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What is the purpose of workers' compensation?

As a worker in New Jersey, you need to be aware that you have rights. Under workers' compensation laws, you have the right to medical care if you are hurt on the job along with other benefits. Workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance program, so it doesn't matter if you caused an accident or were involved due to someone else's errors. You may not be entitled to workers' compensation if you caused an accident to purposefully injure yourself.

Workers' compensation is there to help workers who get hurt on the job. It is intended to help you get fair compensation benefits and the medical care you need following an accident on the job. The state requires that employers obtain and maintain workers' compensation insurance or have their own self-insurance programs. Workers' compensation also guarantees benefit payments to workers who are permanently or temporarily disabled due to a work-related injury.

Some of the benefits you are entitled to under workers' compensation include medical benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits and death benefits. Death benefits specifically assist the family members of those who pass away due to a work-related injury by covering funeral expenses of up to $3,500 and weekly benefits of up to 70 percent of the wage of the deceased.

After an accident, you need to report your injuries to your employer to start the claims process. If he or she refuses to make the claim or you are denied, your attorney can help you appeal the decision and get the compensation you need.

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Labor, "An Employer's Guide to Workers' Compensation in New Jersey," accessed May 11, 2017

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