In Oklahoma, almost all businesses must legally carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. However, there are many business-owners that walk the line and do not. This could result in a devastating judgment against the company in order to pay the victim’s restitution and needs. Take for example this scenario. In Rhode Island, the Providence Sky Chiefs are a semipro basketball team. Their owner, Giovanni Feroce, is cited for failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance after one of the players hurt a knee. Feroce picked up the insurance for the rest of the season to avoid further litigation, but again dropped it once the season ended. This is illegal and why he is now facing fines and other asset hearings.
Failure to Carry Workers’ Compensation
When a worker faces on the job injuries, workers’ compensation insurance covers the worker’s medical expenses and helps the company avoid paying restitution 100% out of pocket. This intends to be a win-win for both employer and employee. However, when a business has a failure to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance, it does not mean the victim is out of luck. Instead, it means the company is liable for all expenses: medical expenses, lost wages, temporary or permanent disability payments, and more. As a result, the company is likely to face bankruptcy or even closure.
Legal Process for Failure to Carry Workers’ Compensation
In Oklahoma, failure to carry Workers’ Compensation is a serious legal matter. You will first be subject to a judgment by the Workers’ Compensation Court. This will result in the case moving to District Court. Thus, the District Court will hold an asset hearing. Further, the asset hearing will determine the value of the company—and often company owner’s—assets. These will go to auction or other type of sale in order to allow the victim full restitution on medical costs, lost wages, and lost future earning capacity.
Generally, the Workers’ Compensation Court will also fine the company for failure to carry Workers’ Compensation. Under 85A O.S. § 40(B)(5), Oklahoma provides that fines may reach up to $1,000/day that the company did not carry insurance. This could lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, plus medical and other restitution to the victim.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Our Northeastern Oklahoma Attorneys can help you in your workers’ comp situation. If you do not have insurance and need help filing let us know. However, if you do not have insurance and are facing suit from an injured employee we can also help. Your first consultation is free.