Do I have to pay an employee’s medical bills if thy were hurt on the job andI don’t have worker’s comp?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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Do I have to pay an employee’s medical bills if thy were hurt on the job andI don’t have worker’s comp?

I run a small grooming shop. I have 2 part-time employees. One was bitten on the wrist by a customer’s dog. Not bad but by evening it was swelling and painful so she went to the ER. I don’t have worker’s comp. She has Medicare but they won’t pay since it happened at work.

Asked on July 28, 2011 Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Most states in this country have significant penalties to an employer who fails to carry worker's compensation insurance and the employee is injured on a job related accident. The penalties are significant starting with payment of medical expenses, lost wages, penalties and attorneys fees since the employee can sue the employer for injuries sustained on the job where there is no worker's compensation policy in place.

You should consult with a lawyer immediately about the situation you are in and try and get a written release from your employee in exchange for a payment of money to him or her. You should also get immediate quotes for a worker's compensation policy for your business to protect yourself personally.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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