Should I File a Personal Injury Claim or a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims attorneys with offices in East Brunswick and Trenton NJ

Should I File a Personal Injury Claim or a Workers' Compensation Claim?At Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson, we have successfully helped many clients to pursue both personal injury claims as well as workers’ compensation claims in Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area.

It is important for our clients to understand both the similarities and differences between personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims, as they are pursued in very different manners, and have very different compensation structures. Let’s take a closer look.

What Qualifies as a Mercer County Personal Injury Claim?

The biggest difference between personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims is what circumstances qualify for either claim. That is to say, in any personal injury case like a car accident, construction accident, a slip and fall, or a truck accident for examples, the plaintiff (you) and their Mercer County personal injury attorney need to prove that another party’s reckless or negligent actions were responsible for your injuries. Just because you were injured in a car accident doesn’t necessarily mean you have a personal injury case, you need to prove that the other driver(s) hold the majority of fault for your accident.

What Qualifies as a Mercer County Workers’ Compensation Claim?

On the other hand, in order to file and receive compensation in a workers’ compensation claim, you do not need to prove fault of any kind. In fact, even if your actions directly lead to your injuries, as long as you were performing work-related duties, you and your Trenton workers’ compensation lawyer can file for a Mercer County workers’ compensation claim.

The Difference in Compensation for Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Claims

Besides the requirements for proving fault (or in the case of workers’ compensation not needing to prove any fault), workers’ compensation awards and personal injury awards have one major difference. In both cases, you can receive monetary compensation for any medical expenses associated with your injuries, as well as lost wages or future income. The major difference in terms of compensation for a workers’ comp case and a personal injury case is compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering generally make up the largest portion of personal injury recovery, but cannot be recovered in the case of a workers’ compensation claim.

The other major difference is the time and effort involved with both. Personal injury claims can often take more than a year to negotiate and eventually resolve, while with the help of an experienced Trenton workers’ compensation attorney, you can usually resolve your workers’ compensation case in a matter of months.

Should I file for Personal Injury or Workers Compensation? Mercer County Attorney Discusses

There is no easy answer to this question. Each case is unique, with many different factors to consider. Can you prove fault? Can you afford to wait the time it will take to resolve a personal injury claim, or is the time worth the potential recovery of pain and suffering damages?

There are many different factors to consider, and your best option is to speak with an experienced Mercer County injury attorney who can discuss your options, likely outcomes, and advise you which course of action may be favorable in your case.

Contact a Princeton Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

Whether you ultimately decide to pursue a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, it is extremely important that you retain experienced legal counsel in order to help you navigate the process, protect your rights, and help you secure the best possible resolution for your case.

The Trenton Law Office of Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson has been defending personal injury and workers’ compensation clients since 1972. We have a proven track record of success when it comes to giving honest and professional legal advice, and securing the compensation that our clients need and deserve.

To speak with one of our attorneys today in a free and confidential consultation regarding either a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim, please contact us online or through our Trenton office at 609.528.2596.

Disability Discrimination in the Workplace in New Jersey

Discrimination by an employer or a potential employer because of a disability is prevalent across the country, even though it is illegal.

When dealing with matters of employer discrimination, it is important to take on the issue at the state level, because federal protections for employees’ rights in the workplace are not as strong as state protections in New Jersey. In other states, such as New York, where state protections are not as strong, plaintiffs look to federal regulations to fight their employment discrimination claims in court.

What are state laws applying to discrimination policy?

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination states that it is against state law to discriminate or otherwise harass someone in the workplace on the basis of race, nationality, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, disability, marital or domestic partner status, family status, genetic information, age, or liability for military service. While this applies to employment – it is illegal to limit hiring practices based on any of the above or discriminate once a person is already a company employee – it also applies to New Jersey housing, places of public accommodation, credit, and business contracts.

What are federal laws regarding discrimination?

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) federally prohibits discrimination based on disability for companies with 15 or more employees. If a company is charged with discrimination based on disability, according to the ADAAA, the employee can seek damages equal to those available under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, its 1977 Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which provide for compensatory damages in the case of intentional violations of Title VII. Such compensatory damages could include back pay, front pay, and other compensatory and punitive damages. However, while there are a broad range of protections for employees under federal law, a precedent has been set that federal court judges often side with businesses and corporations as it regards employee discrimination, and an individual charge brought to the federal court for such an offense may be dropped.

