Most people assume that their employers have workers’ compensation coverage. That would be a fair assumption, as most states do require some form of coverage. Texas is the only state that lets employers decide whether they want to participate or not. Some employers are what are known as non-subscribers, meaning that workers’ compensation insurance does not cover them. If you were hurt on the job and your workplace is a non-subscriber, you still have options.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
It may help to understand what workers’ comp insurance does for the employees. The coverage pays for medical bills as they occur if an employee is injured on the job. The employee may also be compensated for lost wages and other expenses due to the incident. While this can be good for the employee, opting into the state workers’ compensation fund also offers immunity to the employer from personal injury lawsuits.
Options for Employees of Non-Subscribers
If you have been injured on the job, you should immediately report it to your supervisor and the human resources department. If they have private insurance, they should provide you with the information you need to file a claim. Otherwise, you may need to secure an attorney to get relief from medical bills and lost wages.
If you are lucky and your employer has alternative insurance coverage for accidents or disability, then your medical bills may be covered. However, most states do not consider private insurance coverage as a replacement for workers’ comp. Most individual policies have limits to the amount of coverage per employee. Having a private insurance policy also leaves the company open to personal injury lawsuits by the employee.
Uninsured Employer’s Fund
Some states have funds set aside to protect employees who work for non-subscribers. California and New Jersey are two of the states that have funds to provide all the same protections for employees as they would have if their employer were a subscriber. If your state has this type of fund, a personal injury attorney may be able to provide you with the options for filing a claim versus filing a lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, you must first have a strong case. If you do, you will likely get 100% of your medical bills and lost wages awarded to you. You may also be able to get compensation for reduced potential earning capacity if your injury caused permanent or long-term damage. Contact an attorney, like a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, GA from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., to find out what protection you have under the laws in your state.