In most instances, employees who are injured at work can feel confident that their injury falls within the scope of job-related activities or occurred within the course of employment. For instance, someone who pulls a back muscle lifting materials or falls from a ladder while counting inventory was obviously engaged in a job-related activity.
Alternatively, there are some injuries that are clearly outside the course of employment. For example, it is pretty clear that hurting your back while landscaping on the weekend is outside the course of employment, and so is a bad sunburn while on vacation to Mexico.
Need to Define the Term Job-Related Activity
Yet, there are still a number of cases that are not this clear cut. Every day employees have downtime at work or participate in activities that seem job-related, but are not exactly work, such as eating lunch in the staff kitchen or walking out of the office at the end of the day. All of these activities happen at work, but are they in the course of employment?
As well, there are certain activities that do not even happen at the workplace, such as company parties or a work retreat. Employees that are hurt at the company softball game, for instance, probably have a lot of questions regarding workers’ compensation and if the benefits of this program in New Jersey could apply to their situation. These types of activities do not take place at the office, warehouse, or factory where normal job-related activities occur, …Read More
First and foremost workers’ compensation in New Jersey covers the medical expenses related to a work injury. This includes hospital visits and rehabilitation, if needed. However, an injured employee may not be able to return to work right away. After a serious incident, the injured employee could be medically or physically restricted from working for a very long time.
An inability to work has serious financial implications, and after medical treatment is obtained this becomes the biggest concern for most workers. To address these concerns, the workers’ compensation law in New Jersey provides a mechanism for injured workers to obtain benefits that replace some of their normal income. Most employees do not understand how disability benefits are distributed or determined, but they should.
The Different Types of Disability Benefits
New Jersey workers’ compensation law provides for two different types of disability benefits. Permanent disability benefits cover a workplace injury that will have a lasting effect on the person’s ability to work. As an employee goes through the workers’ compensation process a doctor will evaluate and treat the injury.
Eventually, a medical professional will determine that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. If an injury or illness has last effects on the ability to work after maximum medical improvement, that employee is likely entitled to permanent disability benefits.
As the name would suggest, temporary disability benefits are paid to workers who will eventually experience a full recovery of his or her injury but are unable to work for a certain …Read More
New Jersey law specifically requires that businesses carry workers compensation insurance. In addition to being required by law, a number of contractors, clients, customers, and partners will require a business to show proof of workers’ compensation before entering a contract or building a relationship. However, from an employee’s perspective the role of an insurance provider in workers’ compensation can be slightly mysterious.
Typical Workers’ Compensation Process from Employee Perspective
In most instances, when an employee is injured or falls ill at work he or she informs a manger or designated HR employee at the workplace. After this initial discussion and medical assessment of an injury, the process in New Jersey can progress without much interface with an injured employee. Unless there is dispute around the injury, employees likely have conversations with an HR manager and insurance representative, attend doctors’ visits, and within a short period of time begin receiving benefits.
Good employers will ensure that the steps to receive workers’ compensation benefits are seamless and smooth, which can leave an employee wondering why it is essential for their employer to carry this mandated insurance policy and what role the insurance company played in the process.
Why Workers’ Compensation Insurance Is Mandatory
Requiring that employers carry specific insurance for workers’ compensation ensures that employees are protected from legal or financial difficulties after an injury at work. It is the safeguard that an injured employee will receive adequate benefits. This is important because employees need a replacement income or partial replacement of …Read More
It is the legal right of an individual who is injured at the workplace to file a workers’ compensation claim and receive workers’ compensation benefits. This is regardless of the profession, core business, type of injury, or mechanism of injury.
In New Jersey, as in other states, there are limits on the timeframe, requirements for reporting the injury, and procedure for filing a workers’ compensation claim, but provided the necessary legal processes are followed, nothing should prevent an injured employee from exercising his or her right to compensation.
