An earlier blog discussed the situation of an injured worker who was denied worker’s compensation benefits based on the allegation that he/she is an independent contractor. What happens, however, when an employee of a subcontractor is injured in a work-related accident and is told his/her employer is uninsured and therefore no compensation benefits are available?
In New Jersey an employee faced with such a situation should claim worker’s compensation benefits from the owner of a project or the general contractor. Section 79 of the Worker’s Compensation Act provides:

Any contractor placing work with a subcontractor shall, in the event of the subcontractor’s failing to carry worker’s compensation insurance as required by this article, become liable for compensation which may be due an employee or the dependents of a deceased employee of a subcontractor. The contractor shall then have a right of action against the subcontractor for reimbursement.

By this section, the law requires general contractors to provide the same worker’s compensation benefits — medical treatment, temporary disability payments and permanent disability payments — to employees of their uninsured subcontractors as they are required to provide to their own employees.
Any worker injured on a job and denied benefits for this reason should immediately contact a worker’s compensation attorney. The attorneys in the Worker’s Compensation group at Stark & Stark has litigated these issues on behalf of many workers and are ready to assist anyone facing such denials of benefits.