There are few things more inconvenient than getting hurt on the job. Not only does suffering an injury mean you will have to go through the process of healing, rehabbing, and getting yourself back to 100% — which can be particularly difficult if you suffer a major injury — but not being able to work can put a strain on your finances. Thankfully, if you get hurt at work, workers compensation should kick in and you won’t have to worry about paying bills while you recover. However, not every business owner properly provides workers comp, even though it is the law.
This was proven true by a Pierce County, Wash landscaper who has been charged with failing to pay worker’s comp benefits after one of his employees ended up getting hurt at work. An employee said that Kenneth Ivan Winters not only failed to pay proper benefits, but also threatened him and his family if he filed charges with the Department of Labor and Industries (LandI). The employee has lost more than $67,000 so far in lost wages and medical expenses, according to the charges.
Winters plead not guilty to the charges, despite facing serious consequences. He is charged with one count of operating a business without workers comp insurance and seven counts of making false reports to the LandI. Each of the charges is a Class C felony and comes with a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and five years in prison. Winters has run his business since 1990.
After getting hurt on the job, if you have an honest employer with your best interests at heart, you won’t have to worry too much about making sure you receive the proper benefits. But if you are having trouble getting payments from your employer, then hiring a workers compensation attorney might be the smart choice. They will have the skills and experience needed to take the proper steps towards making sure you get the benefits you are entitled to.
It is hard to tell exactly how the situation in Washington will play out, but, odds are that Winters will be forced to make payments to his injured employee. No two cases are exactly the same, so it is hard to ever know for sure what is going to happen. But instances like this are all too common. So if you work in an industry where getting hurt on the job happens regularly, knowing who to contact and how to proceed to make sure you are able to receive benefits if an accident takes place.