Under New Jersey law there are several restrictions on an injured employee’s recovery of workers’ compensation benefits. Some of these restrictions apply to the nature of the injury, for instance there is a basic requirement that the injury happened in the course of employment. This restriction means employers, and their workers’ compensation insurance companies, are not required to provide any benefits to employees who are injured at a recreational league basketball game or doing yard work.
Other restrictions are procedure based. An employee must file a workers’ compensation lawsuit within two years of from the date of the injury or two years from the last benefit payment, whichever is later. After this two year statute of limitations runs an employee is barred from filing a claim with the New Jersey Department of Labor. A New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can describe and explain every restriction required to qualify for benefits.
One restriction that can present a problem for employees is that the employer has control of choice over the medical provider covered by workers’ compensation.
Employer’s Chosen Medical Provider
New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Law requires that employers must provide or give employees access to reasonable and necessary medical treatment for a workplace injury. Given this standard of care and responsibility for ensuring the care is available falls to the employer, in New Jersey the employer also chooses the covered medical professionals. Typically, the hospitals and doctors that can treat injured employees are actually determined by the employer’s insurance provider.
When an employee chooses to see a different doctor he or she does not automatically forfeit the right to workers’ compensation, but an employer can refuse to cover the costs. In certain situations, an employer and its insurance company may authorize an employee to see a medical professional of his or her own choosing. However, doing so without prior consent from an employer exposes the employee to risk of covering those medical expenses.
What if I Dislike the Doctor Chosen by My Employer?
It is a requirement of New Jersey workers’ compensation that employees see the physicians chosen by their employers. These doctors should provide care that is professional and adequate. Matters of personal choice or desire to see a different doctor are not taken into consideration. However, when medical care is inadequate, the employee has an avenue for recourse.
If you feel an employer chosen doctor of specialist is not providing adequate care for your workplace injury or illness, then it is possible to file a motion to that effect. The New Jersey Department of Labor will accept a motion for medical benefits, which requests court approval to see a different medical professional.
The court tries to hear these motions within 30 days of filing. Until the motion is granted, an employee must continue seeing the employer chosen doctor, or risk incurring medical expenses.
Complications with Seeing an Employer’s Doctor
If you are experiencing doubts about the adequacy of an employer chosen doctor or your employer has refused medical care for your workplace injury, speak with a New Jersey worker’s compensation lawyer. A legal professional, such as Albert J. Talone, Esq., can assist with evaluating the adequacy of your care or validity of a workers’ compensation claim.
Call The Law Offices of Albert J. Talone at (856)-234-4023 to schedule a free consultation.
The information in this blog post (“Post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this Post should be construed as legal advice from The Law Office of Albert J. Talone or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.