Therefore, in New Jersey any action by an employer to dissuade or prevent an employee from filing a valid workers’ compensation claim should not be tolerated. This begins with an employer’s failure or delay to report an employee injury to the proper insurance provider and extends to forms of retaliation against an employee who does file a workers’ compensation claim. The law takes steps to protect an employee’s right to workers’ compensation, even after a valid claim is filed or benefits received.
What Is Retaliation?
The most obvious form of retaliation after a worker’s compensation claim in New Jersey is the employer terminates the employee. Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation statute, an employer is prohibited from terminating an employer in retaliation for a workers’ compensation claim. Termination is also inexcusable for retaliation against an individual who testifies at a hearing in a workers’ compensation case.
However, retaliation does not have to be as overt as termination. Retaliation takes the form of …Read More
The State of New Jersey provides robust protections for employees who are injured at the workplace. The state provides for medical, temporary and permanent disability, and death benefits that can help an employee or employee’s family stay financially stable after an accident or injury at work. However, not all employees receive the same support and assistance from their employers when filing a workers’ compensation claim and receiving benefits.
In certain instances, an injured employee in New Jersey can have a claim for workers’ compensation denied or delayed by an employer or insurance provider. If this does happen, it is important for an employee to know how to proceed.
Employer Fails to Report Injury to Insurance Provider
As soon as possible after an injury occurs, the employee should notify his or her employer. The sooner an employer knows of an injury, the more likely it is an employee will receive full workers’ comp benefits. If an employer is insured, it should in turn notify the insurance provider of the injury and provide you with a claims form to complete.
If an employer refuses to report the injury to an insurance carrier, an employee has two options. As an initial option, an employee can directly contact the insurance carrier. It is required in New Jersey that employers display workers’ compensation information in a visible, prominent location. If this information is not easily obtained, an employee can contact the Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau. After notice, an employee can use this information to …Read More
Often, an injury at work is unexpected. Even in jobs and industries where manual labor is common or risky situations arise, employers typically have processes in place to prevent employees from hurting themselves or others. However, every day accidents do occur on job sites and in the workplace. As it turns out, certain injuries are much more common than others.
How Are You Likely to Get Hurt at Work
Regardless of industry or job description, the most common injuries in workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey are strains and sprains. The Department of Labor has found that this is also the most common type of injury in the workplace nationwide. Insurance providers estimate that these claims amount to approximately 30% of workplace injuries in the United States.
Strains and sprains are less likely than more serious injuries to be reported by an employee to his or her employer. Prompt notification of an injury is essential for a successful workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey, and “toughing it out” for days, weeks, or even months could prevent recovery.
If you need advice on reporting a strain or sprain or if you are receiving pushback from an employer or insurance company on a claim for workers’ compensation from a strain or sprain, contact a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer, such as the Law Office of Albert J. Talone for advice.
Other Common Workplace Injuries
While strains and sprains are by far the most common injury on the job, there are other common …Read More
If you injure your back while on the job there are a number of practical and legal steps that are required down the road. Eventually, a workers’ compensation claim will need to be filed with the Division of Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey. However, at the onset there are two immediate concerns for an injured employee. The first is seeking medical attention; and second, employees need to inform their employer of the injury.
Seek Medical Attention
In the event of a workplace injury, health and safety concerns are incredibly important. Care should be taken not to aggravate or worsen the injury, and if necessary, a visit or admittance to the hospital should be arranged. The sooner you obtain medical care, the better for ensuring the injury heals properly and when it comes to providing documentation and proof of the injury in a workers’ compensation claim.
Inform Your Employer ASAP
The other task of high importance after experiencing a back injury, whether from lifting a heavy object or moving something bulky, is to inform an employer. Reporting an injury to an employer will eliminate disputes and problems down the road.
