Workers compensation is the insurance provided to employees in the event that they are injured on the job. Workers compensation can help with medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering compensation. Having workers compensation insurance is required by law by almost every state, so chances are very high that your employer has it. If they do not, this can arise a problem. Because many small companies do not need to have workers compensation due to their small amount of employees, they usually end up paying out of pocket when an employee is injured. One of many advantages of workers compensation is that an employee who has been injured while on the job can just file a claim through the business’s insurance, rather than having to file a lawsuit through a court or attorney such as the New York Workers Comp Attorney. If your employer does not have any form of workers compensation insurance, you will unfortunately need to go to the court and file a complaint. An advantage of your employer not having workers compensation insurance is that there will be no max amount of compensation that you can receive (like there is with workers compensation). Workers compensation typically does not cover the full amount of lost wages or medical expenses because it caps off. The downside of your employer not having workers compensation, however, is that having to go through the court can be time consuming and costly. You will be directly suing your employer and not filing an insurance claim directly, so your compensation will take longer to get to you. You will have to prove that your employer was at fault for this injury as well if they do not have workers compensation. This is unfortunate because negligence in the workplace can be hard to prove.
Proving that you were hurt while you were working can be a difficult task if there were not a lot of witnesses around. Visit a doctor immediately after you are hurt so you can begin to medically document your injuries. You may also want to take videos and pictures of the scene you were injured at, and your injuries as well. Check if there are any witnesses around, and if there are have them write a testimony. Some states also have funds saved that can pay benefits to people who have been injured on the job while working for an uninsured employer. These funds will be able to help you with your medical bills and lost wages.
Thanks to authors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen LLP for their insight into Workers Compensation Law.