Blog

Injured Employee and No Workers Compensation Insurance

Injured Employee and No Workers Compensation Insurance- Maryland Attorney

Employers in Maryland are required to have workers compensation insurance however occasionally insurance policies lapse or coverage was inadvertently not obtained.  If you are an employer with no workers compensation insurance, or an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance is available it is important to educate yourself and consider contacting a workers compensation attorney.

What if there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance?

In Maryland, and most states, employers are required to have workers compensation insurance if they employ one or more persons and are doing business in the state or are located in the state but “doing business” outside of the state.  §9-201 Labor and Employment Md. Code Ann. goes as far as to mandate even government or quasi government corporations must have workers compensation insurance.

Employers do have the option to self insure a workers compensation policy however the requirements to do so are often cost prohibitive and labor intensive.  Employers opting to self insure must employ competent individuals to adjust workers comp claims, prove to the Workers Compensation Commission they are financially able to pay compensation, and must have a dedicated in state office with personnel to contact regarding claims.  Other requirements do exist to qualify for self insurance.

If there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance the employer could be hit with devastating fines and a potential lawsuit by the attorney generals offices.  For more see our UEF page.

The first step to determine when there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance

The first step that must be made is to determine if there are “employees” of the company as interpreted under Maryland law.  If there are no employees then workers compensation insurance is not mandated. 

In some instances employers and those working for them mistakenly assume they are employees as defined under Maryland workers compensation laws.   This is a very complicated question which is not ordinarily accurately answered without the assistance of a workers compensation attorney.  Accurate analysis is needed when on its face it appears there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance.  Lawyers will consider these factors among others:

Is the injured worker paid hourly, weekly, by weekly, or by installments?
Is the injured worker paid directly from the alleged employer?
Is the work that was being performed by the injured worker at the time of the accident directly overseen on a daily or weekly basis?
Does the injured worker use tools, instruments, supplies provided by the alleged employer?
1099 status is not enough to classify a worker as a subcontractor under Maryland workers compensation.
Is there a written contract?
Are employees of the employer provided to assist the injured worker perform and complete the task at hand?
Does the alleged employer require the injured worker to be at the job location at a certain time on a regular or recurring interval?
Is there a deadline by which the work or task must be completed?
Is there a relationship that exists between the employer and the alleged employee outside of the relationship that existed at the time of the injury?

A majority of these questions are directed at determining if the injured worker was acting as a sub-contractor rather than an employee.  This is often the argument made for employers who are not carrying workers compensation insurance however the sub-contractor argument does not always provide an adequate defense.

Have you received paperwork from the Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF)?  Go here for a discussion of the UEF.

What are some of the other workers compensation defenses available if there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance?

Employers, by and through their attorneys, regularly argue common defenses before the workers compensation commission which can range in effectiveness depending on the relevant issues at hand.  At the beginning of the case the claim can be challenged or contested on a number of grounds.  These include the argument, as previously stated the injured person was not an employee.

Also when there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance the employer may argue the worker was injured at some other time in some other capacity, that the actual problems are related to arthritis or degenerative findings, the employee  was acting out side of his scope of employment when injured, the claim is barred under a willful misconduct argument, the employer lacked notice of the accident and has since lost the ability to adequately investigate, or Maryland jurisdiction does not apply.  These arguments must always be considered when there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance.

If the initial hearing is held and the claim is found compensable by the workers compensation commission the employer is responsible to pay for medical treatment, lost wages, associated medical costs, possibly vocational rehabilitation, and a permanency award.  These expenses can add up to tens of thousands of dollars quickly.  When there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance the affects can be financially devastating for the employer. 

As the case continues the lost wages, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation can be challenged on many of the same grounds as indicated above.  More often than not these challenges are accompanied with an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) performed by an orthopedic qualified to examine the worker and provide a report indicating the workers ability to perform his job, and the reasonableness, necessity, and causally relationship of the medical treatment.  When there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance the employer must pay for the IME which adds an additional cost to the case. 

