Moorestown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

If you have been hurt in a workplace accident, you may be able to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation is no-fault insurance that most New Jersey-based employers are required to carry. When you are injured at work for any reason, even if by your own fault, you have the right to compensation. If you are eligible, you may receive compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and in some cases ongoing disability due to a workplace injury or occupational illness.

There are many questions and concerns that can arise after suffering a workplace injury and filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. Sometimes, injured employees worry that their company will terminate their employment or retaliate if they file a claim. However, the law clearly states that injured employees are protected from such actions. If an employer rejects or delays a claim, a Mooretown Workers’ Compensation Lawyer can assist you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.

In New Jersey, under the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act, you may be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Medical benefits: Medical expenses, as well as future health care costs, are covered by your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. You can be compensated for any medical expenses you incur due to your injury, including doctor visits, treatments, tests, and surgeries. It is important to remember that you must go to a doctor approved by your employer. Also, only tests and procedures that are approved will be covered. 
  • Temporary disability benefits: This applies to injured workers who are disabled and unable to return to work for more than seven days. Typically, workers may receive 70 percent of wages or salary up to 400 weeks until a doctor clears them to return to work or when maximum medical improvement (MMI) has been reached.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits: If an injury leaves a worker with a lasting condition but unable to work in a certain capacity, these benefits may be an option. The amount a worker will receive is based on the body part injured and its functional loss.
  • Permanent total disability benefits: Injured workers who are unable to return to work may be eligible to collect these benefits. Permanent total disability benefits pay approximately 70 percent of the disabled worker’s average pay rate up to at least 450 weeks and can be extended if the person remains fully disabled. Benefits are based on a formula for determining the percentage of the disabilities.
  • Death benefits: Death benefits assist the family of a worker killed in a workplace accident and cover up to $3,500 in funeral and burial costs. Dependents can receive up to 70 percent of the deceased worker’s weekly wage for a maximum of 450 weeks from the day of death.

Certain employees are not eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits:

  • Independent contractors.
  • Sole proprietors with no employees.
  • Unpaid interns.
  • Unpaid volunteers.

It is essential to find out how your employer classifies your role.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Not every injury that takes place at work occurs due to a workplace accident. Some injuries occur over time or reappear due to circumstances or conditions at work. Most Workers’ Compensation claims involve the following:

  • Injuries from accidents: These are the most common types of Workers’ Compensation claims. These injuries include back and neck injuries, knee and leg injuries, shoulder injuries, ankle and foot injuries, hand and wrist injuries, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Occupational illnesses: Construction workers, factory workers, miners, automotive industry workers, bakers, and health care workers are at high risk for occupational illnesses and diseases. Some common occupational diseases are skin disorders, cancers, and respiratory problems. 
  • Repetitive strain injuries: These injuries happen over weeks, months, and sometimes years if a worker engages in the same motion every day. Carpal tunnel syndrome, hernias, arthritis, and rotator cuff tendinitis are all examples of workplace repetitive strain injuries.

Third-Party Injury Claims

Sometimes, workers are injured by individuals or entities other than their employers while performing their job duties. In these instances, additional compensation may be obtained through a third-party claim. 

You can file an additional claim or lawsuit against the other party or company that caused your injuries while continuing your claim against your employer. You can also receive compensation for pain, suffering and other losses that are not recoverable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. 

Workers’ Compensation benefits do not cover full compensation for lost wages or non-economic damages. If you have a valid third-party claim, it is advisable to contact an experienced Moorestown Workers’ Compensation lawyer to obtain additional compensation.

What if My Claim Is Denied?

While you might think you have a clear case, your employer or insurance carrier may still attempt to deny your claim. If this occurs, you have options. You can appeal through an informal hearing or a formal hearing. 

Informal Hearing

You must submit an application to request an informal hearing. Then, your case will be assigned to a judge and you will be given a date within weeks of your request. The judge will hear both sides before issuing a recommendation. Neither side is obligated to abide by this proposal.

Formal Hearing

For a formal hearing, you must submit a claim petition within two years of your injury or the last day you received a payment from your insurance, whichever is later. This process will take more time, as the date is usually assigned within six months. Both sides will present their cases with witnesses and evidence, and the judge will then issue a written decision.

If you are still unsatisfied, you can then appeal that decision to the state courts of New Jersey in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident?

If you are injured in a workplace accident, there are a few steps that you should take:

  • Seek medical assistance: After any work accident, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Not all workplace injuries are obvious right away, so it is essential to get checked by a doctor. Be advised that you need to see an employer and/or insurer-approved doctor for the visit to qualify under Workers’ Compensation.
  • Report the accident: To initiate the formal process of filing a claim, you must first report your accident to your employer. You should do this right away. If you must first go to the hospital, you should do it as soon as possible. Notifying your employer does not have to be in writing and can be given to your direct supervisor, Human Resources (HR) office, or anyone in a position of authority at your workplace.
  • Collect all evidence: You should gather evidence in case there are questions about your injury. Take pictures of the area where the accident happened and any conditions that might have contributed to your injury. Talk to witnesses who saw the accident and collect their contact information as well. You should also obtain a copy of your timecard to demonstrate that you were working at the time of your workplace accident.

In some cases, an employer or their insurance carrier may disagree over the entitlement to benefits, whether the injury or illness is work-related, the extent of the payment for temporary disability benefits, or the type and level of medical treatment. By hiring an experienced Moorestown Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, you will be able to effectively obtain the compensation settlement or reimbursement you are entitled to and deserve. We will help ensure that your case is managed smoothly and efficiently. 

Moorestown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Will Help You With Your Claim After a Severe Workplace Accident

If you are having problems with your Workers’ Compensation claim, one of our experienced Moorestown Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help. Call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients across South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.