What to do if employer failed to pay for workers comp insurance?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2010

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What to do if employer failed to pay for workers comp insurance?

I work for a ORbased company but was told that I was a WA employee working 90% of the time in WA. I was hurt on the job 10/05/10 and filed a WA claim which was denied. Come to find out the boss wasn’t paying for workers comp in either state or independent. Now, medical bills are pending and I still can’t work due to the injury. Should I go after the boss for the medical bills and time loss? Should I get an employment attorenyr to do so? In Cowlitz, WA.

Asked on November 10, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should seek legal counsel in this matter.  But look for an attorney that specializes not only in employment law but in workers compensation law as well.  They can be mutually exclusive. Generally speaking you can not sue your employer.  That is what worker's compensation insurance prevents.  But here, because they did not have insurance, you may be able to seek damages against them.  You may be limited to collecting only what worker's compensation may have paid you in the matter (they generally use a schedule for payouts).  As long as you are somehow covered I think that you will be okay with it. There are also violations for this and you should file a complaint as well.  Good luck.

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