Workers Comp Lawyer | Not having workers comp can cost you more in the long run
Not having workers compensation insurance, is a lot like having workplace injuries—nobody wins. Workers compensation insurance protects both employers and employees. One workplace injury can change the future for the employee and the business. Need proof? See the impact an unsafe workplace and no workers compensation insurance had for one business.
During the course of an investigation conducted by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Fraud and Noncompliance Unit it was determined that the employer let their workers compensation insurance coverage lapse and never reinstated the policy. During the employer’s time without coverage, two of their employees were injured on the job.
The two employees were injured while erecting grain bins. The crane operator was lowering the stairwells down into the grain bin and failed to have any spotters on the ground with a guide wire. The cable broke from the crane, dropping a section of the stairwell on two employees. One employee fell approximately 30 feet to the ground and the other employee fell approximately 20 feet to the ground. Both employees had to be air-lifted and suffered permanent injuries. The life altering injuries hit especially close to home for the employer as one of the injured employees was also their son. Medical costs for one of the injured employees exceed $750,000 and more than $500,000 for the other.
Dollars and cents
When a business doesn’t have workers compensation coverage, who pays the bills? In most cases, the employer is responsible for the injured employee’s medical expenses. Often times, the employer is sued by the injured employee to recover the workers compensation, legal fees and damages costs.
South Carolina law specifically states who must carry workers compensation insurance.
The rule of thumb is that any employer who regularly employs four or more workers full-time or part-time is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. There are some exceptions, including agricultural employees, railroads, and railway express companies and their employees, and employers who had a total annual payroll during the previous year of less than $3,000, regardless of the number of workers employed during that period. Also exempt are Textile Hall Corporation and certain commission paid real estate agents. Although most employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance, any employer may purchase coverage.
The bottom line is that workers compensation coverage is required for a reason. Protect your employees and your business by putting safety measures in place and having the required workers compensation coverage.