Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides benefits to an employee who suffered a job-related illness or injury. In New Jersey, workers’ compensation is considered “no-fault”, meaning a benefit may be paid regardless of who was at fault for the accident and may also provide death benefits to a worker’s family after their death.
Navigating workers’ compensation can be complicated. Team Law has over 60 years of experience navigating New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system for its clients. With offices throughout New Jersey, including Newark and Elizabeth, NJ worker’s compensation lawyers from Team Law are never far.
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If an injury occurs while on the job, it is important to notify your employer as soon as possible. Notice can be given to anyone in a position of authority at your place of business and does not need to be in writing. Of course, if necessary, seek medical care as soon as possible. However, New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law allows the employer or their insurance company to select the physician for medical treatment.
After an injury is reported to an employer, the employer should immediately notify their insurance carrier, and a “First Report” should be filed with the State. This report will be evaluated for a claim through the insurance carrier to see if compensation is available under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law. The worker, employer and medical provider will then be contacted with the results of the assessment.
Following a claim, the insurance carrier may request an assessment from an “Independent Medical Examination.” This exam is typically performed by a physician who is not your regular doctor, to establish that:
Failure to participate in an Independent Medical Examination could result in a denial of a claim, and an employee may be required to participate in more than one Independent Medical Examination. Typically, the medical fees are paid for by the insurance carrier.
If a claim is accepted, the injured employee will be directed to the authorized medical provider and disability benefits will be provided if the injury requires time out of work beyond seven days. The insurance carrier is required to submit a second form within 26 weeks after the worker reaches maximum medical improvement, or returns to work. This second form is called the “Subsequent Report of Injury”, and a copy will be sent to the employee.
If a worker who was injured on the job feels that a claim was improperly denied by the employer or the insurance carrier, a formal “Claim Petition” or an “Application for an Informal Hearing” can be filed by the employee. Disputes can include:
New Jersey requires that all employers not covered by Federal programs must have workers’ compensation coverage of some kind. Failure to have the appropriate coverage can result in fines up to $5000 for the first 20 days without coverage, and up to $5000 for each ten-day period thereafter.
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If an employer failed to provide adequate workers’ compensation coverage, an employee can file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. Additionally, an employee can file a workers’ compensation claim with New Jersey’s Uninsured Employers Fund, which provides benefits to an injured employee when an employer does not have insurance.
Workers’ compensation disputes are at the core of the Team Law’s work for worker’s rights. Throughout the process, Team Law’s attorneys in New Jersey can assist with issues that arise with compensation through New Jersey’s Department of Labor, your employer, and your employer’s insurance carrier. Some of the services we provide include:
If you were involved in an accident while at work, it is important to have all paperwork filed in a timely manner. If at any point you feel your employer, or their insurance carrier, are failing to provide adequate medical and financial support, it is important to talk with an attorney at Team Law sooner, rather than later. Contact us now for a free consultation.
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