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What Happens If Your Workplace Is Uninsured?

If you are gainfully employed with a legitimate, fully registered and legal company, then one of the things a lot of full-time, employed Americans enjoy is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that a business has insurance for its workers. This is especially important in businesses with an industrial focus, such as construction or manufacturing. In these businesses, the work that employees do often carries a high element of risk, even when taking all prudent precautions. An accident at a construction site can cause a worker to fall from a great height, while the tools used in manufacturing can cause great damage, or even produce dangerous vapors as a side-effect that can cause great damage to human lungs.

For these and many other possible contingencies, most companies have insurance and offer some kind of workers compensation to employees who are harmed while on the job.

But what happens if an injury occurs there’s no insurance? Is an employee simply out of luck?

It’s The Law

Florida has pretty simple, easy to understand laws when it comes to workers compensation and requiring insurance. All construction-related businesses must, by law have insurance for workers compensation. However, any business with four or more full-time/part-time employees must also have some kind of insurance to protect its workers. If a company doesn’t do this, it is breaking the law.

Of course, some business people are unethical and unscrupulous, deciding that saving money by maintaining the appearance of having insurance is worth the legal risk. If they are eventually found to not have insurance available for their workers when required, they violate the law, and there are severe legal ramifications for that.

The most immediate consequence of a company being found to be uninsured is that a “stop-work” order is issued to the violating business. A stop-work order is exactly what it sounds like; the company is ordered to stop work and cannot continue with its normal business activity until the legal infringement has been addressed. In other words, until the company can furnish verifiable documentation that proves they have workers compensation, they may not legally operate.

In addition, companies without proper insurance will have enormous difficulty—or find it impossible—to hire more workers, sign leases, or even apply for certain licenses without proper insurance.

What This Means For You

If you are the unfortunate victim of receiving an injury on the job while working for someone who is uninsured, this can be a very serious situation. Some jobs, such as plumbing, for example, or working in home renovations subject skilled workers to numerous potentially risky situations. So if you become injured while on the job, and then seek workers comp, only to find out that there is none, what happens now?

The immediate thing you should remember is that while you are not in an ideal situation, you are not without options. If your injury was legitimately sustained while on the job, you are legally owed workers compensation in the eyes of Florida law. So if your employer is unable to provide it due to deception, that is not your problem, that is the problem of the employer. You should, in this situation immediately seek out an experienced workers compensation lawyer.

Having someone that understands personal injury and labor law in this situation will provide critical guidance and advocacy in what could turn into a case for the courts. Make sure you don’t undertake such a complex and challenging task alone and uninformed. Get someone in your corner who is familiar with fighting these types of battles, and get proper legal advice and representation.