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How workers' compensation works in New Jersey

If you're hurt at work, do you know what to do? It's important to follow the correct procedures, so you can get compensated as soon as possible and start getting the treatment you need to get back to a healthy life. First, make sure you alert your employer immediately when you get hurt. It doesn't matter if it's a twisted ankle, laceration, or trip-and-fall accident; your employer needs to know you were hurt and what you want to do about the injury.

If you need medical treatment, then you should ask your employer and discuss where you are allowed to go for treatment; if it's an emergency, you should be taken to the hospital. If your employer won't allow you to see a physician through his or her insurance or won't report your accident to the workers' compensation insurance carrier, you can do so yourself. If you don't want to do that, then consider filing a claim with the Division of Workers' Compensation.

Your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier is meant to investigate your claim to decide if you should receive workers' compensation benefits. If you don't agree with the decision the insurance carrier makes, then you're able to file a claim with the Division of Workers' Compensation instead.

Another thing that is important to know is that your employer is not able to terminate your employment because you initiated a workers' compensation claim or testified at a trial for compensation. If your employer does terminate you and you believe it's for one of these reasons, you can file a workplace discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit.

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "General Questions," accessed Aug. 12, 2015

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