You did not plan to get injured when you went to work. We know you went to work that day with the full intention of completing your job and returning home that evening without any problems. We also understand that this injury has impacted your life in many different ways.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report that shows that over 2.9 million employees are injured each year at work. Many of these injuries are life-changing. The same report shows that sadly, around 5,000 people lose their lives to work-related accidents each year.
The laws surrounding workers compensation in New Jersey are different than those of many other states. It is important to speak with a New Jersey workers compensation attorney as soon as possible after your accident. You are entitled to many benefits under workers compensation, and you may qualify for a third-party action.
SCHEDULE A NO OBLIGATION CASE REVIEW TODAY. We will look at the facts surrounding your case and show you how we can help you easily maneuver through the New Jersey workers compensation system to receive the benefits you are entitled to under the laws of the state.
How New jersey Workers’ Compensation Cases Are handled
In New Jersey, a worker’s compensation claim is not handled like other types of personal injury cases. Workers comp cases are filed with the New Jersey Division of Worker’s Compensation, and all cases are handled through this agency instead of the court system.
Worker’s compensation is a requirement of nearly all businesses in New Jersey. Very few companies or industries have an exemption from this requirement.
Employers Benefit From NJ Worker’s Compensation As Well
As a benefit for covering their employees in the event of an accident, the business is given protection from being sued for negligence. This protection for the business owner makes keeping an insurance policy on their employees a very attractive alternative to being sued.
There are some cases where the employee may have the right to seek additional damages from a third party for their work-related injuries. This happens if the injury was a result of a negligent action of a vendor, maintenance company, or property owner other than the business owner.
In some rare cases, the employee may seek a negligence case against the employer if it can be shown that the injury was a direct result of the employer placing the employee at risk.
Types Of Work-Related Injuries New Jersey Workers’ Compensation LAwyers Deal With
Work injuries can happen in many different ways. They can happen in one dramatic event, or be the result of long term repetitive motions.
Work injuries also vary in type, severity, and long-term effects.
The most common work-related injuries include:
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: these injuries can be caused by repeating a certain motion every day. Injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and similar muscular or nerve injuries from using power hand tools
- Exposure To Toxins: this can include respiratory illnesses, burns to the skin from chemicals, mesothelioma, and black lung,
- Slip and Fall: these accidents can occur for many different reasons: icy grounds, falling from a ladder, being pushed by another employee or client, or any other event
- Burns or Ice Injuries: fire, electrocution, or working in freezing temperatures
- Head or Neck Injuries: traumatic brain injuries (TBI), whiplash, or concussions are common from falls or falling objects
- Contact With Equipment: injuries caused by contact or use of business equipment and machinery or defective products
- Construction Accidents: any work related accident on a construction site
- Mining Accidents: Any accidents related to working in or around a mine
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents during the course of their job if they are using their vehicle to complete their job
If you have any questions about the injuries you have received at work and wonder if they fall under worker’s compensation law, you are encouraged to SCHEDULE A FREE CASE REVIEW with a New Jersey workers compensation lawyer about your injuries. Call Rosengard Law Group at 833-323-4448
NJ Workers’ Compensation Is A No-Fault Insurance Policy
Worker’s compensation is considered a no-fault insurance policy. This means that regardless of who was responsible for the accident that caused your injury, the policy will cover the event.
The only time that worker’s compensation will not cover an injured employee is if the employee was under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs when the accident occurred.
The reason that worker’s compensation falls under the no-fault policy rules is that it gives employers protections from being sued. Employers cannot be sued for any type of work-related injury unless they purposefully placed the employee in harm’s way.
The no-fault nature of worker’s compensation, however, does not prevent the injured employee from seeking additional compensation from third parties if they are responsible for the accident. Some of the ways that a third party may be responsible for an accident that occurs at work include:
- Employee is driving a delivery to a client of the company when they are involved in a car accident. If the person in the other vehicle caused the car accident, the employee can claim against worker’s compensation and seek additional compensation from the driver of the vehicle
- A vendor builds a display in the business, and the display collapses on the employee causing an injury. The vendor would be held responsible for the injury
- A maintenance company makes a repair on a piece of equipment that the business uses. The equipment then fails and causes an injury because the repair was not completed correctly or the wrong parts were used. The repair company could also be held responsible for the accident.
If you believe that the accident you were involved in at work was the result of another person’s actions, speak with a Rosengard Law Group attorney. We will investigate the information surrounding your case. If it is discovered that a third-party was responsible for the accident, your NJ injury attorney will file the necessary lawsuit to seek compensation from the responsible parties.
What To Do If You Are Injured At Work in New Jersey
The steps you take after an accident can have a direct impact on the success of your worker’s compensation case. It is very important that you use the following guideline any time you have been involved in a workplace accident.
File A Report With Management
When an accident occurs, you should report the event immediately to your supervisor or to the business owner.
An accident report should be completed with all of the detailed information about the accident. You should request medical attention, even if the injuries seem minor.
It is mandatory that all accidents are reported within two weeks of the event. However, if you wait to report your injury, the insurance company may find ways to deny your claim.
If your injury is a result of a long-time work condition, such as a repetitive motion injury, you need to report the injury to your employer at the onset of symptoms.
By New Jersey law, you have two years from the date of the initial accident to seek medical care and compensation for your injuries. The Statute of Limitations does apply, and if you miss this date, you cannot seek compensation or care.
Identify Any Witnesses And Take Down Their Information
If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask them to give a statement and provide you with contact information. Your attorney may wish to contact these witnesses at a later time to make a statement about the accident.
If your injury is from repetitive motion or similar incidents, you may want to take down information from employees that you work with who know that you perform this task on a daily basis.
