Injury Fund, but the Fund does not provide other workers’ compensation benefits. If you are entitled to temporary disability benefits or permanent disability benefits, these will not be covered by this fund.
To get compensation for medical bills, you will need to file a claim against your uninsured employer and against the Second Injury Fund.
Employers who do not have workers’ compensation insurance leave themselves open to civil action. Workers’ comp insurance works to provide funds to injured workers but also to protect employers from an employee seeking more money in civil court later on. You may be able to file a personal injury claim in civil court against an employer who violates workers’ compensation law.
Getting compensation from an uninsured employer and making a claim against the Second Injury Fund are both actions that can be handled by a workers’ compensation attorney.
If you notify your employer of an injury and your employer tells you that they do not have workers’ compensation insurance, but will purchase insurance in the next few days, and that you should delay reporting your injury until insurance is obtained, this is fraudulent. When your employer purchases insurance they will be asked whether or not there have been previous claims, if they respond with no, and then report the injury several days later this is fraudulent and both you and your employer can be held liable for this fraud.
St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer if you have been injured on the job and your employer is uninsured. The St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann will evaluate your case for free and can determine a course of action for getting you the compensation for medical expenses that you are entitled to.
To schedule a free consultation call us at (314) 361-4300.
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photo credit: Elvert Barnes