Work injury lawyer explains how an employer who has no workers’ comp insurance in Michigan is still responsible for the injured employee’s payment of medical bills, lost wages, and possibly tort damages.
We have blogged about uninsured employers on multiple occasions. It is a lousy thing for employers to do and usually ends up hurting their businesses in the long run. When an employer has no workers’ comp insurance in Michigan, they are still responsible for payment of medical bills and lost wages. Officers and directors of the corporation can be found individually liable for any portion of the obligation and expenses that are not satisfied by the corporation.
Workers’ comp is a type of insurance that most employers are required to purchase in Michigan. It is intended to protect both employers and employees in the event of a workplace accident. Benefits are limited to medical, vocational rehabilitation, and a percentage of lost wages. In exchange for these automatic payments, employers are protected from civil lawsuits.
Who needs work injury insurance?
Private employers who regularly employ 3 or more people at one time, or at least 1 employee for 35 hours or more per week for 13 weeks or longer, must purchase workers’ comp insurance. An employer who fails to obtain workers’ comp insurance is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than $1,000.00, or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both. Each day’s failure is a separate offense.
It doesn’t matter if the employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance
We get asked about situations where an employer has no workers’ comp insurance and remind people that it really does not matter. The employer must still pay medical bills and lost wages. Watch out for employers who promise to make these payments in exchange for lying about how the workplace accident occurred. This is a trap and will be used to discredit any future workers’ comp claim.
An employer who has no workers’ comp insurance loses the protection of the exclusive remedy provision. This says that an employee cannot sue the business for anything except workers’ comp benefits. A lawsuit can be filed against an insured employer for their negligence. This opens the door to a claim for additional damages such as pain and suffering.
Watch out for bad employers trying to game the system
Our experience shows that bad employers who don’t have workers’ comp insurance try to game the system by telling their employees that that type of insurance does not exist or misclassifying them as independent contractors. They want an employee to give up hope and not pursue any claim.
We always recommend that a person independently verify insurance coverage with the Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency. There is even an online search tool that can be used to check for yourself. Individuals can even file their own claims directly with the Agency using the Employee’s Report of Claim (Form WC-117) who will then notify the employer and any insurance carrier on the risk.
Injured while on the job in Michigan? Contact our lawyers for a free consultation
If you were injured on the job in Michigan and your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, call us now to speak with an experienced attorney about your work injury claim, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years and can help you better understand Michigan work injury laws and explain what happens if you or a loved one has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.