It is Important for Injured Employees to Understand the Ways They Can Track Their Workers’ Compensation Claim Status as It Progresses in New Jersey

How to Stay Informed About Your NJ Workers' Comp Case

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that financially compensates injured workers or with a work-related illness. “No-fault” means that the benefits stand even when the employee is at fault for the accident. Workers are entitled to monetary benefits such as lost wages, medical costs, and disability. In the event of an unfortunate accident that takes the employee’s life, death benefits are provided to the worker’s family. Workers relinquish their right to sue their employer for pain, suffering, or other damages by receiving benefits. There is an exception in the case that the employer acted intentionally to cause harm to the worker. Also, a third-party claim may be filed against another party for injuries in the workplace, depending on the circumstances of the individual case. In addition, workers’ compensation does not cover some injuries, even under the no-fault system. These include injuries resulting from breaking the law, using alcohol or drugs while on the job, violating company policy, or injuries that are not connected to the job.

Worker’s Comp Compliance: Posting and Orientation Requirements

Employers are legally required to post a form approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance with the insurance carrier’s name and other pertinent information. The notice must be displayed in places where all employees can easily see it. New hires should receive an explanation of Workers’ Compensation guidelines, coverage, and benefits. Employees must be oriented as to how and when to report an injury and where to go for medical assistance.

Timely Reporting and Filing Workers Comp Cases in New Jersey

The employer must be notified of an injury within 90 days of its occurrence, but it is always ideal to report it as soon as possible. The Employer Notice can be done via email, registered letter, or verbally, as long as there is proof the conversation took place. The employer must then file a First Report of Injury form with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation within 21 days of receiving notice of the injury. New Jersey employees have two years from the date of injury to file a formal workers’ compensation claim.

Tracking the Progress of Your New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Claim

One way an employee can check the status of their claim is by contacting their employer or the workers’ compensation insurers. They should be able to provide information about the progress of the claim. Another resource is the website for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The site provides filings, upcoming hearing notices, and other information about the claim’s status by completing a form with personal information and a case number. An excellent way to track a workers’ compensation case is through an attorney. Your attorney can file documents online, such as motions for benefits and medical claim petitions, and receive hearing notices and other important information through COURTS online under the Workers’ Compensation electronic filing program.

What Happens if You File a Third-Party Claim After a Work Injury

When the circumstances warrant it, a third-party claim can be filed in addition to a workers’ compensation claim to recover added monetary damages. The damages recovered depend on the nature of the accident and the severity of the worker’s injuries. Examples of third-party claims are numerous. For example, a delivery driver had a horrible truck accident when the mechanic outsourced from another company was found drinking on the job, and the necessary repairs were done improperly, causing the truck to crash. Premises accidents such as slippery sidewalks, parking lots, or driveways can make a third party liable. A final example is a machine or equipment malfunctioning due to poor design or shoddy manufacturing.

To prepare for a third-party claim, a personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyer will collect evidence to prove its validity. This evidence will include incident reports, police reports, medical records, photographs of injuries or the accident site, and interviews with other workers, doctors, physical therapists, and other professionals. When the at-fault party’s insurance company receives the case, they will determine if they are at fault for the incident.

The injured employee’s attorney will request a settlement if fault is admitted. If the insurance company’s adjuster accepts the requested award, the amount agreed upon is given to the injured party. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. Negotiations usually go back and forth several times until a settlement is reached. The employee’s lawyer negotiates and advises the client on if and when an offer should be accepted. Other avenues, such as binding arbitration, mediation, or alternative dispute resolution, offer solutions outside of going to court. If an agreement isn’t possible, the case will go to litigation.

Why NJ Workers’ Compensation Delays Happen and How to Cope

Ways to Monitor Your Workers' Compensation Progress in East Windsor, NJ

The insurance company is usually to blame for delays in processing a workers’ compensation claim. They will frequently drag their feet to process a settlement to get the injured worker to take a lower offer rather than continue waiting for a delayed resolution. Someone who is injured and in pain can wear out quickly from obstructions and excuses.

Sometimes, the employer is at fault for unnecessary delays. For instance, untrained managers and owners may not know how to report an accident or don’t prioritize the paperwork needed to get things in motion. If the insurance company does not receive the required information in the necessary format, the case sits until the corrections are made.

Some delays are advantageous to the employee. If the case is under investigation and the worker’s attorney is gathering evidence to support the case, patience is required. Reviewing reports and interviewing specialists and witnesses takes time. If a third-party complaint is involved, reviewing employee training, machine malfunctions, and equipment problems can delay a claim but ultimately benefit the injured worker.

Our Trenton Attorneys Will Provide Legal Counsel Quickly and Deftly Navigate the Workers’ Compensation Claim Process in New Jersey

Workers’ compensation is an instrument for receiving benefits while you recover from your workplace injury, but the regulations and deadlines can be confusing. Missing a deadline, misfiling a report, or losing valuable evidence are distinct possibilities if you go it alone. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are adept and knowledgeable about the system and how to ensure successful claims for work-related injuries in New Jersey.

It is stressful to worry about your job, income, and family’s needs while recovering. We handle the paperwork and meetings with the insurance company while constantly keeping your needs and concerns at the forefront. With years of experience, our attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson can negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the benefits you are entitled to.

Our seasoned legal team can also determine if you have a claim against a third party and if so, we will gather evidence to support and solidify your claim in Lawrence, Pennington, Lambertville, Titusville, Hamilton, Hopewell, Burlington, Trenton, Princeton, Burlington County, Mercer County, and throughout New Jersey.

If you have a workers’ compensation case, call (609) 528-2596 today or contact us online for additional information and trusted legal guidance. You have nothing to lose and peace of mind and recovery to gain.