Most employers in Ohio are required by state law to carry workers' compensation insurance. If an employee is injured on the job, this insurance will cover their medical bills and replace lost wages if they need time off to recover. It will also pay disability if the worker can never return to work. But what happens if you get hurt and then discover that your employer does not carry workers' comp? You have options if you find yourself in that situation, and the team at Monast Law Office can help.
What Is Workers' Comp Insurance?
Ohio is one of only a few states in the country with state-funded workers' comp insurance. In Ohio, most employers must pay into the state workers' compensation fund. For these companies, claims will be handled by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC). Some large companies that meet specific requirements opt to insure themselves privately. These companies are considered self-insured. It shouldn't matter to you whether your employer participates in the state fund or is self-insured—either way, your work-related injuries and lost wages should be covered.
It's important to understand that if you are an independent contractor, you are not covered by workers' comp in Ohio. This classification generally comes down to how much control your employer exercises over your work. Sometimes, workers are misclassified as contractors when they are employees. If your employer does not have workers' comp insurance and is trying to skirt the law by claiming their workers are independent contractors, that's a whole other can of worms!
If your company doesn't have workers' comp insurance, not only are they breaking the law, but you must pursue coverage another way.
What to Do If Your Employer Is Uninsured
The first thing you should do if you discover that your employer does not carry workers' comp insurance is to contact our office. With three decades of experience in workers' comp law, I know how to make sure your bills are covered and compensation paid when your employer is not covered. Your eligibility for compensation and benefits should not be denied because your employer failed to obtain insurance coverage. Together, we can file a claim directly with the BWC. If your claim is approved, your medical bills, lost wages, and temporary or permanent disability will be covered by the BWC. The Bureau will then seek reimbursement from your employer, but don't worry about that.
When you work with our team, we will help you where your employer has let you down. Our goal is your goal—to get you the benefits you are owed quickly.
Will Your Employer Get in Trouble?
Besides having to reimburse the BWC for your claim, your employer will face additional penalties, including sanctions, fines, and even criminal charges. Your employer could be charged with workers' compensation fraud. Executives of the company could even face jail time.
Do not let your employer's fear of legal action affect your decision. You should have full compensation for your work-related injury costs, and you should not be coerced or threatened by an employer to give up your rights. If your employer advises you to lie to medical providers about how the injury occurred and to just use your employer-sponsored health insurance instead of pursuing workers' comp, they are committing fraud, and you don't want to go anywhere near that.
Get Help From Monast Law Office
With over 30 years of experience helping injured workers in Ohio get the workers' comp benefits they deserve, I can help you when your employer is uninsured. If you are being bullied or threatened by your employer to not file a claim or report them to the BWC, contact Monast Law Office to discover how we can help. Learn more by requesting a free copy of our book, The Worker's Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio, then fill out our online contact form or call our Upper Arlington office at 614-334-4649 to get started.