Most of us will make it through our entire careers without getting injured at work. However, when something like this happens, you deserve to be taken care of. Our Orlando workers comp lawyers understand how frustrating this can be. However, you may learn that your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. What can you do in this case?
Most Employers in Orlando Are Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
All employers in Florida who have four or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are special rules when it comes to farmers and construction company owners.
If a farmer has six or more employees, they must purchase workers comp insurance. For those people who own a construction company, there is very little leeway. If they have even one employee aside from the owner, the company must maintain workers’ compensation coverage.
What Happens if Your Employer Doesn’t Have Insurance?
According to Florida Statute §440.09, employers must provide compensation to employees who are injured at work. In addition, they must be prepared to cover any medical care needed by injured workers.
If they don’t have the necessary workers’ compensation insurance coverage, they will face harsh penalties. According to Florida law, an employer who fails to provide adequate coverage for their employees faces the following penalties:
- They may be fined either $1,000 or twice what it would’ve cost them to maintain insurance.
- They can be charged with a 3rd-degree felony if they lie about the number of employees or the level of risk involved.
- They will be open to civil liability.
It is this vulnerability to civil liability that pertains to you.
How Can an Orlando Injury Attorney Help?
As soon as you learn that your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, you need to call an Orlando injury attorney. At this point, your case will shift to a personal injury lawsuit.
Usually, if you get hurt at work, you cannot sue your employer. Your only option is to go through workers’ compensation. The only time you can file suit in relation to your workplace accidents is if a third party was negligent.
This changes when your employer chooses to not purchase workers’ compensation insurance as required by state law.
Would You Be Allowed to Sue Your Employer for Damages?
Once you confirm that you can’t apply for workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll have to make a decision. If you want to file suit against your employer, our Orlando injury attorneys can help make that happen.
By electing to not purchase insurance, your employer put themselves in this position. You shouldn’t be expected to pay for your medical care. Had it not been for your job, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt.
What Damages Can Your Orland Injury Attorney Demand On Your Behalf?
If you end up suing your employer for damages, you will likely receive much more than you would have received under workers’ compensation. This is because the purpose of workers’ compensation is limited.
With personal injury, you’re entitled to some or all of the following.
- Medical bills – Your Orlando injury attorney will demand that you be compensated for both past and future medical bills. You may need surgery in the future. Or you may need long-term physical therapy.
- Lost Wages – You can demand reimbursement for all lost wages. Unlike workers’ compensation, where you can only receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages, there is no limit in personal injury cases.
- Lost Future Income – If you become partially or totally disabled, you can demand damages for lost income. This will be equal to the difference between what you would’ve earned and what you will not earn.
- Pain and Suffering – This is perhaps the biggest difference between workers comp and personal injury. Under workers’ compensation, you aren’t entitled to any damages for pain and suffering.
Your Orlando injury attorney will fight to get you as much money as possible.
Is There an Upside to Suing Your Employer Instead of Going Through Workers Compensation?
One of the benefits of suing your employer for personal injury is the damages you can demand. When you file a claim with workers’ compensation, you are only entitled to medical care and weekly benefits.
In fact, while you’re out on workers comp, you are only entitled to receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages. When you sue for personal injury, your Orlando injury attorney can demand the same complement of damages as they would in any other personal injury lawsuit.
There Are Potential Obstacles That You Would Not Have Encountered with Workers Comp
One of the drawbacks of having to sue for damages is that your Orlando workers comp lawyer will have to prove causation. With a workers’ comp claim, it is presumed that your injuries were work-related.
With personal injury, that isn’t the case. Your Orlando injury attorney will have to specifically tie your injuries to your job. Your attorney will also have to prove negligence on the part of your employer. This can be more difficult than you may think.
There is a Good Chance Your Orlando Workers Comp Lawyer Will Settle Your Case
It is important to remember that your Orlando workers comp lawyer will try to settle your case. They understand that the last thing you want is for your case to drag out.
Very few people can afford to go for months or even years with no income. Your Orlando injury attorney also understands that you can’t afford to pay your medical bills out of pocket. This is something they will demand your employer pay.
Reach Out to an Experienced Orlando Injury Attorney
If you were hurt on the job, you should be able to rely on your employer to take care of you. Unfortunately, if they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, this won’t happen. It’s critical that you reach out to an experienced Orlando injury attorney as soon as you find out they’re not insured.
If this happens to you, we recommend you contact one of our Orlando workers comp lawyers. You may have to file a lawsuit against your employer and that isn’t easy to do. For your own protection, it’s a good idea to consider retaining an Orlando injury attorney.
We offer new clients a free, initial consultation. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet with a seasoned lawyer who can answer any questions you may have.