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I was hurt on the job but my employer does not have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Am I out of luck? What can I do?

HOME -> Our blog -> I was hurt on the job but my employer does not have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Am I out of luck? What can I do?

29 January 2015

The law in the State of New York requires that an employer carry workers’ compensation insurance.   While there are some exceptions to this general rule, they are very narrow ones, and apply in only a few instances. 

So what does your employer being uninsured mean to you?  Well, you will be happy to know that the law holds certain people in a business accountable if there is no workers’ compensation insurance policy in place to cover employees for an injury that was received as a result of their employment. For example, if you work for a corporation in the State of New York the president, secretary and treasurer of that corporation could be held personally liable under the law for your injuries if that corporation was found not to be in compliance with state law and carry workers’ compensation insurance.   That means that your employer could be held liable for your medical costs as well as compensation for your injuries.  The employer could also receive a fine for not having insurance and criminal charges could be filed. 

So how do we file a claim?  Well, New York State has in place the Uninsured Employers Fund – known in the business as the UEF - which is where an injured worker like yourself would look to collect payments for medical bills and compensation for your injury. Staff of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board manages the fund.  They are an investigative staff as well, meaning that they don’t just pay out claims.  They will investigate the claim, collect evidence and prepare the matter for a hearing.  All claims for injuries that have occurred in the workplace should be filed with the UEF.  We can help you file that claim and we will go with you for the hearing in front of the workers’ compensation board. 

But our help does not stop there.  Your employer remains liable for claims made even though they do not have insurance.  That means that you can sue your employer for this money.  That is when the personal liability of the officers of the corporation I mentioned before comes in to play.

So you must be thinking:  I can receive money from the UEF and recover money from my employer?   Well, no.  If you recover money in a lawsuit that we bring against your employer you may have to repay the money received from the UEF.  But the key issue here is that the lawsuit can provide you with a full recovery for your injuries or for the resulting disability that you may have sustained and have to live with for the rest of your life.  This can be a far greater recovery than that issued by the UEF. 

So do not despair.  We here at The Platta Law Firm are experienced in all forms of Workers’ Compensation claims and cases.  Call us.  We are here to help.

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