If a work accident occurs involving an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance what should the employee do?

These cases are among the most complicated workers compensation cases because of the many parties involved and the potential for multiple proceedings.  When there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance the injured worker needs to contact an attorney for help.  workers compensation attorneys for injured workers only charge a fee if money is recovered.  Without an attorney injured workers are unlikely to obtain compensation in these cases, especially if the employer has an attorney.

What should an employer do if a workers compensation claim is filed, there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance?

Contact a workers compensation attorney immediately.  As the case continues without legal representation the employer is more likely to make mistakes that could bolster the injured workers claim rather than help their own defense.  Furthermore, if an injured worker is receiving medical treatment the bills and potential liability to the employer will be building rapidly.

If the injury is substantial enough there is a good chance the worker will obtain legal counsel of their own.  Even the most minor of injuries often result in a claim being filed and liability payments made.  There should be no hesitation to contact a workers compensation defense attorney as most initial meetings are not billed. (This should be verified with the attorney before discussions begin.

What is the process of a claim involving an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance?

When the claim is filed there will be a number of forms that should be filled out and submitted to the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission.  These forms are necessary to determine if there is an applicable insurance policy in place.  Once it is confirmed that there is no workers compensation insurance the injured worker or his attorney will file an impleader action with the commission making the Uninsured Employers Fund part of the case.  The UEF is a Maryland fund that provides benefits to injured workers if the employer is uninsured.  The particular case will then proceed forward on the UEF docket at the Commission.  More on the process can be found here.

Potential consequences for an employer if there is an injured worker and no workers compensation insurance include:

  • After an award of compensation the employer may be responsible to pay an assessment of $500 – $1,000.
  • Uninsured employer may have to pay 15% of any award made in the claim up to $5,000.
  • Referral to the Maryland States Attorney’s Office for criminal proceedings which may result in a $5,000 fine or up to a year in jail.
  • An uninsured employer may lose their business license.
  • The employer may also have to fully reimbursement UEF for any money paid in the claim.
  • It is important to note that the UEF can place a lien on the company assets but also on any officer of the corporation who has responsibility for general management of the corporation.

 

Mr. Rodabaugh represents both injured employees and employers who have an injured employee & no workers compensation insurance.

For a FREE consultation  Call Us, Click to email  or just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and Mr. Rodabaugh will contact you!

I needed a lawyer for my workers compensation case. I was referred to Mr. Rodabaugh. I was very nervous about the case, and a little overwhelmed. Mr. Rodabaugh took extra time to talk to me (lots of questions he answered over the phone) and explained step by step of how everything worked. He was very confident, and made me feel comfortable with my case and decision. I highly recommend Mr. Rodabaugh.
  • Five Stars
L.F.Technician

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER
THIS PAGE IS ADVERTISEMENT MATERIAL
Maryland workers compensation attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh and his office offers information about Personal Injury law and Workers’ Compensation for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein constitutes formal legal advice. If you need the advice of a Maryland workers compensation lawyer, please contact him today. He has offices throughout the state and various convenient meeting locations.  Each and every case needs to be evaluated before legal advice can be provided.  Under no circumstance should the information on this website be considered medical advice. This is an attorney’s website and is not affiliated with any government agency or government entity of any kind.
We are pleased to communicate with you concerning legal matters.  However if you communicate with us through this website regarding a matter for which our firm DOES NOT ALREADY REPRESENT YOU, your communication may NOT be treated as privileged or confidential, and shall not be deemed to create an attorney/client relationship.  Furthermore you should NOT provide confidential information to anyone at our law firm in an email inquire or otherwise unless we have FIRST entered into a representation agreement.  By continuing on to our website you are deemed to have agreed to these terms and conditions.
Summary
Injured Employee and No Workers Compensation Insurance
Article Name
Injured Employee and No Workers Compensation Insurance
Description
When there is an injured employee and no workers compensation insurance both the employer and employee could face huge financial constraints.
Author
Publisher Name
Work Injury Maryland
Publisher Logo