What to do if my employer does not have WC insurance?
If you need assistance or help in a matter of workers’ compensation, the lawyers of Lluis Law can help you in whatever you need. Whatever your needs in workers’ compensation, Lluis Law’s expert lawyers have more than 40 years of experience representing workers in the Los Angeles area.
California law requires all employers to comply with the requirements set forth in the Workers’ Compensation Law. However, some employees may be covered by other types of workers’ insurance, such as federal employees, dockworkers, railroad workers, and others.
Some employers, instead of contracting an insurance policy with an insurance company, opt for the option of insuring for themselves. However, there are employers who for some reason do not have any type of workers’ compensation insurance for their staff.
When the worker is injured and does not have an insurance policy that covers him, can put his health at risk. In such a situation, it is possible that the worker has to resort to his own private insurance, because he has the urge to treat his injury, or to agree to an alternative medical treatment with a health provider, through his workers’ compensation lawyer.
The worker, regardless of their immigration status, must know what their labor rights are and not be intimidated in any way by the negligent employer who does not have workers’ compensation insurance. In that case, it is prudent to seek legal help before filing a claim or claim.
The workers’ compensation lawyers of Lluis Law in Los Angeles always advise legal advice very well with a specialist when disputes arise with employers and insurance companies. Only in this way can the worker guarantee the full protection of his rights.
What are the penalties for uninsured employers?
In California, not having workers’ compensation coverage is considered a minor criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $ 10,000, imprisonment of up to one year in a county jail, or both. Likewise, the state sets fines against uninsured employers of up to $ 100,000.
When a worker suffers an injury or illness at work, the employer is required by law to pay all bills related to the treatment and recovery of the worker. These benefits are available only when the employer has legal compensation insurance for their workers.
If the employer does not have insurance and the worker suffers a work injury or illness, the worker can also file a civil action against his employer, apart from the workers’ compensation claim.
What should you do to claim your rights?
For these cases, in California operates the uninsured Employer Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF) of the state, through which a claim can be filed to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in case the worker suffers an injury or illness.
The UEBTF is a unit dependent on the Division of Workers’ Compensation, whose mission is to help workers who are injured or become ill if their employer does not have insurance. The fund pays workers compensation benefits when injured or sick and then seeks reimbursement of expenses against the responsible employer.
In order to receive benefits, the first thing the worker must do is present a DWC 1 claim form to his employer and ask him if he will be responsible for the medical expenses and other benefits provided by law. The employer can decide whether to pay the worker directly the benefits (including partial or permanent disability) or contract with an insurance provider.
Before however, the worker must have calculated very well the total medical expenses that will result in his treatment and rehabilitation, along with the loss of wages and other income for damages that the worker will not receive if he cannot work.
If the uninsured employer refuses to pay the claim, the worker also has the option of filing a civil lawsuit in court to obtain benefits from the California workers’ compensation law. In addition, you can report to the employer for not having insurance at the nearest Division of Labor Standards office.
California law requires all employers to purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy through an authorized insurance company. Therefore, no employer should wait for a worker to be injured or sick to provide workers with compensation benefits to which they are entitled.
The employer is responsible for contracting workers’ compensation insurance in California or also qualifying to be self-insured. Each time you hire a new employee, the employer must clearly explain your rights and responsibilities in the company, through a brochure or explanatory letter.
One of those rights is just to receive compensation from workers in case of suffering an injury or illness at work. Worker’s compensation benefits must be available through a notice placed permanently in a visible place on the company; apart from having already been explained in detail in the brochure.
If the employer fails to comply with this legal requirement, he/her can be fined up to $ 7,000 as a penalty. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, after an employee files a claim for an injury or illness, the employer must:
– Provide a California workers’ compensation claim form within the next 24 hours of the workday that the work injury or illness was reported.
– Return the worker a copy of the completed claim form, within 24 hours of receiving it.
– Send the claim form and the employer’s injury / illness report to the claims administrator within 24 hours of receipt.
– After receiving the claim, the employer has one day to authorize adequate medical treatment for the worker for an amount of up to $ 10,000.
– If the treating physician arranges for it, the employer must provide the employee with a lighter alternative job temporarily.
– In case of being a victim of a crime during work, the employer must notify the employee about the workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled, within one working day after the crime was committed.
In no case, the employer can appropriate part of the check that the employee receives from the insurance company to pay the premiums of the workers’ compensation policy. That is, the employer cannot ask the worker to help with the insurance payment.
If you need help for yourself or a family member to obtain workers ‘compensation benefits from California or want a free consultation to evaluate the benefits you can get in an uninsured employer case, contact Lluis Law’s workers’ compensation lawyers. Our telephone number is (213) 320-0777.
Address: 205 South Broadway, Suite 1000 Los Angeles, CA 90012. Tel: (213) 687-4412 Fax: (213) 687-3441.