The Brooklyn District Attorney announced that they have charged a local contractor with workers’ compensation insurance fraud. If convicted, he may spend up to 15 years in prison.
New York Workers Suffer When Employers Lie
All employers in New York, with very few exceptions, are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This way, both the employer and employee are protected if an accident causes injuries or exposure to a hazard causes an illness.
In an effort to be fair, New York calculates the insurance premiums based on the company’s sales. So if the employer purposefully reports incorrect revenue for the company, they are committing insurance fraud. Why would an employer choose to risk heavy fines and jail time? Greed.
That’s exactly what the employer, in this case, chose to do. He allegedly reported that his company, a painting company, only made $58,000 during a certain period of time. In reality, the company’s revenue was almost $630,000. In addition to this, an investigation has determined that he also didn’t have the necessary workers’ compensation coverage at all times.
What Happens If An Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp?
Well, the first answer to this question is that any injured employee suffers. When an employee is hurt on the job, the medical expenses that are typically needed do not come cheap – even if the patient has health insurance. Workers’ comp is supposed to cover all of those costs.
Second, the employer faces not only fines and jail time if they are discovered, but they also open themselves up to a personal injury lawsuit. When an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, it prevents them from pursuing legal action against their employer but, if there is no workers’ compensation policy, then they have the option of filing.
How Can A Personal Injury Lawsuit Help?
These lawsuits, which are in no way connected to any criminal charges that the employer may face, are filed by a plaintiff who has sustained significant losses due to the negligence of another party. This formal complaint allowed their case to go before a judge and/or jury who will determine if the plaintiff has the right to be awarded compensation.
This might include payment for:
- medical bills
- lost wages
- physical pain and suffering
- emotional trauma
The amounts awarded in these cases can be substantial, but in order to obtain a good outcome, evidence needs to be collected, forms filed, witnesses interviewed, and experts who can testify on behalf of the plaintiff found. That’s why it’s so important for the plaintiff to work with an experienced attorney.
I’m Afraid Of Going To Trial
That’s ok! It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about being in front of a court. However, keep in mind that the majority of cases settle out of court when the defendant makes an offer. If this occurs, the plaintiff and their attorney can discuss the pros and cons of accepting the offer and can typically negotiate a higher settlement.
Still, some cases do end up going to trial and that is nothing to worry about. An attorney can help their client prepare for the experience of a trial.
Does Your Firm Have Experience With Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Yes! Keep in mind that even if an employer has a workers’ compensation policy, another party may also be responsible for the injuries or illness that the employee sustained. In fact, in many cases, employees are able to pursue compensation through both a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury lawsuit.
For example, if a construction worker is using a nail gun and the gun has a defect which causes it to misfire and strike the worker, then the designer or manufacturer may be held liable for the injuries that were sustained because it was their responsibility to create a product that, when used correctly, is safe.
To learn more about how we have helped past clients, contact us today or visit our case results page.