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Injured Worker’s Recourse with Uninsured Employers

Home » Injured Worker’s Recourse with Uninsured Employers
December 08, 2017
Edward Smith


Injured Workers’ Recourse with Uninsured Employers

I’m Ed Smith, a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Sacramento. Employees in California are entitled to certain protections known as workers compensation benefits. Employers are required to purchase this kind of insurance. If you are injured at work and your employer has neglected to purchase workers’ compensation coverage, you may need to recover your losses directly from that entity.

Exclusive Remedy

Generally speaking, employers are protected from lawsuits by injured workers with a legal principle known as the Exclusive Remedy Rule. Since employers are required to purchase workers compensation insurance, their insurers are responsible for paying out any valid workers’ compensation claims. However, an employer may neglect to purchase this coverage- in the event that an employee of such a business is hurt on the job, that employee may be able to pursue a claim against their employer directly.

Employer Negligence

If an employer neglects to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, injured employees may need to file suit against the employer directly. Even if the injured party receives workers’ compensation benefits from some source, the benefits must come from the worker’s employer to fulfill the employer’s legal obligations and protect them from a lawsuit.

Favorable Presumptions Against Uninsured Employers

California’s workers’ compensation laws grant a few favorable presumptions and benefits that the injured workers may use in their claim against the uninsured employer:

  • a presumption that the employer acted negligently
  • the preculding of the defenses that the employee was contributorily negligent, was injured by a co-employee’s negligence, or assumed the risk.
  • a presumption of negligence based on an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citation issued to the employer
  • the attachment of the employer’s property as collateral upon or after the filing of the action to secure the payment of any resulting judgment.
  • the allowance of a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of a judgment.

Employers have non-delegable duties under the Labor Code pertaining to safety in the workplace. These duties are greater than the duty of care normally imposed under common law principles. An employer’s duty to maintain a safe workplace covers many responsibilities, including the duty to inspect, discover, and correct dangerous conditions and to adequately train and warn of their existence. Employers are also required to provide safeguards for their employees and all necessary safety devices.

Related Articles by Ed Smith, Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer:

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer. Have you or someone you love been injured in an accident at work? Do you need navigating the complexities of a claim? Please contact me right away at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free and friendly advice. Alternatively, I can also be reached via my website anytime at

I have worked to serve injured people and their families in Sacramento since 1982. Take a moment to read reviews left by some of my past clients on: Yelp, Avvo and Google.

The million-dollar verdicts and settlements I have obtained for clients has earned me membership with the Million Dollar Forum. You can browse summaries of the Settlements and Verdicts I have won posted to

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Construction Site Progress by Edwin Seda. CC BY-SA 4.0
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