Frequently Asked Questions about New Jersey Workers’ Compensation
The idea of workers’ compensation is a straightforward one. If you are injured or become ill because of your work on the job, you receive medical and monetary benefits until you recover. Unfortunately, it is rarely that simple. Frequently, insurance companies challenge cases, and getting the benefits you deserve can get substantially more complicated.
It isn’t a good idea to wait until you are hurt on the job to learn about the benefits injured workers receive through workers’ compensation insurance in New Jersey. The more you know, the better off you will be if you ever need workers’ compensation. At Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have the experience and knowledge you need to file and prove your claim and get you on the road to recovery.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
It is a “no-fault” insurance which all employers (except those covered by federal programs) in New Jersey are required to have to cover their employees’ health costs, recovery, and lost wages when there is an accident or work-related illness.
How Does Workers’ Comp Work in New Jersey?
Employers are obligated to have insurance to provide medical and financial benefits to their employees in case of injury or illness at work. If there is an injury that is not an emergency, the worker should report it to the employer who will then indicate the doctor or hospital where the employee needs to go. If the injury is grave in nature, the employee is taken to the nearest hospital. There is a limit of 90 days to report an injury.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
All New Jersey employees who are part-time or full-time must be covered. Employers covered by federal programs, partners in partnership businesses, interns, volunteers, and independent contractors are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
What Should I do If I Am Injured on the Job?
Your employer must be notified as quickly as possible. Your notice does not have to be in writing, but it is always a good idea and be sure to keep a copy for your records. It should include the time, date, type of injury and how it occurred.) Your employer and/or their insurance company can choose the health professionals used to treat work-related injuries.
How Much Time do I have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
You only have 90 days to file a claim, so it is important to do so before time runs out.
What is covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Injuries that occur while at work are covered by workers’ compensation. Some examples include severe burns, blows to the head, slip and fall injuries that typically result in spinal distress, deep cuts, and many others.
What is not covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Any horseplay, intentional injuries, illegal activities, intoxication by illicit substances or alcohol at work, or any injuries while commuting to work, are not included in workers’ compensation coverage. Psychiatric conditions, stress, and others like PTSD, are not covered.
What are the benefits I can receive through Workers’ Compensation?
There are many different areas of benefits given through workers’ compensation:
Medical Benefits: Medications, prescriptions, hospitalizations, physical therapy
Temporary Total Benefits: When an employee is injured for more than 7 days, they are eligible for temporary total benefits which begin the first day of the injury/missed day of work and are paid at a rate of 70% of the employee’s average weekly pay.
Permanent Partial Benefits: An employee has suffered a job-related injury or illness that results in a permanent disability (such as digit off of a hand), benefits are paid based on the employee’s loss of functionality.
Permanent Total Benefits: If the employee is prevented by their injury or illness from returning to work, they receive these benefits. They will receive 70% of their average weekly wage for up to 450 weeks, after which the employee will be reassessed to determine if they continue to be completely disabled.
Death Benefits: The dependents of an employee who passed on as the result of a work-related accident or illness may be eligible for death benefits, paid weekly, and up to $3,500 in funeral expenses.
Can I receive Workers’ Compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?
New Jersey is a “no-fault” state when it comes to workers’ compensation, so even if the accident was your fault, you may still receive benefits. However, any impairment caused by illegal/intoxicating substances which can be attributed to your accident would prevent you from receiving workers’ compensation.
Can I get fired for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim?
It is against the law for any employer to fire someone for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
Do I need an attorney to help me with my Workers’ Compensation claim?
Yes and No. Technically, you don’t have to have a lawyer to seek workers’ compensation, but there are many steps you need to follow, and to jump through all of the bureaucratic hoops while you are trying to recover can be too much. Besides, your lawyer works on a 20% contingency fee, so you don’t have an out-of-pocket expense. Another very important reason is that if you make a mistake, you don’t get a second opportunity, so it’s best to leave the process in the hands of those who know it best.
What can an attorney do to ensure you receive workers’ comp benefits?
First and foremost, an attorney knows how to obtain and organize the records you need: medical records, doctor’s reports, medical test results, etc. Second, attorneys are brilliant negotiators who know how to handle insurance companies who want to offer a low settlement amount. Next, they can gather evidence on your behalf by interviewing your treatment team. Also, they can conduct depositions of medical experts.
Cohen & Riechelson, has the experience and the knowledge to handle your workers’ compensation claim in Trenton, Hamilton, Levittown, and the greater Mercer County area
Workers’ Compensation is a huge benefit for all of the workers in New Jersey and it provides the resources when you need them most. If you have been injured at work and need to submit a claim, or if you have already begun the process, call us at (609) 528-2596 and we will work with you step by step through the process from beginning to end. We serve workers in Lawrence, Hamilton, Princeton, Trenton, Pennington, Windsor, Hopewell, and across Mercer County. You don’t have to worry about making sure everything is done and whether or not you will receive the benefits you deserve. At Cohen & Riechelson, we are ready to go to work for you.