The law dictates that every employer in the state of California must carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, not all employers are insured. Some employers are unaware that even for their small-sized family businesses where the employees are also close relatives that workers’ compensation benefits must be made available in case an employee becomes injured at work, and others remain uninsured in the hope that none of their employees ever gets hurt so that they can save money on costly insurance premiums. Penalties for uninsured employers can be stiff, though, if an employee does get hurt and decide to file a claim for benefits.
Uninsured employers may face criminal charges and civil penalties if an employee files a workers’ compensation benefits claim and there is no insurance to cover the claim. These penalties could include incarceration in a county jail for up to a year and fines not in excess of 100,000 dollars. The fines are calculated based on not only the employee who filed the claim, but based on the number of total employees on the payroll at the time the claim was filed, and the fines could range from 2,000 to 10,000 dollars per employee, depending on the decision made by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
The fines and criminal penalties are not the only legal action that an uninsured employer may have to contend with. If an employee files a lawsuit in pursuit of damages (such and suffering, lost wages, etc.), an employer could find themselves facing even more financial hardship as the amount of money they have to pay to the employee increases. It is difficult to calculate how high these dollar amounts could reach, as the amount of damages the court compels an employer to pay to an employee in a civil suit depends on the extent of injuries and other factors.
Uninsured employers are urged to seek legal advice from a qualified workers’ compensation defense attorney if they are facing legal problems due to their lack of insurance. The attorneys at Sacks & Zolonz offer legal services to their clients in all matters related to employer defense in the realm of workers’ compensation. Our attorneys are not just workers’ compensation defense experts—we wrote the book on it.
If you need uninsured employer defense in Santa Ana or elsewhere in southern California, the attorneys at Sacks & Zolonz, LLP are well-equipped to serve you. Our attorneys are workers’ compensation defense experts, and we specialize in representing uninsured employers. We have a track record of solid results, and we can negotiate on you and your business’s behalf in court if you are facing legal action related to workers’ compensation. Call us for a consultation if you are an uninsured employer in need of legal services.