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.

Princeton Woman Injured in Single-Vehicle Car Accident

Police in Princeton NJ are investigating a traffic accident that resulted in a local woman being hospitalized.

According to authorities, the 56-year-old victim was driving her 1997 Ford Expedition on Mercer Street near Hale Drive when she lost control of the vehicle and skidded off the road.

The SUV ultimately came to a stop when it struck a large, uprooted tree on the side of the road.

Sometime later, emergency responders arrived at the scene and found that the woman was trapped inside the vehicle. The emergency responders eventually removed the woman from the SUV.

Police said that the driver suffered minor injuries in the accident. After the driver was extricated from the vehicle, she was transported to University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, where she received medical treatment for her injuries.

In addition to causing bodily injuries to the driver, the accident also resulted in extensive damage to the front end of the SUV.

Police had to shut down Mercer Street for roughly one hour after the accident. Once the woman was taken to the hospital and the debris was removed from the street, police reopened the road for traffic.

Princeton police indicated that the accident is currently under investigation. At this time, the driver has not been charged with reckless driving or careless driving.

To learn more, check out the NJ.com article entitled “Princeton Woman Hospitalized After Crashing into Tree.”

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson Seeks Parties for Class Action Against Tullytown PA Landfill

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson recently sent out letters to residents across Florence NJ and highlighted the problems posed by a landfill in Tullytown, Pennsylvania.

The Florence residents, who are subject to noxious odors and fumes from a landfill which is situated across the Delaware River, have been invited to join a class-action lawsuit. According to KCR partner Kevin Riechelson, the firm hopes to garner as large a class as possible because “it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to do it on an individual basis.”

Residents in Florence have been complaining to Waste Management, the company that owns the landfill, for some time about the strong odors coming from the site. Residents have also been calling government hotlines to voice their concerns.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection finally responded to the complaints last month by opening an investigation into the landfill.

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson, which has offices in Trenton NJ and Bensalem PA, has partnered with Liddle & Dubin, a law firm based out of Detroit MI which specializes in these kinds of environmental class actions.
Both firms have taken the initiative to help affected parties take legal action against the owners and operators of the Tullytown landfill.

The lawsuit aims to secure compensation for residents who have been forced to endure the noxious odors. Beyond that, KCR hopes that the class action will result in an injunction being issued so that Waste Management will be required to clean up the landfill and take measures needed to prevent the offensive odors from carrying across the river.

Join the Class Action

For more information, read the NJ.com article entitled “Class-Action Stench: N.J. Residents Build Case Against Smell from Pa. Landfill.”

Class Action Against Tullytown Landfill

The partners of Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson have teamed up with a Detroit law firm to investigate pursuing a class action lawsuit against the Tullytown Landfill for noxious odors that are affecting surrounding communities. The noxious odors are also substantially diminishing the residents’ enjoyment of their homes.

We are focusing on residents in Roebling and Florence, New Jersey. We are also focusing on residents in Levittown, Pennsylvania. Depending upon the response from these areas, the lawsuit may expand to some additional townships.

If you, or anyone you know, has been affected by the odors from the Tullytown Landfill, you are entitled to join the lawsuit against them.

Join the Class Action

Police Investigate Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident in Bensalem, PA

Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigate a fatal accident on I-95 near Bensalem that killed a New Jersey woman.

The investigation is a top priority for police. As a result, authorities are searching for the driver of a late 1990s or early 2000s black sedan they believe caused the fatal accident.

While police conducted the investigation earlier this week, drivers along I-95 were subject to lengthy delays.

The victim was a 44-year-old mother of three from New Jersey. According to authorities, she had just dropped off her daughter and granddaughter at their home in Bensalem, PA. She then got onto the highway in order to beat the rush hour traffic.

Police said that the victim was talking to her husband on speakerphone while she drove her 2013 Jeep Liberty back to New Jersey. She apparently told her husband that a hostile driver had intentionally served toward her when she tried to merge onto I-95. The fatal accident occurred a short time later.

According to witnesses, another vehicle cut off the victim’s Jeep and then slammed on the brakes.

Tragically, the victim lost control of her Jeep after being forced to suddenly decelerate. The Jeep went airborne and rolled over a number of times.

The Jeep reportedly continued to drive south on I-95 after the accident.

Meanwhile, the victim suffered catastrophic head injuries as a result of the accident. She was taken to Aria Health’s Torresdale campus in Philadelphia, where she died a short time later.

Although PA State Police are investigating the accident, they have not yet identified a suspect. That’s because the accident occurred at the beginning of rush hour, meaning that there weren’t many witnesses.

So far, the few witnesses to come forward have only been able to provide a generic description of the vehicle. Police are urging other individuals who witnessed the accident or its aftermath to please come forward with information.

If the suspect is eventually identified and apprehended, they could face a number of very serious criminal charges, including Vehicular Homicide and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

For additional information, see the TheIntelligencer.com article entitled “Cops: Finding Car in Deadly Bensalem Crash is a Top Priority.”