In Ohio, all employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. If you get hurt on the job, you are covered under this insurance and can get reimbursed for medical expenses and have paid leave to recover from your injuries. This workers’ comp system keeps you and your employer covered and ensures that the workplace is safe for all.
Unfortunately, some employers don’t live up to their legal obligations. They may not have paid into the state fund or been adequately self-insured. This is a scary thing to discover after you’ve been injured in the workplace. You may be worried that you will not be able to pay your medical bills or take the time you need to heal and recover.
What Happens to Me If My Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Doesn’t Cover Me When I’m Hurt?
Just because your employer is uninsured and can’t cover you under their nonexistent or insufficient workers’ compensation policy, it doesn’t mean that you will have to go without care. You are still entitled to workmans’ comp benefits under Ohio law. If you are hurt at work when there is no workers’ compensation policy in effect, your employer is still liable for the actual cost of medical care and compensation payments, in addition to penalties for not enrolling in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
In this situation, you have several options. First, you can still make a claim through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to get covered under the uninsured employer fund. You can also sue your employer for the reimbursement you are owed within 30 days. Finally, you can use other legal tactics to make sure that your needs are covered. An Ohio workers’ compensation attorney will be able to discuss the best options in your unique situation with you.
Can My Employer Get in Trouble?
No matter what you choose to do, however, your employer can get in trouble with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation if your workers’ comp claim is not dealt with in a timely manner. Ohio takes worker health seriously, so it aggressively prosecutes such violations. If your employer did not treat you fairly or provide you with the full compensation you deserve, they can face sanctions, fines, and even personal criminal charges.
Not only will the state sue to cover your medical expenses and deserved disability, but they may also pursue workers’ compensation fraud charges against the executives of the company. They will be held personally liable for the restitution due—and could even face jail time. That’s why most uninsured employers or insufficiently self-insured employers will work with your workmans’ comp lawyer to get you the full settlement you deserve.