Florida Employers Without Workers’ Compensation Insurance
It is common knowledge for most Florida workers that if they are injured on the job, they can file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer’s insurer, and receive benefits. However, some employers are not legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and some will unlawfully try to operate without it. If you are injured at work and your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, consulting an attorney is a good idea.
Number Of Employees Matters
In Florida, the workers’ compensation insurance requirements will vary from industry to industry. For example, an employer in a non-construction industry must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have 4 or more employees (including corporate officers), but a construction industry employer must carry insurance if they have 1 or more employees. This is because the construction industry is consistently one of the most dangerous for its workers.
That said, it is important to keep in mind that there are several different trades that, at least in Florida, fall under the umbrella of the construction industry – in other words, jobs that one might not colloquially group under ‘construction’ may legally be grouped in that industry. If you are injured at work and your employer is considered part of the construction industry, they must have workers’ compensation insurance since they have 1 or more employees.
An Injured Employee Has Options
If your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation and does not, be assured that you still have options to receive the benefits you deserve. There are potential penalties for a Florida company that has not met workers’ compensation requirements – the most immediate being a stop-work order, which halts any work until the company complies with the law. However, the most stubborn or unscrupulous companies can and do ignore these orders.
On a more individual level, though, what your employer’s lack of workers’ compensation coverage means is that you retain the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for the harm you have suffered. Normally, a Florida worker gives up that right when they accept a job with workers’ compensation benefits – workers’ compensation is intended to be the exclusive remedy for on-the-job injuries. However, if the employer fails to honor their part of this bargain, the employee is not required to honor theirs.
Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured at work, most of the time, your employer will carry workers’ compensation insurance that you can apply to for benefits. If your employer lacks the insurance they are required to carry, you are not without options. An Orlando workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can help to ensure your rights are protected. Call our office today at (407) 499-8887 for a free consultation.