Uninsured Employers

Uninsured Employers

Has an employee filed a claim for a work injury against you or your company when you did not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage? These cases pose a tremendous risk to the financial survival of you personally and to your business. You absolutely must not ignore the case and just hope that it will go away. It will not go away. As an employer, if you find yourself in this situation, it is imperative you find an attorney who is specifically skilled and EXPERIENCED in this aspect of the law.

For the past 30 years, I have defended many Uninsured Employers including sole proprietors, small businesses, companies and/or corporations, some with only a few employees and others with many employees. I am among the few attorneys that regularly handle the defense of Uninsured Employers in virtually all of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board courts throughout Southern California.

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Our focus is to bring your case to a successful conclusion at the earliest possible time at the least cost possible. Fortunately, we have achieved numerous excellent outcomes for our clients including more than a dozen cases in which the allegedly injured worker received nothing at all after trial. Many of our cases settle for ‘nuisance value,’ i.e. a very small settlement.

Frequently Asked Questions

California law makes it a crime not to have workers’ compensation insurance for your employees and can result in a fine or imprisonment in jail for up to one year, or both. This is only one of numerous penalties that can be imposed if you are an uninsured employer against whom a claim has been filed. In the vast majority of the cases I have handled, I have been able to reduce and/or avoid many or all of the potential penalties and other problems these claims cause.

No. Another penalty for not having workers’ compensation insurance is that you may be held personally liable for any benefits owed to an injured worker even if your business is a corporation or a limited liability company.

When you and/or your business are personally served with a Special Notice of Lawsuit, along with other court required forms, you have been legally made a Defendant in the case and the court can make orders that are legally binding and enforceable against you.

If you have not already hired a competent, skilled and experienced attorney, you should immediately do so. Waiting only makes things worse and is likely to cost you more in workers’ compensation benefits owed to the injured worker as well as more attorney fees to overcome problems that a delay can cause.

Yes....However, the Uninsured Employers’ Benefit Trust Fund is not interested in helping you. It does not have the time or resources to provide a vigorous and aggressive defense. You/Your business will still be defendants in the case. If you do not hire a skilled and highly experienced attorney to defend you, most likely a trial will be held after which the court will issue a decision (“Finding and Award”), which means the court will decide what benefits you owe to the injured worker.

If you do not pay, the Uninsured Employers’ Benefit Trust Fund will pay those benefits to the injured worker as well as his/her medical bills and will then begin collection proceedings against you and your business to recover what it has paid. This can have a serious and damaging effect on your personal or business credit ratings, interfere with your ability to sell property or obtain a loan or mortgage against the property.

For these, among other reasons, hiring highly experienced legal counsel to defend the case may go a long way toward reducing the benefits owed to the injured worker and limiting the negative effects on your personal and business finances and security.

Have a legal question?

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Richard Laden, Los Angeles Attorney