What is legally considered a disability?

According to the original Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is defined as

  • a physical or mental impairment greatly limiting capacities or major life activities
  • having the record of such an impairment, or
  • being regarded as having such an impairment.

Over the decades, the legal jargon regarding what constitutes a disability has not changed much, though its interpretation in court has greatly shifted. Due to this shift, the courts see disability under a much broader spectrum, as well as its interpretations of the major life activities and bodily functions that are limited by disability, as noted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC reiterates that ‘major life activities’ include, but are not limited to, the capacities to

  • Care for oneself
  • See
  • What is legally considered a disability?Hear
  • Eat without the support of tubes
  • Sleep a reasonable amount
  • Perform manual tasks
  • Stand up
  • Walk with or without support
  • Lift light objects
  • Bend the joints of the body
  • Speak clearly
  • Breathe without the support of a device

Bodily functions whose absence of function would be considered disability include

  • How to file a complaint with the New Jersey CourtsImmune system function
  • Digestive function, including the bowels and urinary function
  • Brain function
  • Nervous system function, which could include post-traumatic stress that affects the proper functioning of the nervous system
  • Circulatory system function, as well as all heart-related issue
  • Endocrine system function, including the balanced operation of the hormones
  • Reproductive function

How to file a complaint with the New Jersey Courts

A complaint of disability discrimination in the workplace will need to be filed with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR). Upon filing a complaint, the DCR will investigate the complaint and determine whether there is or is not probable cause to support your allegations. If the Director of the DCR finds that the investigative process affirms probable cause for a claim, your case will proceed to the Office of Administrative Law, whose judge will issue a finding. The Director of the DCR will review the Administrative Law Office’s review and either adopt its ruling or overturn it. During this process, it is imperative that you have the legal support of an experienced attorney.

Disability Discrimination Attorneys Serving Clients in Mercer, Middlesex, Bucks and Philadelphia Counties

At Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson, our team is experienced in ensuring the rights of our clients in Trenton office, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, New Brunswick, and across Mercer County in all matters of disability discrimination in the workplace.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced member of our firm today regarding your case, please call us at (609) 528-2596 or go online to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with a personal injury lawyer.

Auto accidents in company vehicles: Who is responsible?

Injured in a work-related car accident? Contact our Trenton, East Brunswick, Bensalem, or Philadelphia Offices to Collect Fair Compensation for Your Medical Expenses

Auto accidents in company vehicles: Who is responsible?If you have been in a car accident and you were driving a company vehicle or driving for work, you may wonder if your employer is responsible for compensating you for damages or injury. While most accidents occur on personal time and involve only you and the other involved driver, an accident that involves work-related transportation complicates matters. Read on to learn more about whose responsibility it is to cover expenses in the case of a work-related car accident, so you can be sure you receive the treatment and full compensation you deserve.

Injured Traveling to and from the job

If you are traveling to or from work and are involved in an auto accident, the generally held precedent is that your personal insurance must cover expenses and damages. This only applies if you are at fault for causing the accident; if another driver is at fault, their insurance is responsible for covering all damages and medical expenses. If this is the case, it is recommended that you hire a personal injury attorney to handle your claim and support you in receiving full recovery for your losses and out-of-pocket expenses during the recovery process. The one exception to this precedent is the case in which your automobile is required for your work, and as such, as soon as you begin the commute to work, you are on the job. If you were at fault for an accident on the way to or from work but your car is a required tool for your job, contact a member of our team today to learn who may be liable for covering accident expenses and options for your next steps.

Hurt Driving a Company Vehicle

If you were driving a company vehicle and were at fault for an accident, it is likely that the company’s insurance will cover all expenses, and your personal insurance will not be affected. If you are injured in the accident, it is imperative to keep records of all medical expenses paid out of pocket to submit to the company’s insurance for reimbursement.

Driving a company vehicleThere are a few exceptions to this. If you were driving the company car but you were driving for personal reasons, your company can denounce liability and claim your full responsibility in the case of an accident. A company can also denounce liability if you were partaking in illegal activity in the car or an illicit activity such as consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel of their company property. If your company claims nonliability for an accident while you were driving their vehicle and you can claim that the company was negligent in properly maintaining the car, this is very serious and you may be able to recover damages. For this type of claim, you will definitely want the support of an accident lawyer.

