What If I am Injured at Work and My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation and Uninsured Employers

 

There are hundreds of workplace accidents and injuries that occur every year in California. While the most injuries are reported in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, natural resources and mining, and construction industries, all industries can be dangerous. If you have been injured on the job and your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you need to consult with a San Diego workers’ compensation attorney immediately.

Who is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Insurance in California?

Under California Labor Code, all employers who have one or more employee, as well as roofers with no employees, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is true even if the employees are family members. An employee is defined as a person whom an employer engages or permits to work.

As such, if you are an employee, it is highly likely that your employer has a legal obligation to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In California, the law protects you—and you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits—even if you are an undocumented worker.

Filing a Claim with the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF)

In the event that an employer illegally fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance when the law obligates him or her to do so, and that employer’s employee is injured on the job, the employee can seek benefits through the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund, or UEBTF. Filing a claim for UEBTF benefits is an 11-step process, and includes (but is not limited to):

  • Completing the employee section of a workers’ compensation form;
  • Completing the coverage research service request form;
  • Gathering important documents (medical evidence, proof of employment, etc.);
  • Completing all forms in the UEBTF claim packet; and
  • Filing the packet at Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board nearest you.

Filing a Civil Claim Against Your Employer

Benefits through the UEBTF are not the only way to recover compensation after a work-related accident. Because carrying workers’ compensation benefits is a legal requirement, an employer who fails to do so may face civil penalties. (In fact, he or she may also face criminal penalties, and a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to one year or both. The state also issues fines of up to $100,000 for against uninsured employers). If you decide to file a civil claim against your employer, you can recover damages for all of your losses, including:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of earning capacity; and
  • Pain and suffering.

Meet with a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Attorney Today

Your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay for your expenses if you are injured while performing a work-related task. If your employer illegally chooses not to carry workers’ compensation, however, then you have the right to file a claim with the UEBTF or/and file a civil action directly against your employer. When doing either, seeking the counsel of a skilled San Diego workers’ compensation attorney is within your best interest.

At Berman & Riedel, LLP, our professional team understands what you are going through. We recognize the severity of being injured on the job, and will not give up fighting for compensation on your behalf. To learn more, call us today at 858-350-8855.


About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others.

Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.

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Attorney Bill Berman

William M. Berman, Esquire
Berman & Riedel, LLP
12264 El Camino Real, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92130
ph: (858) 350-8855
fax: (858) 350-9855
email:
web: www.bermanlawyers.com