A recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) indicates that the costs for workers’ compensation claims are on the rise. The WCRI puts forth an annual benchmarking study to monitor the change in costs of workers’ compensation claims over the years, so that businesses and corporations can keep their systems updated and cost-effective. Benchmarks for New Jersey, the most recent study, examined workplace injuries that had workers hospitalized or otherwise out of commission for more than seven days in a row.
The study attributed the increase in costs to a reported 10 percent increase in 2010 medical payments per claim in the state, New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys say. New Jersey’s cost increases rose at a faster pace than those of any other state studied by the WCRI, and the state’s medical expenses such as bill review fees, case management, and utilization review, grew faster as well, about five percent in 2010, on top of 12 percent increases per year over the previous five years. As the cost of medical care escalates, workers injured on the job are filing claims for more compensation to cover these costs as well as their time away from work.
New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys also say the report points to lower indemnity benefits per claim in 2010, possibly because the state has several programs that offer incentives for employees who return to work quickly after an accident or injury. An indemnity benefit contract covers unpredictable accidents on the job, so that an injured worker maintains the same level of financial security even if he is unable to work for extended periods of time. According to the WCRI report, other states report increases in employees taking out indemnity benefit contracts, but New Jersey has reported low numbers throughout the last several years of study.
New Jersey employees who have been injured on the job can file workers’ compensation claims to ensure that medical bills will not drain their bank accounts, and that their recovery time does not threaten their financial security. The New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys at Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman know that rising medical costs can complicate these claims and increase the amount of compensation needed. If you have been hurt on the job, contact an experienced NJ workers’ compensation lawyer today for a free consultation.