Again, if you are in an accident with someone else who is driving their company’s car and are not at fault for the accident, you need not worry. Focus on recovering in body and mind after filing a claim with your personal insurance company, keep close records of any immediate out-of-pocket expenses incurred, and seek the support of a personal injury attorney. You can expect to recover all the damages and expenses caused by the accident.

Injured in an Accident Using your Personal Vehicle for Work

If you are at fault for an accident while driving your own vehicle, but your business driving was directly related to work, your company may be liable to cover damages. As noted above, this generally does not apply to the commute to and from work; however, running errands for work at the direct request of your company could mean company liability for any accident that takes place during that time.

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, your safety and health are first priority. Seek medical attention immediately if you are injured in a collision, even if the pain isn’t immediately evident. Because of the stress response of the body to a trigger such as a collision, it may be hours or even days before cortisol and other stress hormones lower, inflammation subsides, and your body is able to show you where it may have been thrown out of alignment. Contact a personal injury or accident lawyer to support you in the process of recovering the full extent of damages you deserve for the accident.

Contact a Mercer County Commercial Car Accident Injury Attorney to ensure a fair outcome in your case

At Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson, our accident attorneys are experienced in facilitating insurance claims between our clients across in Trenton office, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, New Brunswick and across Mercer County. and the companies whose vehicles they were driving when the auto accident occurred.

Our direct approach is intentionally designed to ensure that our clients receive the full representation and financial compensation they are merited, so they can recover from the accident and get back to work healthy and well.

To meet with an experienced member of our firm today regarding your accident, please call (609) 528-2596 or go online to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with a personal injury lawyer.

Permanent Disability and Personal Injury Cases

Permanent Disability and Personal Injury Attorneys serving clients across New Jersey with offices in Trenton and East Brunswick NJ

Permanent Disability and Personal Injury CasesPersonal injury lawsuits are designed to help victims of accidents like construction accidents, auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, poorly maintained premises, defective products, and ladder and scaffolding accidents to recover compensation for their medical costs, lost income and wages, and their physical and emotional pain and suffering.

When the victim suffers a permanent disability as a result of their accident, it can mean a lifetime of medical bills and treatment, and large amounts of lost income if they can no longer work in their previous area of employment. This necessitates a more involved and well-researched personal injury case than normal, as the implications of the injuries in question are not temporary.

Evaluating your Mercer County Permanent Disability Personal Injury Claim

One of the first steps you and your Mercer County personal injury attorney will take is to thoroughly evaluate your case. You will need to determine how much your medical expenses have cost to-date, as well as how much they may cost in the future. Rehabilitation and on-going treatment can both be compensated in your permanent disability claim. You will also need to determine how much to seek in terms of lost income. If you are unable to continue in your current line of work, you and your Mercer County personal injury attorney will need to calculate exactly how much you would have made had you stayed in your position, and also factor in things such as potential raises and promotions.

By having a solid understanding of exactly how much your injuries have cost you financially, and may cost you in the future, you can make the most accurate and fair claim for compensation possible.

Proving Negligence and Causation in a Personal Injury Case NJ

In addition to a thorough evaluation of your permanent disability claim, you will also want to discuss and prepare for proving the responsible parties acted in a negligent and reckless manner, and that these actions directly lead to your accident. Witness accounts, police records, investigation, and expert testimony will all be employed by your Trenton personal injury attorney in order to prove exactly these things. Most personal injury attorneys take cases on contingency, meaning that the expense of hiring these experts and having them testify on your behalf is taken on by your personal injury attorney, and only reimbursed when they recover compensation for your injuries.

Independent Medical Examination of Permanent Disability

Many insurance companies will require you to undergo an independent medical examination during a personal injury case, and especially in the case of a permanent disability. While they are called “independent”, these examinations are paid for by the insurance company, and often are biased towards them. Before going through with an independent medical examination, it is important that you speak with your Trenton personal injury attorney, and prepare yourself by discussing what may be asked of you, what to expect, and what your rights are during this process.

