Let a New Jersey Workers Compensation Attorney Fight for Your Benefits
In the state of New Jersey, the Division of Workers’ Compensation administers the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act by:
- “ensuring that workers receive fair and timely workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses from their employers and/or insurance carriers;
- enforcing the law that requires employers to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage from commercial insurance carriers or self-insurance programs;
- providing certain benefit payments to injured workers who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of their last work-related injury or illness combined with the worker’s pre-existing disabilities. These benefits commence at the conclusion of the payment of benefits from the worker’s employer.”
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Insurance
All New Jersey employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance including:
- Corporations: Corporations operating or conducting business in New Jersey are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance. Even out of state corporations must maintain the requisite insurance if they have New Jersey employees or conduct business in the state.
- Partnership/LLC: If one or more individuals, other than partners or members of the LLC, perform services in the state of New Jersey, the partnership or LLC must maintain workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance.
- Small Business: If a sole proprietorship has an individual other than the principal owner performing business in the state of New Jersey, it is necessary for the company to maintain workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance.
In most cases, workers’ compensation is the only remedy available to an injured employee or the members of their family. An experienced New Jersey workers compensation attorney can review your situation and determine what legal remedies are available.
Employment Related Illnesses and Injuries
A workers’ compensation policy provides coverage for the following as long as the injury or occupational illness occurred in the course of employment:
- Injury caused by a sudden accident;
- Injuries due to repeated physical activity during employment;
- Illnesses due to exposure to chemicals and other harmful products;
- Physical conditions and illnesses that are aggravated by workplace conditions.
Employees are protected by workers’ compensation as long as the injury or illness happened “in the course of employment.” N.J.S.A. 34:15-7 provides in part:
“When employer and employee shall by agreement, either express or implied, as hereinafter provided, accept the provisions of this article, compensation for personal injuries to, or for the death of, such employee by accident arising out of and in the course of employment shall be made by the employer without regard to the negligence of the employer, according to the schedule contained in sections 34:15-12 and 34:15-13.”
The term “arising out of and in the course of employment” refers to the origin of the accident in connection with the employment. Because the analysis is complex, involving a review of the risk that gave rise to the injury and whether or not the risk was contemplated as an incident of the employment, it is important to have a New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer review the specifics of your potential claim.
Your New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer Will Outline Your Disability Benefits Eligibility
New Jersey Disability Benefits
The role of New Jersey disability benefits is to compensate an individual for wages lost when a work related injury or illness makes it impossible to continue working. New Jersey law requires that all employers, who are not otherwise covered by federal programs, maintain workers’ compensation coverage or be approved for self-insurance. If an employment contract is executed in New Jersey or work is complete in New Jersey, workers’ compensation coverage is required even for out of state companies.
According to the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, disability benefits fall into categories:
- Medical: Medical treatment, including hospital services and medications. It may be necessary for an injured employee to seek medical services from a designated provider making it important to confirm that you are receiving medical treatment from an appropriate provider by speaking to an experienced New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer.
- Temporary Total Benefits: If your doctor states that you are unable to work for more than seven days, you may be able to receive temporary total benefits. In New Jersey, the benefit totals seventy percent of your average weekly wage within certain maximum and minimum rates set by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development. The benefits are paid until you return to work, achieve maximum medical improvement, or complete the statutory 400-week maximum.
- Permanent Partial Benefits: Permanent partial benefits are paid weekly if you suffer a permanent impairment from a work related injury or illness.
- Permanent Total Benefits: If an employment related injury or illness makes it impossible for you to return to work, you may be entitled to weekly permanent total disability benefits. Such benefits are based on 70 percent of your average weekly income, within statutory minimum and maximum payments, and are paid for a period of 450 weeks. If you remain totally disabled, your New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer can request a continuation of the benefits.
- Death Benefits: When an employee dies after a work related illness or injury, his or her dependents may be eligible to receive death benefits and funeral expenses totaling $3,500. Weekly benefits equal 70 percent of the deceased worker’s wages as long as the benefit does not exceed the maximum amount allowed under the law.
Steps to Take After a Work-Related Injury
All employees who become injured at work should follow these steps:
- First Aid and Emergency Medical Care: With any injury, work related or not, the most important thing to do is to obtain emergency medical treatment when it is necessary. Whether it is first aid from a nurse at your place of employment or medical treatment from a local emergency room, the first and most important step is to address any urgent medical needs.
- Report the Injury: Once an employee has received any required emergency medical attention, the next step is to notify the employer, in writing, of the date, time, and nature of the injury. It is also important to keep a copy of the notification for your records. Many employers have limited time restrictions for reporting a work-related injury. To ensure that you do not miss any such deadlines, it is important to report the injury to a supervisor immediately after an injury occurs, even if you are uncertain as to the extent of the injury involved.
- Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer: A New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer will review the specifics of your case and complete a claim for workers’ compensation on your behalf. Under New Jersey law, an experienced attorney can assist an injured employee obtain benefits for: (1) Medical treatment (2) Temporary disability benefits (3) Financial award based on the type and extent of the injury. Because it is necessary to seek medical attention from authorized medical providers, except in the case of an emergency, a workers’ compensation lawyer can also confirm that you are receiving medical care from an appropriate provider.
- Follow Medical Advice: If you received treatment from an approved provider, the next step is to follow all advice provided by your medical team. It is important to take all medications as prescribed, attend all scheduled medical appointments and obtain any recommended therapies and supportive services, such as occupational therapy or physical therapy. If you do not agree with the medical advice you were given, or if you feel that a second opinion is necessary, consult with your New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer, who can determine the manner in which you should proceed.
Contact a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The legal team at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. understands how stressful it is to be injured on the job or to sustain a life altering illness as a result of your employment. Our team of New Jersey workers compensation lawyers is ready to file all of the appropriate claims on your behalf. Contact our office today.