Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance under the law. Workers’ compensation is a program aimed at being a compromise between the needs of injured workers and employers. The program is designed so that workers with on-the-job injuries can get the financial compensation they deserve fast, while at the same time, protecting the employer from having to pay out large settlements that were not figured in their financial plans.
The workers’ compensation program was designed to cover not only medical bills, but also lost wages for workers who were injured on the job. In exchange for the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim, workers are precluded from filing a separate civil action in most situations. This is the benefit to the employer. In reality, many employers see a mandate to carry workers’ compensation coverage as a great compromise, and a few of them will do whatever they can to keeps costs down.
Our work injury lawyers understand how important it is to get your workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible. Your family depends on your income and any unnecessary wait can be detrimental.
According to a recent article, a snow terrain park for snowboarders in Iowa did not have workers’ compensation coverage for its employees. As an employer, the park owner was required to either use the state insurance program or obtain a waiver after demonstrating that they had a private workers’ compensation insurance plan in place to cover workers. If the employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, he or she is personally liable for any damages awarded in a civil lawsuit.
In addition to the potential damages in a civil negligence action for not maintaining workers’ compensation coverage, the employer is also responsible for a $25 fine for every day that he did not have coverage in place, and this fine will continue to accrue until the situation is remedied.
The workers’ compensation commission said that not maintaining workers’ compensation is often a problem for small businesses. Large corporations rarely get into trouble for not maintaining coverage. These large companies likely have deals with private insurance carriers keeping the cost per worker down to a much lower rate than a small business owner would have to pay.
The article also pointed out that there is a compliance problem seen in the construction industry. Most large construction projects have a general contractor, but then that contractor hires a series of subcontractors to do the work. A masonry company may have a subcontract on a job, and there is often a question as to who is responsible for covering the workers. The situation will get even more convoluted when the masonry subcontractor hires a cement company as a subcontractor to him to deliver cement in trucks driven by a workers who may be contracted out to the cement company.
If you are injured on the job in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim: 1-888-367-2900.
State: Eagle snow park developer failed to get workers’ comp for employees, July 24, 2014, Iowa Statesman
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