Most employers in New York are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical bills and wage loss for those who’ve been hurt on the job. But what happens when your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance or a self-insured program? If you’re an injured worker who’s worried about how you’ll pay for your medical bills and protect your financial security, there are a few alternatives you may want to pursue. Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP, is the largest workplace injury law firm on Staten Island. Here, we explain other options for covering costs of workplace injuries when an employer doesn’t have coverage.
File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
In New York, injured workers generally are prohibited from suing their employers if they collect workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your employer fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance; you may file a personal injury lawsuit against them if you’re injured on the job.
One benefit of filing a personal injury lawsuit is that in addition to seeking compensation for medical bills and lost wages, you can sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In these types of cases, workers’ compensation attorneys and personal injury lawyers often collaborate to help their clients maximize the compensation they may be entitled to receive.
It’s also important to keep in mind that multiple parties could be liable for damages. For example, if a construction site injury was caused by the negligence of a subcontractor who is not your employer, you may be able to bring a claim against them as well.
File a UEF Claim With the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board
Although employers who fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance can face hefty civil and criminal penalties, some simply do not follow the law, which is to the detriment of their employees. The state of New York maintains an Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF) for the specific purpose of helping injured workers whose employers do not have workers’ compensation insurance. This is an essential safety net for workers in the greater New York City area and throughout the state, as it can take a significant amount of time for a personal injury lawsuit to be resolved.
In addition, New York lawmakers passed a bill that requires the NY Workers’ Compensation Board to name the UEF as the default source of compensation if an employer’s insurer cannot be identified within 10 days of a qualifying work-related injury or illness. This means the UEF will cover your medical bills and wage loss until your employer’s insurer is identified. Once identified, you can file a workers’ compensation claim with their insurance company. Filing a UEF claim can be daunting, so it’s best to have a workers’ compensation lawyer evaluate your case and assist you throughout the process.
Why You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Whether you’re considering a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or filing a claim for UEF benefits through the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, it’s important to understand your employee rights and responsibilities.
The processes for filing lawsuits and claims are complex. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer can help to ensure you avoid common mistakes that could jeopardize your lawsuit or UEF claim. A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney also can help you hold an irresponsible employer accountable while providing the compassionate legal support you need so you can focus on healing and getting back to work.
Contact Our NYC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
At Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP, our workers’ compensation lawyers know that uncertainty about how to obtain workers’ compensation benefits after an injury is stressful and overwhelming. You can trust our dedicated team to protect your rights and fight for your interests. As the largest workplace injury law firm on Staten Island, we serve injured workers throughout the greater NYC area. Attorney and partner Rolando Cubela is dedicated to helping Spanish-speaking workers access the legal representation they need. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 718-273-9000 or contact us today.