Camden Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Camden, New Jersey is known as a manufacturing city, with the Campbell’s Soup Company boasting the most employees, even as the city tries to revitalize itself with a shift to more medical and educational opportunities. Workplace accidents and injuries take place at warehouses and manufacturing facilities at an alarming rate, and if you are hurt at work, you will want to know your options.
Most employers in New Jersey are required to carry Workers’ Compensation, which is no-fault insurance that will pay for your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income if you have been injured at work. Some employers are unwilling to accept a claim or will drag their feet. In addition, their insurance company might outright reject a claim or attempt to offer less compensation than what you require. Fortunately, a Camden Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault insurance, meaning that negligence does not need to cause your workplace injury in order for you to be eligible to receive benefits. In exchange for those benefits, you are prohibited from filing a claim against your employer.
The insurance program is federally mandated, although it is managed by each state, and as such, each state’s plan has slight differences. Be sure to learn about your employer’s Workers’ Compensation benefits and procedures ahead of time so you will know about them when you need them.
Any injury that you sustain due to circumstances at work are compensable under Workers’ Compensation. It is important to note that not all injuries take place due to an accident. There are certain accidents that occur over time, or they might not manifest at work at all. That does not mean that they are no covered, although they might require more evidence to prove how your job led to your injuries.
Injuries and illnesses covered under Workers’ Compensation include:
- Injuries from accidents: Accidents are the top causes of workplace injuries. These injuries occur right away, and there is little question that they took place at work.
- Occupational illnesses: Work conditions can leave you susceptible to occupational illnesses. This occurs at construction sites many times or workers in old buildings that still use toxic materials and chemicals, such as asbestos. Prolonged exposure to these can lead to long-term health issues.
- Repetitive stress injuries: These injuries can occur over time. You may sit at a certain angle at work, consistently lift heavy objects, or file paperwork. Over time, those repetitive actions can cause long-term injuries.
It may be difficult to prove your injury or illness happened because of your work. A Camden Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help prove your case and push back against an employer or their insurance if they are trying to deny your valid claim.
Who Is Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
While the state requires most companies to carry Workers’ Compensation, not every employee is entitled to benefits, including:
- Unpaid interns.
- Unpaid volunteers.
- Independent contractors.
- Sole proprietors with no employees.
That is why it is imperative to know how your employer classifies you. If you believe that you have been miscategorized, or your employer is wrongfully denying your claim, a Camden Workers’ Compensation lawyer will represent you and fight for your rights.
What Benefits Are Offered Through Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey?
When you are hurt in a workplace accident in New Jersey, there are certain benefits that are available to you through Workers’ Compensation:
- Medical benefits: When you are hurt and require treatment for your injuries, Workers’ Compensation will cover all of your medical costs, including doctor visits, tests, surgery, and even rehab sessions. Be advised that you are required to go through a doctor of the employer’s choosing. While you can see your own personal doctor, none of the expenses incurred through them will be covered under Workers’ Compensation.
- Temporary disability benefits: When workers are hurt or disabled due to a work-related accident and cannot return to their job for seven days, they are eligible to receive about 70 percent of their average weekly wages. However, there is a maximum and minimum amount that changes every year. You can continue to collect these payments until you reach maximum medical improvement, a doctor clears you to return to work, or 400 weeks have elapsed.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: If your workplace injury or illness has left you with a lasting condition but you are able to work in some capacity, you may be eligible for the benefits. The exact amount is based on the severity of your injury as well as your pre-injury wages.
- Permanent total disability benefits: Workers who are unable to return to their job due to a lasting disability are eligible for these benefits. It is the same amount as the temporary benefits, and they run for up to 450 weeks, although you can extend these payments if you are still fully disabled.
- Death benefits: Death benefits are eligible to dependents of an employee who died as a result of their workplace injury or illness. Dependents may be able to collect up to 70 percent of the deceased worker’s weekly wage.
How Can I Appeal if My Claim Has Been Rejected?
The Division of Workers’ Compensation offers you two options if your employer or their insurance company has rejected your claim. Your two options include:
- Informal hearing: An informal hearing begins with an application. You will then be assigned a judge, and a date will be selected within a few weeks. The judge will go over the evidence and issue a written opinion which is not enforceable.
- Formal hearing: You can go to this option right away, or use it if you disagree with the results of the informal hearing. To request a formal hearing, you will have to submit a claim petition. You will be assigned a judge and a date. However, this date will be within six months. This will be like a trial where both sides will present their case complete with witnesses and evidence. At the end, the judge will issue a written decision.
If you are not satisfied with the final decision of the formal hearing, you can then appeal your case in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. Before this, you should speak with a Camden Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can ensure that your case is handled properly.
Camden Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Will Protect Your Rights and Fight to Get You Your Entitled Benefits After a Workplace Accident
Most employers in New Jersey are required to carry Workers’ Compensation to protect their employees. Our Camden Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law will fight to ensure your workplace accident does not leave you in financial peril. Call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.