What If My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Compensation Insurance in MA?
My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Comp Insurance
The workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts only works correctly when the employer actually has workers’ comp insurance. Generally, the employer notifies their insurance company of the injury or accident and then the insurance company itself would work with the employee to distribute their benefits. Your work injury can look completely different without this insurance.
Who is Required to Have Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Almost all employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few employers, however, that is not required to hold this insurance. Furthermore, there are likely a few employees that are not covered under this insurance.
Under Massachusetts law, the name of your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier must be posted for their employees to see. Additionally, you can visit www.mass.gov/dia to check whether your employer has workers compensation insurance.
If an employer does not hold workers’ compensation insurance when they are required to, then that is a criminal violation. If you believe your employer is required to have workers’ comp insurance but they do not, you can report your employer to the Department of Industrial Accidents. Keep in mind that all reports are kept anonymous.
In fact, it is more common for an employer to tell their employee that they do not have workers’ comp insurance when they do. In these cases, the employer likely did not want to file a claim.
What if the Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Failure to have workers’ comp insurance, in some states, means that the employer is liable in a court of law. In most circumstances, this is not beneficial for either party. Assuming they are awarded at all, the employee has to wait much longer for her or his benefits and the employer is open to more legal liability.
In Massachusetts, the said employee is paid from a trust fund that was set up by the Department of Industrial Accidents. When employers do not have workers’ comp insurance, the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund has their own lawyers who will pay employees benefits.
At that time, the lawyers from the Trust Fund try to collect these funds from the employer. This costs the employer more this way than if they just had workers’ compensation insurance to begin with.
Can I Sue the Employer in Addition to Collecting from the Trust Fund?
The answer to this question is surprising, yes. Employees in Massachusetts can collect from the Trust Fund if their employee has insurance. The employee can also bring a civil suit against their employer. What this means is that the employee can recover twice.
This acts as a punishment to the employer and is a big benefit to the employee. It is simple to see why most employees in Massachusetts carry workers’ compensation insurance as required by state law. However, in the off chance that they do not hold any workers’ comp insurance, the workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Office of Todd D. Beauregard, PC can help you exercise your legal rights inside and outside of the courtroom.