Workers’ comp insurance provides much needed financial protection to people hurt at work. By law, your employer is required to pay for your workers’ compensation insurance California Labor Code § 3700). Unfortunately, not all businesses and organizations in Fresno County comply with the law.
This raises an important question: What options do injured workers have if their employer is uninsured? Here, our Fresno workers’ comp attorney answers the question by providing an overview of your rights if your employer is uninsured in violation of California law.
You Can Claim Benefits Through the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF)
California has stiff legal penalties for employers that fail to obtain workers’ compensation coverage, including the potential for civil and criminal sanctions. Nonetheless, a significant share of employers still fail to get the proper workers’ comp coverage for their staff members. As frustrating as it can be for an injured worker to find out their employer is uninsured, there are options available.
California operates an Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF). This fund was created by the state in order to ensure that an injured worker is not the party liable for bearing the cost of their employer’s failure to follow the law. In effect, you can file a workers’ comp claim directly through the UEBTF to seek the financial benefits you deserve.
How to File an UEBTF Claim in California (Special Rules)
If you or your loved one was injured while working for an improperly uninsured employer in California, there are some specialized rules that you need to follow to file a claim for benefits through the UEBTF. Here are three key steps to take when filing an uninsured employer claim:
- Complete and submit the employee portion of the DWC-1 workers’ compensation claims form;
- Gather as much relevant information as possible, including your medical records, medical bills, and contact information for anyone who witnessed your workplace accident; and
- Upon receiving confirmation that your employer is uninsured, file a Special Notice of Lawsuit (SNOL) and file a petition to join the UEBTF as a defendant in your case.
In effect, the SNOL initiates the workers’ comp claims process for uninsured employers. It will notify your employer, notify California regulators, and join the UEBTF as a party in your case. You can be paid directly by the UEBTF for your benefits. You may also be entitled to financial compensation (potentially a greater amount of compensation) through a civil lawsuit against your employer. A Fresno work injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal process.
Consult With a Top-Rated Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in FresnoJoseph C. Yrulegui is a skilled, reliable workers’ compensation attorney. With extensive experience handling uninsured employer claims, Mr. Yrulegui is standing by, ready to protect your rights. Call us now or contact us today for more information. We provide workers’ compensation representation in Fresno and throughout the whole area, including in Visalia, Oakhurst, Mariposa, Hanford, Merced, Kettleman City, Sanger, Selma, Reedley, Clovis, Turlock, and Los Banos.