In some instances, employees feel that they do not require immediate medical attention. Perhaps, in the act of lifting a heavy object you felt strain on your back. There was a brief spasm of pain and then it subsided. You go throughout your workday with some mild discomfort, but it does not progress to anything serious, so you do not tell …Read More
Lawyer Albert J. Talone Explains Worker’s Compensation Benefits
What rights does an employee have when injured at work? Albert J. Talone, NJ workers compensation lawyer, outlines three basic rights for New Jersey employees.
Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act an employee is required to report any work related injury within 90 days of the date of the accident. After reporting an injury, Talone points out on his website that NJ workers compensation law entitles injured employees to three benefits: temporary disability beneﬁts, medical beneﬁts, and permanent partial benefits.
Temporary disability beneﬁts is when an employer and/or employer’s insurance carrier is obligated to pay 70 percent of gross weekly wages up to the maximum rate for time lost from work. “You must also be out of work a total of seven days before you are entitled to receive temporary disability beneﬁt,” Talone’s website talonelaw.com explains. Certain prerequisites apply, such as a yearly maximum benefit rate, a written medical report or a prescription signed by a physician that authorizes missing work for a particular period of time.
The Burlington County Workers Compensation Law lawyer points out that with medical benefits an employer is to provide all reasonable medical care and treatment with physicians of their choosing. A doctor chosen by an employer to treat an employee’s work related injuries is called an “authorized treating physician.” According to Talone, “the workers compensation insurance carrier is responsible for paying all medical bills associated with authorized treating physicians.” Failure to treat with an …Read More
Workplace injuries are common in all areas of employment. Notice of work-related accidents or occupational disease must be given to the employer within speciﬁed timelimits or else the injured worker will lose rights to certain beneﬁts. If you are injured on the job you should notify your employer as soon as possible. If possible, complete your employer speciﬁc accident injury report/form. Be sure to request a copy of the document.
The Workers’ Compensation statute addresses how to give notice. N.J.S.A. 34:15-17addresses traumatic claims and Notiﬁcation to Employer. N.J.S.A. 34:15-34 addresses occupational claims and the time for making a claim. The statutes in relevant part reads as follows:
34:15-17. Notiﬁcation of employer. Unless the employer shall have actual knowledge of the occurrence of the injury, or unless the employee, or some one on his behalf, or some of the dependents, or some one on their behalf, shall give notice there of to the employer within fourteen days of the occurrence of the injury, then no compensation shall be due until such notice is given or knowledge obtained. If the notice is given, or the knowledge obtained within thirty days from the occurrence of the injury, no want, failure, or inaccuracy of a notice shall be a bar to obtaining compensation, unless the employer shall show that he was prejudiced by such want,defect or inaccuracy, and then only to the extent of such prejudice. If the notice is given,or the knowledge obtained within ninety days, and if the employee, or other beneﬁciary,shall …Read More
Workplace injuries are common whether you work in an office environment, construction/job site or retail establishment.
In fact, workplace injuries can occur in all areas of employment. In the event you are injured at work, you should preserve your rights by following these simple guidelines:
- Immediately report your injury to your employer. You should report every injuring incident to your employer. Even if you do not think you are seriously hurt it is still good to advise your employer of your injury.
- Complete a First Report of Injury Report. These are often called accident/incident injury report/form. Be sure to request a copy of the completed document.
- In the event you need medical treatment, go to the local emergency room or employer authorized medical provider and advise as to ALL injuries. Do not pay for
any medical treatment out of your own pocket. Do not submit medical bills to your private health insurance carrier. Keep a copy of all medical bills, doctors notes, emergency room discharge paper work and all other documents regarding your work related injury.
- If you have a doctor’s note keeping you out of work, provide a copy to your employer immediately.
- Ask you employer for the name and address of their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Ask for a claim number for your claim if available.
Contact Albert J. Talone, Esquire at 856.234.4023, to discuss your workers’ compensation rights in New Jersey.
Albert J. Talone, Esq., is a workers’ compensation lawyer in New Jersey. Mr. Talone has been …Read More