New York State requires employers to have worker’s compensation insurance to provide medical benefits, disability payments and death benefits to employees who are injured or killed on the job. So what happens when an employer disregards this obligation?
Luckily, the law protects workers in this situation. In fact, the law gives the injured worker options:
- New York’s Uninsured Employers Fund provides coverage for an injured worker whose employer does not have worker’s compensation insurance, so that a claim can still be brought.
- Alternately, the worker may choose to sue their boss directly (where normally, you cannot sue a properly insured employer).
Although these options can be pursued simultaneously, accepting one precludes the other. An employee elects one over the other when worker’s compensation benefits are accepted or a civil law suit results in a settlement or judgment for the employee.
The right choice ultimately depends on many factors, such as the needs of the injured worker, the financial situation of the employer and the nature of the injury. Such decisions should be made with care and with the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. An employer that does not have worker’s compensation insurance may be subject to significant liability and penalties and will often retain an attorney in these situations. As a result, it is important that the injured worker get legal advice as soon as possible.
Remember, help is a just a phone call away .