All New Jersey employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance protection for their workers according to state law. Workers’ compensation insurance is actually anchored in federal law that allows each state to set the parameters for employer compliance. Some states allow only one insurance provider, while others allow private businesses to purchase their own insurance on the open market. New Jersey actually gives employers the option of purchasing private workers’ compensation or applying for self-insured status. Self-insured employers must meet certain standards for the allowance, which typically includes proving they are financially stable and posting a security deposit for benefits coverage.
All state workers’ compensation programs require employers to cover medical bills generated by all work-related injury treatment as well as providing replacement wages for the worker while they are rehabilitating. Workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits begin after the injury has kept the injured employee from working for seven continuous days, at which time the wage replacement becomes retroactive to the date of injury. Insurance companies also have legal input, so a claim denial can come from either the employer or the insurance provider.
Depending on the status of the injured worker and the employer, workers’ compensation claims filed in New Jersey typically do not allow general financial damages for the long-term impact of a workplace injury. There are potential benefits for vocational training when the injured party cannot continue working in the same employment capacity. Financial recovery for any discrepancy in pay rates could also be available in certain injury situations. Some injured workers may fall under a union bargaining agreement or company policy where the employee does have legal standing to receive long-term damage benefits directly from the employer or their insurance provider.
It is also important to remember that employers who are not in compliance with all OSHA rules and regulations for the particular industry could be liable for negligence in some injury claims that are also workers’ compensation cases. Exemption from a general damage personal injury claim is only absolute when the employer is not reckless or grossly negligent.