NEW JERSEY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS ARE CRITICAL FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED ON THE JOB. A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER CAN HELP YOU GET THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE FOR YOUR INJURIES.
When you sustain an injury on the job in New Jersey, you will most likely have benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits will cover things such as medical care for your injuries, a portion of your wages while you are unable to work, and other disability benefits depending on the nature of your injuries.
In order to ensure that you get the benefits you deserve, you want to follow important steps when navigating the New Jersey workers’ compensation process.
REPORT YOUR INJURY TO YOUR EMPLOYER
The law requires that you give notice of your injury to your employer as soon as possible. This should preferably be in writing, keeping a copy for your records. At this point, your employer or the involved insurance company will be required to file a report of the injury with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation within 21 days of your report.
GETTING MEDICAL ATTENTION FROM AN AUTHORIZED DOCTOR
If your injury was an emergency, you can seek emergency care and notify your employer immediately after. If it wasn’t an immediate emergency, New Jersey workers’ compensation law requires that you see a pre-selected physician who is authorized by the insurance company.
Even if your injury isn’t serious, there may be underlying issues. Taking proactive measures to see a doctor is recommended to preserve any benefits should your injury prove to be more serious. All medical providers should understand that your injury is work-related to ensure that the proper paperwork is submitted.
FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S INSTRUCTIONS
When you are undergoing any medical treatment, it is important to follow all your doctor’s instructions and keep copies of any medical records, bills, and prescriptions.
UNDERSTAND AND RECEIVE BENEFITS
Once approved, your New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits should begin immediately. These benefits will include the cost of “necessary and reasonable” treatment, including hospitalizations, prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and any other medical procedures and equipment, provided you are seeing authorized physicians.
However, the insurance company has latitude on what they consider necessary and reasonable, and you may be left to dispute their decision. If so, it is important to have the assistance of an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to represent your rights and help guide you through the dispute process.
IF YOU REQUIRE PERMANENT BENEFITS
If you cannot return to work or you have reached maximum medical improvement with working restrictions, the insurance carrier must send a report to the Division of Workers’ Compensation to advise them. They will subsequently seek expert examination to determine your percentage of loss of function. If the examination indicates that your injury has resulted in a permanent partial disability or permanent total disability, you will be assigned benefits depending on that determination.
But experts can disagree on levels of disability or even if there is a disability. The New Jersey workers’ compensation schedule of benefits for disabilities can be complicated, especially when there is disagreement about the level of loss of function. If you have sustained any permanent injury, it is critical to get legal assistance to ensure that you get the full benefits you deserve.
WHEN YOU MAY NEED THE ASSISTANCE OF A NJ WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER
Recovering from an injury is challenging enough, but navigating the complex workers’ compensation insurance system can be overwhelming. While you are trying to heal, you must also navigate the conditions imposed by the New Jersey workers’ compensation system and your employer’s insurance carrier. Furthermore, insurance companies that administer workers’ comp routinely deny benefits.
If you have been injured on the job, having a legal advocate in your corner can make all the difference in a workers’ comp claim. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman can help. Contact us today to speak to an attorney about your case.