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What happens when an employee refuses to sign workers compensation forms and elects to file suit independently?

Workers Compensation Law Discussion

What happens when an employee refuses to sign workers compensation forms and elects to file suit independently?

Postby advent » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:18 am

Workers compensation is basically a bookie for the employers. If you have an injury, and you sign up to have workers compensation benefits, it protects the employer from any further liability. I was wondering if anyone had experience with refusing to sign in order to take matters into their own hands. It sure seems like signing those forms is mandatory, but if you are required to participate, why would they need your signature?
What happens when you refuse to sign?
advent
 
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What happens when an employee refuses to sign workers compensation forms and elects to file suit independently?

Postby fenwick » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:19 am

I've only ever heard employers complaining about the worker's compensation, not employees. Your perspective is a unique one.

In any event, you don't have the option of not being covered by worker's compensation laws. Your circumstance would automatically be covered by the law simply due to the fact that you were injured at work.

Your signing or not signing anything is irrelevant. When you sign, you're only acknowledging that you received whatever paper they're giving you. If you tried to pursue a case outside of what the worker's compensation law allows for, a judge would toss it out automatically.

ADD: Why does anybody insist that anything is signed at any employer? It's paper compliance and bureaucracy. If you were to actually READ those forms, as I have countless times, you would see that they simply inform you of your rights and obligations under the workers' comp act, but at no point do they actually ask if you would like to participate. If you were to refuse to sign, as some employees do, your employer would simply mark "employee refused to sign" and it would ultimately change nothing.
fenwick
 
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What happens when an employee refuses to sign workers compensation forms and elects to file suit independently?

Postby delton » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:31 am

Get your own lawyer to help with the workers comp case. Your employer is required to report on the job injuries to workers comp if you need medical attention and your insuramce carrier will pitch a fit if they are paying fees that should be billed through workers comp. When the case has a settlement offer then ask your lawyer before you sign. Nothing stops you from going to the expense and trouble of suing the employer in civil court if you think there is additional neglegence which workers comp didn't cover. I agree it is a nasty business because it is adversarial and no one really wins but the lawyers and administrative judges because it is their game and they love it.
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