Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that protects both employers and employees from financial loss when an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness. In most states, businesses with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Under the workers’ compensation system, employees are entitled to lost income and medical expenses when they get hurt on the job.
However, there are some instances where an employer may not offer a workers’ compensation for work-related injuries, leaving the employee injured and uncompensated. There are several reasons for that. For instance, not every workers’ compensation claim is valid or compensable, and the workers’ comp does not necessarily cover every worker.
If you suffer injury or illness at work and your employer doesn’t offer a workers’ comp, you still have rights and options. At Morris Bart, we have helped many individuals get compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses outside of the workers’ comp system. Get in touch with us today to discuss your situation in further detail.
Why Do Employers Refuse to File Workers’ Compensation Claims?
When you suffer an injury while performing work-related tasks, you typically file a claim. Your employer will then carry out an investigation before they agree to pay out the benefits. Depending on what the investigation finds, your employer might believe they have a valid defense against your claim.
When an employer raises issues with your workers’ compensation, it becomes what’s known as a potentially contestable claim. Here are some of the reasons why your employer may deny your workers’ compensation claim.
If your employer finds that your injury resulted from willful negligence, they may deny your claim. If there was intoxication or violation of other rules, the company will use these actions as grounds for denying workers’ compensation benefits.
While some employers may provide workers’ compensation for injuries resulting from negligent actions, most won’t approve claims resulting from injuries caused by intentional actions. For instance, most employers will not offer benefits for self-inflicted work injuries intentionally caused in order to claim workers’ compensation.
Injuries Not Caused by the Job
Workers’ compensation insurance only covers injuries or illnesses suffered while performing job tasks. An injury may have happened at work but is attributed to other reasons, such as a heart attack. In such cases, the employer may allege that the injury was not caused by work and deny the claim.
The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations determines the duration after an accident within which an employee must bring forth a workers’ compensation claim. Once this period is over, you can’t pursue the claim. Your employer may deny your workers’ compensation claim because the relevant statute of limitations has elapsed.
In the eyes of an employer, all these are legitimate reasons to deny a workers’ compensation claim. Not all employers are like this; responsible employers understand that workers’ compensation claims are part of the cost of doing business. When dealing with the former, you should always consult a lawyer when dealing with workplace injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Workers’ Compensation Exemptions
Aside from potentially contestable claims, the other reason your employer may not offer workers’ compensation for work-related injury or illness is workers’ compensation exemptions. A workers’ comp exemption means that an employer doesn’t have to provide workers’ compensation insurance or benefits to some or all of its employees.
Although most states require all employees to be covered, a few worker categories are exempt. If your job falls under exempted categories, your employer will not offer workers’ compensation. Reasons for exemption vary from one state to the next, but in most states, you may be exempt from workers’ compensation coverage if:
Your Company Has Only a Few Employees
In some states, companies with only a handful of employees, usually less than five, are not required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. workers’ compensation requirements will usually kick in when the business has a few more employees.
You Are an Independent Contractor
If an employer classifies a worker as an independent contractor, they can exempt them from workers’ compensation coverage. The IRS has specific criteria for determining whether a worker qualifies as an independent contractor or a regular employee. However, some states do have their own guidelines that may vary from the IRS criteria.
You Are a Volunteer
Like independent contractors, volunteers are generally not classified as employees and are usually not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions, though. For instance, some states require workers’ compensation insurance for volunteer police officers and firefighters.
In addition to independent contractors and volunteers, several other job categories are also exempt from workers’ compensation insurance. These include:
- Seasonal or casual workers
- Agricultural workers and farmworkers
- Domestic workers, such as caregivers and housekeepers
- Taxi drivers
- Members of the clergy
- Real estate agents
The rules surrounding Workers Compensation exemptions can be complicated. If you are injured or become ill at work, and your employer claims that you are exempt from workers’ compensation insurance, consider contacting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to talk about your legal options.
A lawyer will help you determine if you have been classified incorrectly and appeal the denial. And if you are correctly exempt and your employer was at fault for your injury, an attorney will help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the company in court.
Let Morris Bart Workers’ Compensation Experts Help You
If your job doesn’t offer a workers’ compensation, you don’t need to worry. You have other options. If your employer denies your workers’ compensation claim for any reason, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your options. The system is designed to resolve these disputes.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Morris Bart can help you appeal the denial of your workers’ compensation claim or file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. There are no consultation fees, and you don’t owe us a penny if we are unable to help you get compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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