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When an Employer Violates Workers Comp Laws

By Butler Prather LLP on September 27, 2021

Any employee who sustains an injury on the job should be able to recover compensation for their losses. In Georgia, this includes coverage of all medical bills caused by the workplace injury as well as a significant portion of lost wages if an employee cannot work while they recover. But what happens if an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance?

Here, we want to discuss what types of penalties that employers could face if they fail to properly insure their workers. Additionally, we will look at where an injured worker can turn to recover compensation for their injuries if they find out their employer is not properly insured.

When an Employer Violates Workers Comp Laws

Employers Face Penalties From the State of Georgia

When employers fail to provide appropriate workers’ compensation insurance to their employees in Georgia, they face significant penalties. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia says that the following penalties will apply to those who fail to provide insurance:

  • Fines ranging from $500 to $5,000 per violation
  • Misdemeanor charges against the business owner or CEO
  • Possible jail time of up to one year
  • Criminal fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000

There is a reason that there are so many penalties employers can face for failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance. The state of Georgia wants to make sure that companies understand how important it is to provide this type of insurance to ensure that workers are taken care of if they sustain an on-the-job injury.

Injured Workers Can File Personal Injury Lawsuits

When a person sustains a job-related injury, they fully expect that they will be covered with the state workers’ compensation system. When the employer does provide adequate insurance, this is how workers will get compensation for their medical bills, a significant portion of their lost wages, and possible disability benefits. Because the workers’ compensation system in Georgia is considered “no-fault,” an employee is typically unable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer.

However, if the employer fails to provide an employee with insurance, this means that the employee can file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer to recover the compensation they need. Not only does this open up the business owner or corporation to extreme financial liability, but the injured worker may be able to recover much more compensation than they otherwise would have been able to receive through the workers’ comp system.

Not only will a worker be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, but they will likely also receive compensation for their full lost income, household out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering damages, and maybe even punitive damages from the employer.

Work With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an on-the-job injury in Georgia and discover that your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you need to speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A work injury lawyer in Georgia will be able to handle every aspect of your claim. They will fully investigate the incident, determine liability, and explore all avenues of possible compensation recovery on your behalf.

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