Arizona Workers’ Compensation Law – Your employer has no insurance. Montrose Chua, workers’ comp attorneys, explain what to do if there’s no workers’ comp.
Employer Is Without Arizona Workers’ Comp Insurance – What To Do?
In the State of Arizona, every employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance or they must be self-insured. Large companies are most likely to be self-insured, but whatever the case may be every company, even those with just one employee, are charged with insuring their workers against workplace injury or illness. There are few exceptions in terms of coverage, which includes domestic workers and those who are subcontracted or consultants.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, then they are committing a Class 6 Felony, and the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) may fine them. The ICA is charged with overseeing the state’s workers’ compensation program, including coordinating hearings when there is a dispute between an insurer and worker, providing information to workers, employers, and insurers, and enforcing OSHA standards and various laws, rules, and regulations associated with workers’ comp.
You can find out if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance by going to the ICA website. The website contains coverage information provided by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). The NCCI does not offer information on companies that are self-insured nor does it provide the name of any Third-Party Administrator (TPA) that an insurance company may be using.
In Arizona, employers are responsible for informing their employees about their workers’ compensation insurance plan. Information about the insurance provider should be posted and provided to each employee.
Arizona workers’ compensation guarantees employees that they will receive benefits, including coverage of all medical expenses and payment for time lost at work, if they are injured on the job or become ill while performing work duties. Therefore, if your employer has not provided a means for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits, the State of Arizona has made sure that you will still be able to receive the benefits that you are deserve. There are two ways in which workers can ensure their medical bills and lost earnings are paid- by applying to the ICA’s Special Fund or by bringing a civil suit against their employer.
The ICA’s Special Fund is dedicated to providing compensation to workers who are injured on the job or who suffer illness in the course of their work. In order to access these funds, a worker must apply to the ICA’s Special Fund Division, which will review, evaluate, and investigate the claim. If it is found that the employer does not carry the proper coverage, the Special Fund will offer the worker benefits and will seek payment from the employer plus 10%. In addition, the employer may face additional fines and could be charged with a Class 6 Felony.
If it’s found that the employer does not offer workers’ compensation coverage, the injured worker may, instead of seeking help from the Special Fund, bring suit for damages against the employer in Superior Court. Although there can be advantages to bringing suit, the issues regarding whether one should pursue the employer in court or utilize the Special Fund are complicated. Prior to deciding which path to follow, it’s advised that the worker consult with an attorney.
If you need workers’ compensation benefits and believe that your employer has not acquired the necessary insurance, you can benefit greatly from meeting with a knowledgeable and seasoned workers’ compensation attorney. The legal team at Montrose Chua, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, can help you weigh all of your options and provide insight into which path would be most advantageous. Our team is ready to meet with you and assess your situation. Call us today at 602-346-9009 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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