Recovering Compensation in a Permanent Disability Personal Injury Case Mercer County

Recovering Compensation in a Permanent Disability Personal Injury Case Mercer CountyIf you and your Mercer County permanent disability attorney are successful in properly evaluating your case, and proving negligence and liability, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a key element of any personal injury case, and often represents the largest portion of recoveries. Pain and suffering refers to the emotional and physical trauma you have experienced as a result of your injury and may continue to experience in the future.

It is important to remember that personal injury claims often take time to resolve, as the parties present evidence, and negotiate for the best possible settlement. Your attorney may advise you when a settlement offer is appropriate, and when instead you should rely on a jury verdict for the best possible settlement. While no amount of money can ever change what has already happened to you, by securing compensation for your injuries, you ensure you and your family’s financial future, and may also encourage the negligent parties to change safety protocols and prevent future accidents.

Contact a Mercer County Permanent Disability Personal Injury Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Trenton, Lawrence, Hamilton, Princeton, and the greater Mercer County area to resolve personal injury cases of all kinds, including cases involving permanent disability.

With over 30 years of experience practicing personal injury law, our firm has a proven track record of success when it comes to representing the victims of negligence and recklessness, and helping them to recover the compensation they need and deserve for their injuries.

To speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential personal injury or permanent disability case, please contact us online or through our Trenton, NJ office at 609.528.2596.

The Importance of Being Honest in NJ Workers’ Compensation Cases

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving Clients in Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Pennington and across Mercer County, NJ

The Importance of Being Honest in NJ Workers' Compensation CasesThe concept of insurance fraud continues to find its way into the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation claims. Insurance carriers are now directing their lawyers to pursue fraud claims against injured employees as a means to terminate medical and monetary benefits. However, the nature of this fraud does not always lie in acts that could be recognized as “obvious.” An obvious example would be when an employee exaggerates the severity of their medical condition and is later found engaging in activities inconsistent with the nature of their complaints. Another obvious example is when an injured employee is found collecting money while engaged in a work-related activity which is more strenuous than the work they performed for their employer.

Legitimate Claims and Disabled Employees

Unfortunately, there are allegations of fraud being made against disabled employees with legitimate claims. These employees are complying with the instructions of their treating physicians and adhering to the directions of their insurance adjusters. Nonetheless, the insurance carriers are attempting to terminate their obligation to provide benefits by invoking N.J.S.A. 34:15-57.4. This is a New Jersey law holding that an employee is guilty of fraud if they file a workers’ compensation claim for medical or temporary disability benefits when they know that the claim contains false or misleading information. A violation of this statute under the New Jersey Criminal Code is a crime of the fourth degree, which could subject the person to a sentence of up to 18 months in county jail. The penalty in workers’ compensation court is the termination of all benefits and an order to repay back the benefits already received.

Insurances Carries and Fraudulent Actions performed by employees

Insurance carriers in New Jersey are bringing fraud actions when they believe they can prove that an employee knowingly failed to reveal prior injuries, accidents, or other claims. This is because the employee filing the claim has an obligation to notify either the treating physician, the evaluating physician, or the insurance carrier insuring their employer of these other factors.

The success or failure of the insurance carrier’s approach in these cases is almost completely in the hands of the workers’ compensation judge who is assigned to the case.

However, there is some guidance for judges when confronted with a fraud claim.

  • First, the alleged infraction must be more than an inaccurate or inconsistent statement made during the course of treatment. Many people cannot recall the names or dates of physicians who treated them for injuries in the past – especially those individuals with a lengthy personal injury history.
  • Second, the alleged infraction must be more than an omission of prior diagnoses to their treating physician. Many people cannot recall all of the tests performed or their test results. It is enough that the injured employee informs his treating doctor that they had a prior injury to the area of the body which they are alleging arose out of the work-related accident.

Keep in mind that major treatment, such as surgery or the recommendation for surgery, is also information that should be shared with your physician. This is common sense, as you want your doctor to know your complete history so that you can receive the very best treatment available to you.

As a general rule, if you are injured at work, you need to be honest with your doctors. Follow their directions and restrictions at all times.

Contact our Trenton Personal Injury Staff of Attorneys

If you have any questions about your obligations when injured, please contract Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson we have experienced attorneys in Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Pennington and across Mercer County, New Jersey.

Don´t hesitate to schedule an initial consultation by calling (609) 528-2596 or visiting our website and fill out an online form.