Does Your Employer Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
North Carolina employees who get injured at work are entitled to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Usually, a workers’ compensation insurer, not the employer, pays the workers’ compensation benefits. But is your boss insured? Here’s what Ricci Law Firm wants you to know:
If you get injured, will workers’ comp insurance cover you?
Nobody wants to get hurt at work and then learn that the employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance. Who will pay the bills? For that reason, in North Carolina, any employer with three or more employees (and owners are included in that count) must have valid workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance coverage information in North Carolina is available to the public for free. To see if your employer is playing by the rules, simply check this workers’ compensation coverage website to make sure valid insurance coverage existed on the day you were injured or contracted an occupational disease.
What if the website shows lapsed or expired insurance?
You might search the insurance database and find that the employer used to have insurance, but that the insurance coverage has lapsed or is no longer valid. This is a common problem, especially with small companies. In that case, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Ricci Law Firm can determine if the lapsed insurance was nevertheless valid at the time of your injury or disease. Our attorneys also perform extensive searches and background investigations to make sure the insurance does not exist under some slightly different employer name. Many times, for example, the name of the company on the paycheck does not match up with the name of the company insured for workers’ compensation. Some employers even intentionally hide the true company name from their workers, just so injured workers assume the worst and give up without a fight! The attorneys at Ricci Law Firm have been investigating workers’ compensation insurance coverage questions for years and can help navigate these complicated issues.
What if the employer is truly uninsured?
Sometimes, a workers’ compensation attorney at Ricci Law Firm conducts the preliminary insurance investigation and still finds that the employer was uninsured on the trigger date. The good news is that there may be other insurance. First, the attorney can help determine if there is another employer and insurer on the hook, such as a shell company or parent company. Second, a workers’ compensation attorney will look to see if any general contractor was involved, since a general contractor’s insurance is responsible if a subcontractor is uninsured. Next, a workers’ compensation attorney will investigate whether you have a claim against the employer for failing to obtain workers’ compensation insurance or for wrongly labeling you as an independent contractor instead of a true employee. Finally, even if no workers’ compensation coverage exists, an attorney at Ricci Law Firm can help you determine if you have a valid third-party claim against some other entity or company – one with insurance.
Ricci Law Firm attorneys regularly hear from injured workers who failed to pursue a workers’ compensation claim simply because their boss claimed that the company was broke and had no insurance. Don’t fall for it! Let the experienced workers’ compensation team at Ricci Law Firm investigate your options and steer you in the right direction.