Under New Jersey law, any company with at least one employee must carry some type of workers’ compensation insurance that will provide important benefits to individuals who sustain injuries or develop illnesses related to their jobs. Employers have different options for insurance, including self-insurance or using an insurance company, however the main requirement is that they have some type of coverage to compensate injured employees. Unfortunately, not every employer complies with this requirement and you may be shocked to learn that your employer does not have the required insurance to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. In such a situation, you should discuss your legal options with an experienced NJ workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
Filing a Legal Claim
If your employer does not have the necessary workers’ compensation coverage, the law holds the employer liable for the following:
- Your medical expenses;
- Wage replacement;
- Temporary or permanent disability payments;
- Dependency benefits.
You can seek compensation from the company and possibly even from individual officers, partners, or other owners by filing a lawsuit in civil court. There are pros and cons to filing a legal claim when you do not have access to workers’ compensation benefits. On one hand, you may often recover a greater amount of money through the courts than you may via the workers’ compensation system. However, it may take a significantly longer amount of time to receive your compensation and you may face financial difficulties due to lost wages and medical expenses in the meantime. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help to reach a favorable settlement agreement as soon as possible and help you find solutions for covering your expenses until you receive your compensation.
Other Penalties for your Employer
In addition to civil liability for your injuries, your employer may face other penalties for failing to comply with the law. For example, criminal charges may be issued—your employer may face a disorderly persons offense or even an indictable crime (felony) if the authorities believe the lack of insurance was willful. In addition, up to a $5,000 fine can be imposed for every ten days your employer fails to get proper coverage.
Because you never want to be left without the benefits you deserve, if you learn that your employer is uninsured, you may want to report it to the New Jersey Office of Special Compensation Funds. While you may file a report anonymously, it may be a good idea to discuss your situation with a workers’ comp attorney to ensure your rights are protected before you do so.
Contact a Skilled New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help. It is extremely important for employers to comply with New Jersey workers’ compensation laws to ensure that their employees are covered in the event of a workplace accident and injury.
If you are injured and your employer does not have the proper insurance, the lawyers at the Wilton Law Firm can help you recover for your losses. Please call our office for a consultation as soon as possible or send us an email through our online contact form.