What Can You Do When Workers’ Compensation Isn’t Enough?
Workers’ compensation can make it easier to get by when you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury. But far too often, employers and their insurers deny claims or offer inadequate settlements. So, what happens when your workers’ compensation isn’t enough to make ends meet? At Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman, we’ve represented thousands of injured workers’ throughout New Jersey. Our workers’ compensation attorneys help clients understand their options when it comes to finding the financial support they need after a workplace injury.
Disputed Or Undervalued New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Claims
Regardless of how your injury occurred or who was at fault, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you’ve been injured on the job. However, many workers’ comp insurers try to find ways to deny or minimize claims for various reasons. They may cite preexisting medical conditions; assert that your injuries aren’t as extensive as you claim, or that your injury is not a result of something that occurred in the workplace. If you do receive benefits, your employer or their insurance company may try to force you to come back to work before your injury has fully healed.
That’s why it’s vital to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney if you’re attempting to fight a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, it’s a good idea to speak to a workers’ comp lawyer immediately following your injury to get ahead of any potential problems with your claim. A lawyer can also help you appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim and explore the possibility of additional compensation from other sources
Third-Party Liability Claims
While the insurance benefits from your employer can cover your medical bills, a portion of lost wages, and certain forms of disability, if another person or entity is responsible for your injury, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against them. For example, if you’re a delivery driver who was attacked or bitten by a dog while delivering a package, the owner of the dog may be liable for your damages. Homeowner’s insurance often covers dog bites. An attorney can assist you in filing a claim to cover additional damages that workers’ comp doesn’t cover, such as emotional distress, permanent disability or disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
You may also be able to file a third-party liability lawsuit against a manufacturer and distributor of a defective product that caused your injury. Some common workplace accidents associated with defective products include faulty parts, malfunctioning machinery, and inadequate warnings on dangerous or toxic chemicals.
In most cases, New Jersey workers’ compensation law prohibits injured workers from suing their employers. However, if your employer was negligent in providing a safe workplace, it may be possible to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them. Each situation is unique, so it’s best to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of claims.
Social Security Disability
Although workers’ compensation programs are state-run and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program, it’s possible to collect both at the same time. Applying for SSDI can be confusing and overwhelming. There are specific requirements and strict guidelines for eligibility, as well.
To qualify for SSDI after an on-the-job injury or an occupational illness, you must be completely unable to work for at least 12 months or have a condition that’s expected to lead to death. If you’re able to work in some capacity, your claim can be denied because the Social Security Administration doesn’t award partial disability. Income, marital status, and other factors may also affect your eligibility.
It’s also important to understand how workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI payments may affect each other if you qualify for both concurrently. If you’re considering applying for SSDI because of an inadequate workers’ compensation claim settlement or denial, hiring a qualified attorney is critical to help you avoid common mistakes that can set you back months or even years.
Contact Us If You Need Help With A Denied Or Undervalued Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you’ve been injured at work or you are suffering from an occupational illness, our team at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman can help you sort it all out and recover the compensation you deserve. Call 201-798-2711 to speak with a lawyer in Jersey City or 973-874-0556 to reach our office in Newfoundland, New Jersey. You can also contact us online. Your initial consultation is free.
If you’re worried about how you’ll pay legal fees, keep in mind that our attorneys work on a contingency basis in workers’ comp and personal injury claims. You won’t pay attorney fees unless you receive compensation. We serve clients throughout New Jersey. Se habla Español.