The Facts About Workers' Compensation

What You Should Know About New Jersey Workers' Compensation Benefits

The workers' compensation laws were established to provide the employee with benefits to sustain them through the troubled times associated with an on-the-job injury or disability. Many times, employees do not receive all of the compensation that they are entitled to in these situations.

Experienced attorneys ready to help — The law firm of Fishman & Fishman, LLC, advocates for you and your family in recovering the maximum benefits available and protecting your work injury rights under New Jersey law. We serve Camden County and all of Southern New Jersey.

Eligibility: A person becomes eligible for workers' compensation benefits when he or she sustains an injury, illness or disease which arises out of and in the course of their employment. Even if a person is no longer employed, they can bring a workers' compensation claim, and collect the same benefits, so long as their injury was related to the job. A person can collect benefits for injuries caused by accidents, such as falling down, or lifting. In addition, injuries or illness caused by repetitive motion or exposure to fumes can also give rise to eligibility.

Lost wages: A person becomes eligible for temporary disability benefits through workers' compensation once they have been totally disabled as a result of their work-related injury for seven consecutive days. At that point, they will receive 70% of their average weekly wage, subject to a statutory maximum. Union members may be entitled to additional benefits based upon their collective bargaining agreement.

Medical benefits: The employer, usually through their workers' compensation insurance carrier, must provide all reasonable necessary medical treatment to the injured worker. Unless an emergency exists, or the employer refuses to provide treatment for a work injury, the employer or their insurance company has the right to designate the doctor who will provide treatment for the work-related injury.

Permanent disability: The injured worker may be entitled to additional payments after temporary disability benefits and medical treatment ends. These benefits are available if the worker is left with a permanent problem which affects their ability to work or use the part of the body that was injured. A person need not be totally, permanently unable to work in order to collect these benefits, but may be entitled to lifetime benefits if they are rendered permanently unemployable by their work-related injury or illness. Usually, a workers' compensation lawyer is needed in order to recover the maximum amount of permanent disability benefits that may be available.

Death benefits: The dependents of a worker who dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness are entitled to benefits under the Workers' Compensation Act. Spouses and natural children of the deceased worker are presumed to be dependents. However, dependency benefits may be available to other persons as well, depending on the circumstances.

Fault: An injured worker is entitled to workers' compensation benefits regardless of whose fault the accident is. Even if the accident was the injured worker's own fault, or was nobody's fault, that individual is entitled to benefits if the injury arose out of and in the course of their employment. However, if the accident was the fault of a third party, the worker may be able to bring a separate claim against that third party for negligence in addition to the workers' compensation claim. Consultation with a lawyer can help to determine if there is a negligence claim against a third party in addition to the workers' compensation claim.

Attorney fees: In workers' compensation, the lawyers' fee is set by the court at the end of the case based upon the amount that is recovered on behalf of the client. No fee is paid by the client up front. Typically, the fee for the attorney's services is paid partially by the employers' insurance carrier and partially by the client. However, the insurance carrier is usually responsible for the majority of the fee.

Time limit: A person has two years from the date of their accident to file a workers' compensation claim petition. This time limit may be extended if the employer has made payments for authorized medical treatment, temporary disability or permanent disability, to two years from the date of the last payment of compensation. For occupational claims, a claim petition must be filed within two years after the date on which the claimant first knew the nature of the disability and its relation to employment, or within two years after the failure of the employer to pay compensation pursuant to terms of agreement therefore, or within two years after the last payment of compensation. If a claim is not filed within the appropriate time period, the worker will be forever barred from doing so by the Statute of Limitations. A workers' compensation lawyer can help to determine if an injured worker still has time to file a claim.

Contact Fishman & Fishman, LLC

We represent injured workers from the Cherry Hill and Camden area and throughout South Jersey from offices in Lawnside and Hammonton. For a free consultation, call our knowledgeable lawyers toll free at 888-339-7675 or complete our online form.