Off The Record: TRRR Workers’ Comp Uninsured Employers
Man: Yeah. So, come on in.
Janet: Oh, okay. You’re both here.
Man: We’re both here.
Janet: Okay. Great. I got a question. Either one of you, hopefully, can answer this question. I just got a call from a potential client who may have a workers’ compensation case. The problem is they told me who their employer was, their employer, for what I can see, does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Man: Oh, all right.
Man: It’s not a total loss cause.
Woman: So, the way it works is there is a branch of the workers’ compensation board called the Uninsured Employers Fund. And they basically assume liability on cases where there is no insurance. So, what happens is we would have to file the claim with the board. Okay. So, the employee files the claim with the board. Okay? List the employer. They’ll schedule a hearing. It’s a little bit of a process because what happens is we have to establish that there’s an employer-employee relationship, that the accident happened. Many times, these cases are what we call controverted. They don’t accept them readily because the Uninsured Employers Fund wants to flush out and make sure that there is no insurance. There wasn’t maybe coverage where, and then there’s a coverage cancellation that wasn’t properly canceled.
Man: They want to make sure that the injured person is not an independent contractor. But, you know, even though they do step in and pay the medical bills, you know, the employer is still liable. So, they don’t completely get away with it for not having insurance.
Janet: Oh, that’s good. I’m sure the potential will be very…
Man: Yeah. And there’re pretty severe penalties. A lot of times what we wind up doing is we have something called Section 11 settlement where we just settle directly with the uninsured employer. And that helps them because, of course, they avoid a lot of the penalties and they were able to make the claim go away without it having, you know, hanging over them. But, yeah, you know, if it’s an uninsured corporation, I mean, there could be all kinds of ramifications. They could be liable personally. And, yeah.
Woman: But the main thing is, oh, I’m sorry.
Woman: There’s a huge benefit to the injured worker because they’ll have someone, the Uninsured Employers Fund will cover their medical treatment and lost wages. They step into the shoes of the employer. So, the most important thing for us is once we get it established, the person will have coverage as if there was insurance coverage there. It’s just covered through this fund. So, it runs like a regular case, which is good for them. So, they don’t lose out because their employer didn’t do the right thing.
Janet: Okay. Well, I’ll definitely let them know that. I’m sure they’ll be relieved to know all hope is not lost.
Woman: Yes, definitely. Great. Okay.
Woman: Thanks, Janet.