Being injured at work can be a frightening experience. Not only are you in pain and possibly hospitalized, but you probably cannot return to work. With money tight, you might be worried about how your family will be able to pay its bills, such as your rent or mortgage.
Fortunately, New Jersey and New York’s workers’ compensation systems exist to help injured workers pay for the medical care they need. You might also qualify for disability benefits.
To get started with your case, contact a workers’ comp lawyer in New Jersey and New York. Kreizer Law has been helping injured workers like you for years, and we are available to help you, too.
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7 Most important things to do if you're injured at work
What to Do after a Workplace Injury
In addition to getting medical care, you also need to notify your employer of an injury. Do so as soon as possible. In New Jersey, you have 90 days from the date of the injury, but any delay could cast a shadow over your claim. Some insurers will more closely scrutinize a claim if you waited more than a day or two to report an injury, especially a serious one.
If you have a question about what to do, speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer in New Jersey.
Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation
The primary requirement is that you suffer an injury on the job or that you develop an occupational illness. This does not mean you must suffer an injury at your job site. For example, you might have to travel for part of your job. If you are injured while traveling, then you might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The workers’ comp system makes a variety of benefits available to those who were injured on the job, which we explain below.
Medical benefits. Workers’ comp should pick up the entire tab for medical care to treat your injuries. This care can include surgery, doctor visits, physical rehabilitation, and prescription drugs. If you need equipment, like a wheelchair, then workers’ comp can pay for that as well. Workers’ comp should pay for all reasonably necessary care. Sometimes, disputes break out over whether care is necessary, so you might need a workers’ comp attorney in New Jersey or New York help you get the care you need.
Disability benefits. You might be so injured you can’t immediately return to your old job. To make up for this drop in income, New Jersey and New York’s workers’ comp systems make different types of benefits available:
- Temporary disability benefit. You can receive these benefits for any injury that causes you to lose time for more than 7 days. You can receive 70% of your pre-injury wage, up to a maximum established by the state.
- Permanent partial disability benefits. Some serious injuries will never improve. For example, you might lose your hand or suffer a loss of another bodily function, such as your eyesight. You can qualify for permanent partial disability benefits.
- Total disability benefits. If your injuries prevent you from ever working again, then you can qualify for these benefits.
Death benefit. If a loved one dies, then death benefits are available under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation for dependents, such as the spouse and minor children. Also, workers’ comp will pay for up to $3,500 for funeral and burial costs. Speak to a New Jersey workers comp lawyer for more information.
Lawsuits against Your Employer
Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault, which means you don’t need to prove that your employer was negligent or broke some safety rule before you can receive compensation. By being no-fault, you can often get access to necessary benefits much quicker.
But workers’ compensation benefits come with a downside—namely, you cannot sue your employer for injuring you (except in limited circumstances). This might sound unfair, but it is a tradeoff that the legislature made when it mandated that all New Jersey and New York employers buy workers’ compensation insurance.
How We Can Help with Your Case
The workers’ compensation system is fairly simplified, but there are traps for the unwary.
You might need a workers comp attorney in New Jersey or New York if you encounter any of the following:
- The insurance company has unfairly rejected your claim. For example, the insurer might have determined that you were not injured on the job or that your injury isn’t covered by the policy. Insurers sometimes also argue you did not report the injury in a timely manner or seek appropriate medical care. We can work to get this rejection overturned.
- The insurance company does not award adequate benefits. For example, you might be totally disabled but the insurance company claims you are only partially disabled. This type of classification mistake can cost you significant benefits.
- The insurance company has decided to terminate your benefits early. For example, the insurer might decide you can return to work even though you are really in considerable pain.
- The insurance company tries to get you to settle for a small amount of money. You should hold out for maximum benefits you are entitled to under the law.
There are other ways that an attorney can help you with your workers’ compensation case. For example:
- We can accurately and completely fill out paperwork and file it on time.
- We can assist you during an Independent Medical Exam (IME), which is often conducted by a doctor biased in favor of the insurance company.
- We can handle all communications with the insurance company, allowing you to focus on healing.
- We can gather medical evidence that shows the true extent of your injuries.
We can also represent you at all hearings in front of the Department of Labor or Worker’s Compensation Board, including any appeals after a denial. Without an attorney, you might not present a compelling case, and you could miss key deadlines that hamstring your claim.
Contact Us Today
If you hit a snag in your attempt to claim workers comp benefits, or if you have a question, contact Kreizer Law today. We have helped many injured men and women get the benefits they need so they can continue to meet their expenses.
Call us toll-free 1‑(800)-4-JUSTICE® to begin evaluating your case.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.