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When You’re Hurt at Work and Your Employer Has No Insurance
More than likely, you’re under the assumption that if you’re hurt at work, you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. In theory, that’s great. However, what in the world happens if your employer has no insurance?
In the first place, you should know that under New Jersey law, your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. You can personally check to ascertain policy coverage with the New Jersey Compensation and Rating Bureau. However, many work accident victims find it’s just as easy to turn the task over to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
You may immediately panic if you determine that your company didn’t bother to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. For starters, how will you secure medical treatment? What about lost wages if your injuries are so severe that you can’t go back to work?
The good news is that New Jersey laws consider the potential for these types of circumstances. For example, you could be an employee of a subcontractor on a construction site. Maybe you work for a plumbing company who takes the lead from a general contractor.
In most cases, general contractors require subs to provide proof of insurance. However, there’s always the chance that your employer’s policy lapsed for non-payment. If the subcontractor doesn’t have workers’ compensation coverage, the general contractor is expected to provide you with benefits. Once again, this often requires the intervention of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to work on your behalf.
Meanwhile, New Jersey laws provide other avenues for injury victims left without coverage for work-related injuries. More specifically, there’s the NJ Uninsured Employer’s Fund.
NJ Uninsured Employer’s Fund When There’s No Insurance
If the court deems your work-related injury compensable and your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, you’re not out of luck. The NJ Uninsured Employer’s Fund becomes responsible for both your temporary disability benefits and medical expense.
However, in order to get the fund to assist you, you’ll need to file a formal claim petition with the court. You shouldn’t worry about paying an attorney up front. Attorney’s fees are allocated by the judge at the end of the case. Moreover, no money is due unless you receive some type of benefits.
In case you are curious, your employer won’t get off scott-free. Failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance is considered a pretty serious penalty under the law. It comes with some hefty fines.
Meanwhile, the NJ Uninsured Fund doesn’t provide one type of benefit. If you have suffered any type of permanent disability, the Fund won’t pay you for it. However, you may be able to put a lien of your employer’s business.
The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafajlo represents injured workers and works hard to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve. Regardless of the circumstances of your work-related accident, we want to help you. Call us to schedule an appointment.