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 Give You The Facts
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.
Below are some common facts about workers’ compensation that are beneficial to understand. For more information on these topics, schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm.
A person becomes eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when he or she sustains an injury, illness or disease that 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 illnesses caused by repetitive motion or exposure to fumes can also give rise to eligibility.
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 on their collective bargaining agreement.
The employer, usually through their workers’ compensation insurance carrier, must provide all 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.
The injured worker may be entitled to additional payments after temporary disability benefits and medical treatments end. These benefits are available if the worker is left with a permanent problem that 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 they 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.
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 law. 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.
An injured worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who is at fault for the accident. 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 determine if there is a negligence claim against a third party in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.
In workers’ compensation, the lawyer’s fee is set by the court at the end of the case based on the amount that is recovered on behalf of the client. No fee is paid by the client upfront. Typically, the fee for the attorney’s services is paid partially by the employer’s insurance carrier and partially by the client. However, the insurance carrier is usually responsible for the majority of the fee.
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 either 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 the 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 determine if an injured worker still has time to file a claim.
Contact Fishman & Fishman, LLC
We represent injured workers from Cherry Hill, Camden County 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.