What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is used to protect an employee in the event of an accident or injury at work. It is a coverage that is required by most employers in the United States.
Requirements of the Workers’ Compensation Program
The individual requirements of workers’ compensation vary from state to state but in general, if an employee is injured at a job in which they receive a paycheck and pay taxes, then they are eligible to collect compensation under the policy.
Who is Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation?
Most employers in the United States are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. However, there are some employers who are exempt from this requirement.
- Individuals with self-insurance: Businesses that outsource their own insurance may not be required to carry workers’ compensation
- Federal employees: Most federal employees are covered under the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act
- Industry-specific businesses: Some industry-specific businesses like agricultural and domestic employers may be exempt from the requirements of workers’ compensation
- Volunteer workers: Depending on the organization, volunteer positions are sometimes exempt from the workers’ compensation requirements
- Independent contractors: Because an independent contractor does not specifically work for the business, a business is not required to carry an insurance policy for them
- Real estate professionals: In many cases, real estate professionals are considered independent contractors and are often exempt from workers’ compensation laws
Corporations, partnerships/LLCs, and sole proprietorships should all carry workers’ compensation coverage. There are many other industries that could be exempt under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws. It is important to understand the laws before offering employment to someone to know whether or not you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
Additionally, as an employee, it can be helpful to understand your coverage in the event that you suffer an injury at work. If your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation but does not and you are injured on the job, you may be eligible to seek compensation through a third-party personal injury lawsuit. However, this process can be lengthy and complicated.
Consequences of Failing to Offer Workers’ Compensation in Middletown
Not having workers’ compensation does not necessarily remove liability from the employer. If an employer does not carry workers’ compensation and they are required, then they may be liable personally.
Employers may also face additional consequences including:
- Up to a $5,000 fine for every 10 days uninsured
- Personal liability of medical expenses and disability
- Civil penalties to the employer
- Liens against the uninsured and its officers
When an employer does not carry workers’ compensation, it puts their employees at risk. If you are aware of an uninsured employer, it is best to report it to the state of New Jersey. You can easily report this with a Report of Non-Compliance. You can also keep anonymous when filing this report.
Seeking Compensation from an Uninsured Employer
Suffering an injury on the job can be life-changing, leaving you with expensive medical bills and lost wages. This can be even more difficult when you find out that your employer is not insured for these damages. In this case, you will have to go after the employer personally. It is important to work with a legal team that will fight to serve you justice and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Contact a Lakewood Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case
A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the workers’ comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. represent clients in Edison, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, Piscataway, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Middletown, Howell, Lakewood, Toms River, Brick, Jackson and all across New Jersey. Call 732-709-7992 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 1862 Oak Tree Rd, Edison, NJ 08820 and we also have offices in Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.