What if my employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance?

In New York State all businesses with one employee or more must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Businesses have the option of doing a self-insured program or they can go through a third party insurance carrier. Like many laws there are a few businesses that for whatever reason decide to not follow the law.

What are the options for a worker when injured at a place of business that is without workers’ compensation insurance? In New York State there are uninsured employer funds that might be available through the workers’ compensation board. These are funds set aside to cover your medical bills and a portion of wage loss. You can check with the workers’ compensation board of New York here.

But what if you did want to go that route, what are the other options? You could take your employer to civil court and sue them by filing a personal injury claim. The difference between regular workers’ comp insurance and a personal injury claim is that you can sue the employer for the full amount of your losses with a personal injury claim and not just a portion of losses with workers’ comp. You can sue for pain and suffering and other damages if the employer’s negligence caused your injuries.

Unlike the workers’ comp process, which is set up with standards for quickness and ease of use, a lawsuit may take quite a while to conclude. Workers’ compensation has predetermined set limits for for the benefits they pay out. In the case of an employer not having workers’ comp insurance you should seek legal counsel immediately as time is of the essence.


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