Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to workers that are injured during the course of their employment.
In North Carolina, these benefits provide financial help to workers that need to miss work or require medical treatment because of an accident. However, it is not always an easy thing for workers to obtain the benefits they deserve. For example, sometimes employers do not carry workers’ compensation insurance.
What happens if your employer does not have insurance?
Under North Carolina law, most businesses with three or more employees must obtain workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured. However, there are exceptions to this requirement for employers of:
· Certain railroad employees
· Farm laborers
· Domestic employees
· Sellers of agricultural products for the producers who work on commission
· Casual employees that do not perform work pertaining to the regular course of the employer’s business
Unfortunately, there are also some employers who willfully fail to procure workers’ compensation insurance for their employees in order to save money. In addition to heavy fines and criminal charges, these employers may face a civil lawsuit. This means that injured workers may sue their non-compliant employers to recover their medical bills and loss of wages, plus additional compensation for pain and suffering (recovery for this type of compensation is normally not allowed for claims covered by workers’ compensation insurance).
If you are injured while on the job, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible, regardless of whether your employer is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. An attorney can work on your behalf to obtain the benefits that you are entitled to by law.