Take Pictures If Possible
If you are in a position to take pictures of the accident scene or your injuries, do so. If your injuries are too severe or you do not have access to a camera, have someone else take pictures if possible. While this is not necessary for your case, photographic evidence is always helpful.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
Immediate medical attention can save lives. When an accident happens, it is important that you are medically evaluated immediately after the event, even if you believe that your injuries are minor. Many injuries are not apparent right away but can become serious very fast when left undiagnosed or treated.
Concussions, fractures, some neck injuries, and internal bleeding are not always apparent. High adrenaline levels from the accident or dismissing the symptoms of a headache or nausea due to “nerves” may actually be signs of something more serious.
Follow Doctors Recommendations
It is very important that you follow all medical treatment recommendations made by your care provider. Missing appointments or not complying with treatment recommendations can result in your claim being closed or denied.
Speak With A New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Although New Jersey is a no-fault worker’s compensation state, getting benefits for your injuries may not be as simple as filling out a few forms. Legal representation is necessary to get ALL of the benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
According to the New Jersey Department of Heath, injured workers received, on average, just $595 in compensation for their injuries. This is in addition to their medical care. Who can actually pay their debts at $595? No one. This is why you need legal representation.
Your attorney will make sure that you receive all of the medical care you need and all of the benefits that you are entitled to under the law.
Keep An Injury Journal
One of the best ways that you can show the insurance company how the injury has impacted your life is to keep an injury journal. Record everything in the journal from your doctor appointments and what took place to how you feel when you get up in the morning.
You will want to document your good days as well as your bad. Record how it makes you feel emotionally. Write down things that you can no longer do because of the injury. Write down all the things you have to change and things that you cannot do in your life.
This personal and honest look at how the injury has changed your life will be a powerful tool for your attorney to use when building your case for compensation.
Avoid Social Media
Social media can be a tool used by the insurance company to build a case against you. You should limit any social media posts about the accident, your injuries, your recovery, your job, your attorney, or your case. In fact, try not to post anything about these subjects if possible.
Insurance companies have one goal – to deny or diminish claims. They will use anything they can to show that the injury did not affect your life.
For example, iIf you post that you have been out having a good time with your friends and family, even though it just means you went out to dinner, the insurer could use this post to prove that your condition is not as bad as you say.
Your attorney may have other recommendations for you to follow during your case. It is always in your best interest to follow these suggestions so that you have the best possible outcome for your claim for worker’s compensation.
Common Questions About NJ Workers Compensation Laws
The following are the most commonly asked questions about NJ worker’s compensation:
Who Is Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Under New Jersey law, all employers, regardless of size or industry, must carry worker’s compensation insurance. The only exception for a business to not have worker’s compensation benefits is if they are self-insured.
Who Is Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Employees of the federal government, some state agencies, railroad workers, and maritime workers are not covered under the standard worker’s compensation laws. These agencies are covered under their own policies or programs.
What About Independent Contractors?
Many businesses chose to pay their employees as independent contractors in an effort to avoid having to pay for benefits like worker’s compensation. The Worker’s Compensation Act of New Jersey, however, views independent contractors differently than the taxing authorities.
Under the Act, the employer must still cover the independent contractor for any injuries if:
- The employer has direct control over the employee
- The employer has the right to supervise the actions of the independent contractor
- This is the only company that the independent contractor works for
- If the work completed by the employee is the main part of the employers business
If the employee falls under any or all of those categories, the employer must cover these independent contractors under their worker’s compensation plans.
What Medical Care Will I Receive Under Workers’ Compensation?
Employees are entitled to the following types of care under worker’s compensation:
- Emergency room or urgent care coverage
- Follow up doctors care
- Diagnostic testing and x-rays or other scans
- Physical therapy
- Corrective surgeries
- Rehabilitation Services
It is important to remember that the treatment you receive under worker’s compensation will all be handled through Horizon Casualty Services.
Horizon Casualty Services is the state service provider that manages all medical claims for worker’s compensation.
Under New Jersey law, you do not have a choice on who provides your medical care for worker’s comp related treatment. If you fail to use the right doctor’s, you could face thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills.
What Does Workers’ Comp Cover For My Wages?
Under New Jersey law, worker’s compensation will pay up to 70 percent of your lost wages while you cannot work. There is a state cap of $873 per week for wage replacement. For high wage earners, the replacement income could be much lower than 70 percent.
Under worker’s compensation guidelines, if you return to work part-time or in a less paying position, they will compensate you for the differences between what you currently earn and what you were previously earning. Of course, the 70 percent rule applies here as well.
Can I Get Fired For Filing A Claim or Hiring a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney?
State law protects employees from losing their jobs for filing a worker’s compensation claim. State law considers firing an employee for filing a claim an act of retaliation and the employer could face severe penalties.
If you have been fired because you made a worker’s compensation claim, speak to us about your right to seek damages for unlawful firing.
What If My Claim Was Denied?
If your claim for worker’s comp has been denied, you are entitled to file an appeal. We can help you build a solid case, so you can get the benefits that you are entitled to.
Speak With A New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Our law firm works on a contingency basis so that you never have to worry about up-front legal costs. We will aggressively represent your case for you and collect only a percentage of the settlement when we win. If we do not win, we don’t get paid.
Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to build a solid case. The use of experts may be necessary, and our firm has access to experts in many different fields.
We have working experience with the New Jersey worker’s compensation system.
FREE CASE CONSULTATIONS. If you are still unsure if you need a NJ worker’s compensation attorney, we encourage you to schedule a free case evaluation. We can show you exactly how we can help during this no-obligation meeting.
WE ANSWER QUESTIONS. Being injured and unable to work can leave you with a lot of questions on what you can do and what can be done for you in regard to medical care and wage replacement. We answer these questions for FREE during your initial consultation.
We encourage you to protect your rights and speak with a New Jersey workers compensation lawyer today.