Under California labor law, all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance in case an employee is injured on the job and files a claim for benefits. Some employers opt to self-insure and handle workers’ compensation claims on a case-by-case basis, which can save money in the short run but be costly over the long term, depending on circumstances. Employers who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance, though, can get into hot water fast if an employee becomes injured and to files a claim. The penalties for employers who do not carry insurance can be harsh, and could even be ruinous for their business.
Employers without workers’ compensation insurance could face both civil and criminal penalties for violating the California Labor Code. Fines of up to 100,000 dollars and jail terms of up to one year are both potential legal penalties for uninsured employers. The fines are determined by the courts, and could range from 2,000 to 10,000 dollars per company employee at the time the claim for benefits was filed by the injured worker. Add to this the fact that the court can compel you to cover wages, medical expenses, and more for the injured employee themselves and you have a recipe for losing a lot of money.
On top of the penalties you could face when an employee files for a claim when you are uninsured, the employee could also take civil action against you in court for alleged damages beyond the value of the workers’ compensation benefits. A civil lawsuit can level a business if the court finds in favor of the employee, and you could find yourself paying out significant money in damages to the injured employee even after the court-mandated fines for being uninsured have been paid.
Uninsured employers face a range of serious penalties, but by getting expert legal advice from an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law, they can help to minimize the risks they face. At Sacks & Zolonz, LLP, we work hard to help our uninsured clients reduce the penalties they face and get their business back on the right legal path. A consultation could mean the difference between saving your reputation—and your business—or being forced into dissolution due to bankruptcy.
If you need an uninsured employer defense lawyer in Los Angeles or elsewhere in southern California, the offices of Sacks & Zolonz, LLP are open to you. We are the premier workers’ compensation defense attorneys in the region, and we have a history of resolving legal matters for our clients successfully through utilizing aggressive defense strategies. We can counsel you on risk management so you can get your company on the right legal track and save your business. Call to set up your consultation with one of our expert attorneys today.