A workplace injury can significantly impact a person’s livelihood and financial stability.
Fortunately, New Jersey has laws allowing injured workers to receive benefits that will cover the costs of medical care, lost wages, disability, and even death.
Any worker who has been seriously hurt on the job in New Jersey should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney.
A workplace accident lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of the claim. They’ll help negotiate with insurance companies, fight for the worker’s rights and interests, and ensure that the worker gets the maximum possible level of compensation under the law.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers who have been hurt at work in NJ are entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is a government-mandated, no-fault insurance system where the employer or their insurance carrier pays benefits to the employee when their work either causes or worsens a medical condition.
Under workers’ compensation law, there are three types of benefits available to workers:
- Temporary Disability Benefits: These cover 70 percent of the worker’s gross weekly wage when the injury or illness prevents them from working. Weekly payments are made for up to 400 weeks or until the worker is at maximum medical improvement.
- Medical Treatment: These cover all the necessary medical care or treatment to cure or relieve the worker’s injury or illness, including rehabilitation or emergency care. The employer may choose which physician can administer treatment, and may reject claims if the physician that the worker chooses is unauthorized.
- Permanent Disability: These cover 70 percent of the worker’s gross weekly wage. If it’s a partial disability that prevents the worker from ever working again at full capacity, weekly payments may last for up to 600 weeks. If it’s a total disability that prevents the worker from ever working again, weekly payments may last for up to 450 weeks or, in certain cases, for life.
Death Benefits: These are benefits made available to the survivors of a deceased worker and cover up to 70 percent of the worker’s weekly salary. Payments last for up to 450 weeks or until the dependent turns 18 or 23 when they’re a full-time student. A widow or widower may also receive payments beyond 450 weeks as long as they don’t remarry.
Who is Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Every employer in New Jersey is required to carry workers’ comp so workers can receive fair and timely benefits. This is true even if the employer only hires part-time or seasonal employees.
All workers, regardless of the size of the company they’re working for or the length of time they’ve been employed are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. This means that they’re eligible for such benefits the moment that they get hired.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to all employees, regardless of who was at fault or who contributed to the accident, except for non-employees such as:
- Unpaid volunteers
- Unpaid interns
- Sole proprietors without any employees
- Independent contractors
What Are Some Common Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Workers who have been hurt on the job in New Jersey are entitled to workers’ comp.
Examples of common workers’ comp injuries include:
- Injuries caused by extreme temperatures (such as frostbite or burns) in outdoor jobs
- Overexertion due to excessive carrying, lifting, holding, throwing, pushing, or pulling
- Injuries caused by climbing, reaching, bending, sitting, slipping, standing, or tripping
- Getting struck by or against an object
- Assault by another person
- Injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents while a person is on the job (eg: a delivery driver sustains injuries in a truck accident)
A worker may also claim workers’ comp benefits for pre-existing injuries if they can prove that the same injury or medical condition was aggravated or worsened due to their work. Lung conditions or heart attacks may also be covered if occupational exposure caused, worsened, or accelerated the disease.
Workers who are injured during their work are required to notify their employer about the accident including certain details such as where, when, and how it happened. The employer will then notify their insurer to arrange sufficient medical assistance for the injured worker.
Why Should You Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
If someone suffers an injury at work, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as long as the accident happened while they were performing their duties. However, a lot of employers and insurance companies would rather not pay up, or choose to pay less than what the worker is rightfully entitled to.
A workplace accident lawyer can help with any dispute that may arise during the case, including the following:
- A claim is denied due to lack of adequate medical evidence
- An employer questions the worker’s eligibility for benefits
- Lower eligible compensation benefits due to the wrong wage rate
- The employer decides to change the worker’s employment status
- The worker can’t get quality medical care
An experienced and qualified lawyer will ensure the worker is being treated fairly and that they’ll receive the full compensation for their claim.
They’ll provide the legal knowledge and support required to make critical decisions for their case.
Contact a Reliable NJ Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you’re hurt at work in NJ and are having difficulty obtaining the workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to, get in touch with an NJ workmans’ comp attorney as soon as possible.
A workers’ compensation lawyer will help with the initial claims and appeals process, guide you through the complexities of hearing and court proceedings, and help you get the benefits you deserve. This assistance will be invaluable to you while you focus on your recovery.
Our team at Grossman Law has earned our reputation helping our clients navigate curveballs thrown by their employers and insurance companies.
As one of the best workplace accident attorneys in the state, we’re committed to helping our clients through every step of the process and making sure that their rights and interests are protected. Contact us at (732) 625-9494 to schedule a consultation.