Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Your Rights As An Injured Worker
When you’ve been injured at work in New Jersey, your employer has a legal obligation to provide workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of your medical treatment, a portion of lost wages, and other benefits, depending on the specific circumstances. At Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman, our workers’ comp attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injured New Jersey workers for more than 40 years. We can help you understand your rights under the law and ensure you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
How To Protect Your Rights When You’ve Been Injured At Work
Although your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, there are certain steps that should be taken to protect your rights. If you’ve been injured in the workplace, notify your employer or supervisor immediately, and seek medical attention. Unless it’s an emergency, you should ask your employer for a list of approved health care providers. If you see a doctor that isn’t authorized by your employer, you may end up with hefty medical bills that your employer is not required to pay. Although you don’t have to inform your employer of your injury in writing, it’s a good idea to file an official report or write a letter to ensure you have evidence and documentation of your injury.
Typically, if you file a workers’ comp claim with your employer, you forfeit the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them. There may be exceptions in cases where your injury was caused by employer negligence. You may also be able to file a third-party liability lawsuit if your on-the-job injury was caused by a defective product or outside party.
Types Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits You May Be Entitled To Receive
Depending on the extent and nature of your injuries, you may be entitled to the cost of necessary and reasonable medical treatment, temporary disability benefits for wage loss during the period of disability, and, if applicable, permanent disability benefits. You’re entitled to receive these benefits until an authorized health care provider determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). If a workers’ compensation physician has released you for light-duty work and you’re still receiving treatment, but no such work is available, you’re entitled to receive temporary disability benefits until they indicate you have reached MMI.
If Your Employer Won’t File A Claim Or Your Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Denied
If your employer refuses to file a claim with their insurance company, you may contact them directly or file a formal claim with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. If you’ve filed a workers’ comp claim that has been disputed by your employer or their insurance company, you can request an informal hearing before a judge to help get the issues resolved. A formal claim can only be filed by a New Jersey licensed attorney. Our attorneys are well-versed in handling these types of cases. We ensure your claim includes all accurate, relevant information and is filed within statutory time limits.
Timelines And Statues Of Limitations
Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, you must be unable to work for eight consecutive days not including weekends or holidays.Your workers’ compensation benefits are retroactive to the first day you were out of work. However, there’s no waiting period to receive medical or permanent disability benefits. Typically, it takes about two weeks to begin receiving temporary disability benefits. If your employer or their insurance carrier unreasonably delays denial of a claim for 30 days or more, they may be liable for an additional 25% of the amounts due plus any reasonable legal fees incurred in relation to the delay.
When seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it’s critical to act quickly. There’s also a two-year statute of limitations for filing a formal claim petition. If you’re suffering from an occupational illness or injury, such as mesothelioma or carpal tunnel syndrome, a formal claim must be filed within two years from the date you first became aware of the condition and its relationship to your work. The filing of an application for an informal hearing doesn’t stop the two-year statute of limitations from running.
Can An Employer Fire Me For Filing A Claim?
It’s against the law for an employer to discriminate against or terminate an injured worker who files a workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey. If your employer fired you because of your condition, an attorney can advise you of your options to find legal recourse.
Contact A Jersey City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
This is by no means a comprehensive guide to your rights as an injured worker in New Jersey. Our compassionate team at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman can guide you through the complexities of the law and help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Contact us online or call us in Jersey City or in Newfoundland, New Jersey. Our workers’ comp lawyers serve clients in Jersey City, Newfoundland, Jefferson, Vernon, Kinnelon, and throughout the State of New Jersey. Se habla Español.