The best way to get an overall description of the workers compensation claims process is to consult with an attorney. An experienced attorney can take the injured worker through the steps common to almost all comp cases. NY State law requires that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are some exceptions to this general rule. However, these exceptions are very narrow. There are additional steps when dealing with an uninsured employer.
The overall description of how the workers compensation claims process works will depend on whether an employer has insurance. Thankfully, the law holds employers accountable if they do not carry a required workers’ compensation insurance policy. In many cases, the uninsured employer will have to pay a large penalty. In fact, a president, secretary, or treasurer of an uninsured employer may be held liable for the worker’s injuries. These individuals may be held personally liable for payment of the worker’s medical bills and lost wages. Criminal charges could also be filed against the uninsured employer.
How the UEF Affects the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
For these situations, the Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF) will come into play. The UEF is where the injured worker will submit medical bills. The UEF will also pay the worker any compensation for the injury. Staff of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board manages the UEF. The UEF investigates claims as well. The UEF will collect evidence and prepare the case for a hearing. In situations where there is no insurance, the UEF will essentially step into the shoes of an insurance carrier. The Board will typically require a hearing in these scenarios. An attorney’s overall description of the workers compensation claims process will also depend on whether the worker will sue.
It is possible to sue an uninsured employer for the accident under Section 11 of the workers comp law. But, if you recover money in a lawsuit against your employer, you may have to repay 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. At the Platta Law Firm, we can provide you with an overall description of the workers compensation claims process for all types of cases.