If your employer tells you he has business insurance that will cover any on-the-job injuries, tread carefully. Your employer may think he is covered, but in fact he may have only a general liability insurance policy.
Business owners who are not familiar with the workers’ compensation system sometimes do not get the proper insurance to protect workers. General liability business insurance usually covers the following:
- Medical costs if a customer gets hurt on your property
- Property damages or injuries caused by you or your employees
- False advertising, libel, slander, and copyright infringement claims
- Legal defense and damages or a settlement if you get sued
Notice that general liability insurance does not usually cover injuries to employees. It might cover the costs of a lawsuit if one employee intentionally hurt another employee. However, employees who get injured through their own or no one’s fault would not have their medical costs covered.
Workers’ compensation insurance does cover medical costs for employees injured while performing their jobs. It also covers wage loss benefits for the time they are out of work. Without this special type of insurance, business owners could owe thousands of dollars in benefits to an injured employee, plus penalties for not having insurance.
To protect yourself as an employee, you need to tell your employer that general liability business insurance will not cover employee on-the-job injuries. First, check the Department of Labor and Industry’s search website to find out if your employer really does not have coverage. Keep in mind that if he is self-insured, he may not appear in the search. If you believe that he does not have an insurance policy and is not self-insured, you can suggest that he contact an insurance agent. Also, you can notify the Department of Labor and Industry.
If you have already been injured and then learn that your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, you need to contact a lawyer for help. You may have to go after the employer’s personal or business assets to get paid for your medical expenses and wage loss. This can be time consuming and legally challenging, so it is best to work with a professional.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.