In Arizona, nearly all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance exists to compensate employees in the event they are injured on the job. However, even though the law states that most employers are required to have workers’ compensation policies, not all employers are in compliance with the law. If your employer does not have a workers’ compensation policy, and you are injured on the job, you can find yourself in a dire strait facing the expensive prospect of having to cover medical expenses on your own.
So what can you do if your employer does not have a workers’ compensation policy? The good news is that you have the same rights as any other injured worker in Arizona, regardless of whether you are a minor, an undocumented immigrant, or a relative of your company’s owner. You can seek compensation for your damages, but you have to go about this process a little bit differently than you would if your employer had workers’ compensation insurance. You need to seek compensation from the Special Fund Division of the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
The Special Fund Division of the Industrial Commission of Arizona exists to provide injured workers of uninsured employers with the benefits they are entitled to receive. These benefits include the following:
The money used to compensate injured workers through the Special Fund is a “trust fund” supported by the surcharge on all workers’ compensation premiums in the state. When a claim is filed, the Special Fund can accept or deny the claim, just like any other workers’ compensation provider. After compensating an injured worker, the Special Fund may seek reimbursement from the worker’s employer. In addition to this reimbursement, the Special Fund may charge the employer a fine of 10 percent of the compensation cost for not carrying workers’ compensation insurance.
If you are injured on the job, it is important that you follow all rules regarding workers’ compensation claims, even if your employer does not carry this type of insurance. This means that you must notify your supervisor of your injury as soon as possible after your accident. After doing so, contact an experienced Arizona workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss seeking compensation for your damages through a claim with the Special Fund.
If you have been injured on the job, consider working with an experienced Phoenix workers’ compensation attorney to make the process of seeking workers’ compensation less stressful. Our team at Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC can help you get the money you deserve through your workers’ compensation claim. To learn more about your rights and the process of seeking compensation, contact our office to set up your initial consultation with a member of our team.