The state of Florida requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you’re injured on the job, you can apply for workers’ compensation to cover your expenses while you take time off work. But what can you do if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance?
What to do if your employer doesn’t have insurance
Before you hire a workers’ compensation attorney, make sure that the law requires your employer to carry insurance. They might not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have fewer than five employees or only hire family members. However, there are exceptions for high-risk industries like construction.
If the law requires your business to carry workers’ comp insurance, you might have the grounds to file a lawsuit. When an employer offers workers’ compensation, you’re essentially taking the compensation instead of filing a lawsuit. If your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, they have no legal protection against employee lawsuits.
You could sue your employer for the damages that you would have been paid if they carried workers’ comp insurance in the first place. This could cover your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. The state might also fine your employer for breaking the law. In extreme cases, the judge might even send your employer to jail over their failure to provide workers’ comp insurance. The business might have to shut down if the owners can’t afford the fines and penalties.
What should you do if you’re injured on the job?
If you’re injured on the job, make sure you tell your manager and document the incident as soon as possible. You might need this information when you file for workers’ compensation or pursue a lawsuit if your company doesn’t have insurance.
An attorney may help you with a variety of workers’ comp-related tasks. This could include filing for workers’ compensation, appealing your claim, suing your employer for lack of insurance, filing a disability claim and figuring out when you’re ready to go back to work. Your attorney may provide legal backup if the insurance company doesn’t want to pay out a settlement.