Injured While Working for an Uninsured Employer? What Now?
It’s bad enough to get injured at work. Almost everyone knows that companies are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. But, what happens when you find out your employer is uninsured. What now?
There are generally two different reasons that employers do not maintain workers’ compensation coverage. One may be that they neglect to purchase it at all. Another reason may be the company might not realize that the workers’ compensation carrier has cancelled their policy.
The latter was an issue in a court decision involving an injured worker employed by an ambulance company. On April 23, 2007, Janice Davis was hurt at work while working for Yassien Mobility & Assistance, Inc. The company did have workers’ compensation coverage in the past. However, at the time of Janice’s accident, the policy had already been lapsed for over a year. The insurance company cancelled coverage for non-payment of the premiums.
There are specific guidelines regarding an insurance company’s cancellation of an insurance policy. Claims were made that this particular carrier failed to follow them. Ultimately, the court decided that the insurance company was not liable for workers’ compensation benefits to Janice Davis.
So, what happens when there is no workers’ compensation insurance? Fortunately, New Jersey, like many states, has set up a specific fund for such cases.
Uninsured Employer’s Fund
The New Jersey Uninsured Employer’s Fund acts as a source of benefits for injured workers whose employers have not complied with the law. Unless a company has proven that they are self-insured, it is mandatory to carry workers’ compensation coverage. There are many penalties associated with the failure to provide this insurance. Among them is the possibility of being charged with a criminal offense.
What does the Uninsured Fund do? It ensures that those hurt at work are provided with medical care. Work-related injuries will not be covered under health care coverage. This fund will pay medical bills.
In addition, those who are hurt at work should receive compensation during the time they are authorized to be out of work. This fund provides for those benefits.
The procedure by which this happens requires filing of legal papers. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will see that a Claim Petition is initiated within the proper jurisdiction. Of course, part of the process will also involve showing proof that no insurance existed to cover the injured worker’s claim.
If you were injured at work, you could benefit from the advice of an experienced attorney. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has handled these types of cases for almost three decades. Contact us to see how we can assist you.