Protecting Your Rights after a Workplace Injury
Under New Jersey law, all employers who conduct business operations in the state and are not covered by federal programs, must either carry a policy of workers’ compensation insurance or be approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance to be self-insured. That includes any employer who enters into a contract of employment in the state of New Jersey, or who has any employees who do work in New Jersey.
Unfortunately, too many employers try to cut corners by ignoring or intentionally violating this legal requirement. As an employee, what are your options when you’ve been hurt on the job and file a workers’ compensation claim, only to learn that your employer has no workers’ compensation insurance?
The Uninsured Employers Fund
The state of New Jersey maintains a fund, known as the UEF (Uninsured Employers Fund). Victims of workplace accidents may apply to the fund for benefits if they don’t have access to benefits through their employers. Recovering benefits through the UEF and be a complex and lengthy process, though, and should only be done with the assistance of an experienced attorney.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit
The New Jersey workers’ compensation laws are intended to be a substitute for civil lawsuits, generally providing the exclusive remedy when a person is hurt on the job. When an employer wrongfully fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance, that principle no longer applies—an injured worker may seek compensation in a civil lawsuit where the employer did not have work comp insurance.
There are advantages and disadvantages to being able to bring a personal injury lawsuit:
- You won’t be limited to the benefits available through a workers’ compensation claim, but may potentially recover more than lost wages and medical expenses
- The process will typically take much longer than a work comp claim, unless you settle
- In a personal injury lawsuit, you must show that your employer was negligent; in a workers’ compensation claim, you need only show that you suffered an injury during the course of your employement
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after a work-related injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all workers’ compensation claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.