Injuries at work can be complicated and difficult to navigate, especially when it comes to obtaining the appropriate worker’s compensation benefits you are entitled to under New Jersey law. Understanding the rules and regulations, and workers’ comp benefits in place in New Jersey can help those who have suffered a workplace accident.
If you have suffered a work injury, you should seek medical attention from a doctor. Your health and medical care comes first. After that, you can retain a workers’ comp lawyer who can assist you every step of the way as you seek workers’ compensation benefits. This includes dealing with insurance companies, the insurance company’s doctor, collecting medical records of your medical treatment, determining if you are entitled to temporary disability benefits or even permanent disability benefits and finally securing the compensation benefits and money you are entitled to under the law.
Workers’ Comp Tips
Here are 10 tips for injured workers navigating the complexities of worker’s comp laws in New Jersey. You should know these, however, if you are injured at work, it’s in your best interest – after receiving medical attention – to contact an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney. You should not try to go it alone and you certainly don’t want to interact with an insurance company without a workers’ comp lawyer.
- File Your Workers’ Comp Claim Quickly
You must immediately report your injury to your supervisor and/or employer. It is important that any claims related to a work-related injury or illness be filed as quickly as possible to protect workers’ compensation claims. Filing delays could result in a loss of benefits or denial of coverage entirely due to missed deadlines set by the state.
- Obtain Evidence
When filing a workers’ compensation claim, providing evidence such as medical records, forms, employee or other witness statements, and incident reports can help substantiate the claim and ensure a successful outcome.
- Seek Professional Help
Consulting with an experienced New Jersey workers’ comp attorney who specializes is one of the best ways to ensure you get all of your entitled benefits under the law and understand how to proceed with your case after filing paperwork with the State’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division. An injured employee is not expected to know the financial compensation they are entitled to under the law.
- Understand Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Not all work-related injuries & illnesses provide employees with access to workers’ compensation remedies. Every situation needs to be evaluated individually to determine if you are eligible to receive payments towards medical treatment and lost wages. For example, a pre-existing condition could impact your case.
- Stay Informed
While your workers’ comp lawyer will always be up to date on current laws in New Jersey, it is always in your best interest to understand the law and compensation benefits and how it may apply to you if you are injured at work. You do not want to be guessing if you have suffered a workplace illness or injury and whether you are entitled to benefits. Your employer may have this information available to you, however, there is no better way to stay informed than to have a workers’ comp lawyer in your corner.
- Keep Records
Keeping accurate records about how the accident happened, and your medical records will be an essential task both you and your workers’ compensation attorney will be involved with. The records that have to be collected and maintained are those pertaining to medical history and expenses incurred as a result of the incident, during the recovery process. In addition, all official documents submitted to your employer must be kept.
- Don’t Settle Early
An employer and/or the workers’ comp insurance company may try to settle a workers’ compensation claim with you. Do not agree to anything with an insurance company or sign anything without consulting with a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney. The decision on how to resolve your claim should be an informed one made only between you and your workers’ comp lawyer. Only your attorney will have your best interests in mind when determining how to get you paid.
- Stay On Track With Medical Treatment
You want to keep up with your medical treatment. Failure to attend follow-up visits is essential to prove injuries, recovery, expenses, and ultimately the value of your case.
- Request A Hearing
You are entitled to a hearing on your workers’ comp claim. If you retain a workers’ compensation attorney, they will handle this for you. When in doubt, however, request the hearing so that your attorney can step in and best represent you and your claim. Do not attempt to make up your own rules when it comes to a workers’ comp claim.
- Appeal Decisions If Necessary
If your claim is denied at the hearing level this does not mean your case is over. You have the right to appeal in an effort to be awarded the compensation you deserve.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can provide invaluable assistance when seeking benefits. They can review your claim to make sure it is complete and accurate, advise you on what documents are required or missing, help ensure that the deadlines for notice and filing of claims are met, assist with negotiation of settlements and awards, represent you in court if necessary, and provide guidance throughout the entire process.
Additionally, your workers’ compensation lawyer can explain how the law applies to your individual situation and inform you of any statutory exceptions to coverage that may be applicable in your case and what coverage you may seek for workplace injuries. A lawyer can assist you with:
- Medical treatment
- Medical records
- Medical expenses
- Occupational disease
- Work restrictions
- Permanent injuries
- Job retraining
- Workers’ comp settlement
These are just a few of the many issues that may arise in your case.
When You May Need the Assistance of an NJ Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Recovering from a workplace 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 are an injured worker, having a legal advocate in your corner can make all the difference in your workers’ comp claim. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman can help. Contact us today for a free consultation with an attorney about your workers’ compensation case.