Insurance is an essential part of New York’s workers’ compensation system. Without it, few contractors could afford to pay when one of their employees suffers an injury and files a claim. In fact, state law requires contractors and subcontractors to carry a workers’ comp policy. If the company has six or more employees and does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the owner can be charged with a felony.

Drywall boss arrested for lack of insurance

State officials take this law seriously. The state inspector general recently announced that the owner of a drywall company upstate has been arrested on two counts of failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance. The charges stem from February 2017 to November 2018, during which the company subcontracted on two jobs without carrying an insurance policy. It’s not clear why the inspector general began investigating the drywall company, or if any employees had a work-related injury or illness during that time.

If convicted, the company’s owner could be sent to prison for eight years.

Dealing with insurance companies is not easy

Most construction companies here in Queens follow the law and carry workers’ comp insurance. But that does not mean filing a successful claim is necessarily easy. Workers’ comp insurance companies exist to make profits. Unless the workers’ claim is overwhelmingly clear, if the claim is a large one, the insurance company is likely to deny it. Then comes the appeals process, during which the insurer’s attorneys will try to keep you from getting approved for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Getting the benefits you need to pay for your medical bills and lost wages can be tough on your own. An attorney who practices workers’ compensation law can make a huge difference in negotiating a possible settlement and representing you in hearings.