In last week’s workers’ compensation blog post, we discussed how a shot store clerk got workers’ compensation after a court case. Why he had to go to court to get workers’ compensation, however, is a story that illuminates some of the intricacies in how workers’ compensation law works.
Shot Store Clerk Gets Workers’ Compensation After Court Case
In May, 2008, a clerk at a convenience store in Philadelphia started receiving threats from the relatives of someone who had been arrested for shoplifting while he was on duty. Soon afterwards, the clerk had closed the store and was sitting in a car with a co-worker when two masked people approached and shot the two, repeatedly. The clerk suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and was disabled from his injuries.
Workplace Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation exists to compensate workers who get hurt while on the job. In this instance, while it seems arguable that the clerk was not on the job when he got shot – the store was closed and he was no longer technically on the premises – the court that handled the case found that he was, because the shooting stemmed from a shoplifting issue.
If that’s the case, why did this ever reach a courtroom? The whole idea behind workers’ compensation is that employers carry insurance to compensate injured workers so that workers don’t have to file a lawsuit to recover.
Employers Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The case went to court in large part because, while employers are typically required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, many employers refuse to do so. In their eyes, workers’ compensation insurance is just one more expense that eats into their profits.
In this case, the owner of the convenience store was one of those owners who didn’t comply with the law. Unfortunately, this left his employee in a terrible situation. He’d been severely hurt and permanently disabled, and did not have an insurance company to turn to for compensation. Instead, he just had the uninsured convenience store owner.
Luckily, this all happened in the state of Pennsylvania, which is prepared for this kind of situation. They have an Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund, which stepped in to provide the funding for the compensation that the shot worker needed in order to recover, even though his employer refused to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
St. Joseph Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Unfortunately, just because you suffer a workplace injury does not necessarily mean that you will be able to go through the workers’ compensation system. Your situation could get complex if your employer, like the convenience store owner in this case, has decided to pad their profits by not paying for workers’ compensation insurance.
Having an effective workers’ compensation attorney at your side in these situations can help immensely. Call the St. Joseph workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office at (816) 875-9373 or contact them online.