New Jersey Workers' Compensation laws & safety compliance analysis

New Jersey Workers' Compensation: What you need to know

New Jersey is one of two states in which workers' compensation coverage is optional--in which the employer has the right to elect not to be covered. If an employer does not elect workers' compensation, the employer must make provisions for the complete payment of any work injury obligation to an employee through the purchase of employers' liability insurance, or by self-insurance. However, these do not constitute exclusive coverage, as does workers' compensation coverage.

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If, however, an employer does not elect workers' compensation, the employer must make provisions for the complete payment of any work injury obligation to an employee through the purchase of employers' liability insurance, or by self-insurance. However, these do not constitute exclusive coverage, as does workers' compensation coverage.

As with all potential sources of legal liability, there are distinct risks involved in going without insurance, and the employer should carefully weigh the advantages against these risks before deciding not to insure. Obvious advantages to employers are that there are no premiums to pay, or that they are not automatically being held responsible for every injury that occurs in the workplace.

On the other hand, employer defenses such as contributory negligence, negligence of a fellow worker, and assumption of risk are prohibited under these circumstances; the employer has to prove the employee was willfully negligent. Further, damages in negligence cases are not restricted to economic losses such as wages and doctor's bills, but may include payments for pain and suffering and even punitive awards. So just about all New Jersey employers elect workers' compensation coverage.

Public and private employees are ...


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More on this topic:

Who Is Covered?
What Is Covered?
Insurance Coverage
Benefits
Preexisting Conditions/Second Injuries
Multiple Employers
Safety Plans and Safety Committees
Claims
Employer Reporting
Hearings
Violations and Penalties
Additional Information: