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What happens if a company does not have workers' comp insurance?

People are injured every day in Pennsylvania. Sometimes these injuries are purely the fault of the injured person, but many other times it is the fault of another individual or entity. The injured person generally will only be able to receive compensation for their injuries if it was the fault of the other another person. However, there is one area of life when a person may be able to receive compensation no matter who caused the accident. This area of life is while the person is at work.

If a person is injured at work, except in a few narrow exceptions, the worker is entitled to workers' compensation benefits for their lost wages and medical expenses. To ensure that these benefits are paid, companies in Pennsylvania are required to have workers' compensation insurance. The insurance company then generally pays the actual benefits to the injured worker.

Not all companies have workers' compensation insurance. If they do not there are a number of penalties that can be imposed on them, including criminal charges. Luckily, the worker can still receive their workers' compensation benefits through the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund. However, the employer will be required to reimburse the fund, including interest and penalties. In addition to this, the worker may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer for much more than they would receive through workers' compensation benefits.

While most employers in Pennsylvania have workers' compensation insurance, there are some who do not have it. Luckily, injured workers still have options for receiving their compensation, but the employer can face significant penalties if they do not have it. This compensation can be very valuable for the injured worker as medical bills can add up quickly and not having income can make daily life difficult.

Source: dli.pa.gov, "PA Workers' Compensation Employer Information" accessed on Nov. 6, 2017

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