What Are Your Rights In New Jersey after a Workplace Injury?
In New Jersey, as in all states, when you have been hurt on the job, your first course of action is typically to file an application for workers’ compensation benefits. Under New Jersey law, all employers not covered by federal programs must either have coverage for workers’ compensation claims or obtain approval to be self-insured. If approved for self-insurance, the company will pay any worker injury claims directly.
What Are Your Options If Your Employer is Uninsured and Has Not Been Approved for Self-Insurance?
Even though workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory, some employers will try to cut corners and fail to obtain coverage. To provide benefits to injured workers when an employer illegally declines to secure workers’ compensation insurance, New Jersey established the Uninsured Employer’s Fund (UEF). The UEF pays temporary disability compensation for uninsured workers, and also covers medical expenses related to a workplace injury.
To obtain access to the Uninsured Employer’s Fund, an injured worker must first file a formal petition claim. If the claim does not name an insurer and does not indicate approval for self-insurance, the New Jersey Rating and Inspection Bureau will conduct a search to determine whether the employer has a valid policy of workers’ compensation insurance. If no policy is found (and the employer has not been approved for self-insurance), the court will assign a lawyer to represent the UEF. The injured person must then provide evidence of injury to the court and to the UEF. If the court finds that the employer wrongfully failed to obtain a workers’ compensation insurance policy, the court will order the employer to pay the benefits directly. If the employer cannot do that, the case will be referred to Superior Court for a judgment against the employer. Once the court enters an order against the employer, the injured party can seek compensation directly from the UEF.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 to set up an appointment.