Under California Labor Code § 3700, your employer has a legal responsibility to ensure that you are covered by no-fault workers’ comp insurance. Workers’ compensation coverage will protect you in the unfortunate event that you are injured. This raises an important question: What do you do if you find out that your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance? Here, our Fresno workers’ compensation attorney provides an overview of your options if you were hurt on the job and you found out that your employer lacks the required workers’ compensation coverage.
The first step in the workers’ compensation claims process is the same regardless of whether or not your employer has the legally required insurance coverage. You should tell your supervisor or the HR department that you were injured. You need to seek immediate medical attention. Nothing comes before your health and safety. You have the right to see a doctor after a work accident.
Step #2: Document What Happened
While workers’ comp provides no-fault benefits, it is still important for injured workers to document their accident and their injuries—especially in an uninsured employer case. The more information that you have, the better position that you will be in to get workers’ comp benefits.
California operates a fund designed specifically to protect the rights and interests of workers who are hurt while employed by an illegally uninsured company. The fund is called the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF). If you are injured at an uninsured employer, you can claim benefits through the UEBTF.
However, there are certain procedural steps that you must take before bringing such a claim. California law requires workers to send their employer a document called a Special Notice of Lawsuit or SNOL before filing for UEBTF benefits. A workers’ comp attorney will make sure that your SNOL is completed and submitted properly.
Step #4: Consider an Additional Legal Claim
Beyond claiming workers’ comp benefits through the UEBTF, a worker injured while working for an illegally uninsured employer may also have an additional claim against their company. You could potentially be entitled to more compensation through a fault-based personal injury lawsuit if your employer lacks workers’ comp coverage. A California work injury lawyer will help you evaluate this option in your case.
Joseph C. Yrulegui is a top-rated work injury lawyer. With extensive experience handling complex cases, Attorney Yrulegui has the legal skills and professional expertise to help injured workers navigate uninsured employer claims. If you were hurt while working at an uninsured employer, we can help. Contact us today to arrange your confidential initial consultation. We provide workers’ comp representation in Fresno, Fresno County, and throughout the San Joaquin Valley.