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Are Volunteers Covered by Worker’s Compensation?

By Albert Talone | November 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Recent news tells us the State of New Jersey is charging Uber $242 million in back taxes and has ruled that they have misclassified their contractors as employees. Once again, the question of who is or isn’t an employee is on the minds of many workers’ compensation attorneys, as well as many who have been classified as independent contractors in the past.  This gives us a timely opportunity to explore other people who perform labor outside of the traditional confines of a regular full or part-time job with benefits.  At first blush it might seem obvious that volunteers should receive protections for their unpaid labor on behalf of the community. Many volunteers certainly do not stop to wonder whether they’re covered by workers compensation. Human nature ensures most of us don’t think about the worst until it happens. It also ensures a sense of trust, a vague idea that if

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New Bill Could End Misclassification of Independent Contractors

By Albert Talone | October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Portable Benefits Act is a proposed piece of legislation which would make it less profitable for companies to misclassify employees. Employers who use 50 or more contractors in twelve consecutive months must contribute funds to a Qualified Benefit Provider. This would be the lesser of $0.25 for every dollar of consumer sales, or $6 per hour worked by each worker, prorated by minute. Thus, it may be cheaper to go ahead and hire whoever they want to use full time. Or, depending on the number of independent contractors used, it may be less expensive to classify them correctly than it would be to inflate the numbers.  Portable benefits could also open up new protections for the over 127,000 temporary workers in New Jersey. Temp workers are already entitled to worker’s compensation under New Jersey law—the temporary agency is supposed to take care of it. That doesn’t mean they always

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Can I See My Own Doctor in a New Jersey’s Worker’s Comp Case?

By Albert Talone | October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

When you’re in the middle of a worker’s compensation case it’s vital to know how to navigate your  medical care. Certain missteps can cause you to take on medical bills worker’s compensation insurance would have paid. In a New Jersey worker’s compensation case, your employer and your insurance company can dictate your medical care, including which doctor you see. If you wanted to use your own doctor, or a doctor from a different insurance network, then you’d have to seek prior authorization from the insurance company. Failing to do so can make you responsible for those bills. The only exception is the ER doctor you receive when you take the initial injury. That doctor can be from any network or hospital and worker’s compensation would still generally be required to pick up that bill. Thus, you should not see your own doctor for any procedures or tests related to your

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Worker’s Comp for Workplace Altercations?

By Albert Talone | September 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

If you read “Does Fault Matter in a NJ Worker’s Comp Case,” then you know worker’s compensation generally will not be awarded in cases where an employee gets injured by violating company policy. This usually includes workplace altercations. However, there are always some exceptions. One exception came up in a case that was decided by the court of appeals earlier this year: Arvind Bhut vs. Aluminum Shapes.  The case was an unusual one. Two employees got into a tense confrontation where, according to the courts, each felt the need to defend themselves from the other. In the course of the conflict, Arvin Bhut injured his shoulder. The court ruled as follows: “The judge of compensation found as fact that neither petitioner nor Stevens intended to hurt the other when they encountered each other outside of the locker room. Stevens’s and petitioner’s actions were merely self-protective. Petitioner swung his arm toward

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Does “Fault” Matter in an NJ Worker’s Compensation Case?

By Albert Talone | September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

In some states, employers and employees can get into protracted battles over whose negligence caused a workplace injury. Not so in New Jersey, which is a no fault state. This means that in New Jersey, it simply doesn’t matter whether you made an honest mistake which contributed to your injury. You are still entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.  The “no fault” provision benefits employers, too. Employees in New Jersey are barred from bringing a personal injury or negligence suit against their employers. They rely on worker’s compensation instead.  Thus, even if your employer decides to dispute your claim the issues of fact will usually be whether you have a permanent disability, to what degree you’re disabled, and whether you could return to work. In some cases the employer will be disputing where and how you took the injury, claiming it did not happen at work or represents a pre-existing condition

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Are You a Misclassified Employee?

By Albert Talone | August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

On August 6 of this year, the governor signed off on the new Wage Theft Law. While this law doesn’t mention worker’s compensation directly, it does draw attention to the fact that employers in New Jersey regularly misclassify workers. The Department of Labor estimates that over 12,000 employees have been misclassified across the state, and that up to 30% of New Jersey employers engage in some form of employee misclassification. They do this by claiming employees as independent contractors.  In addition to helping them skirt wage and overtime laws, misclassification makes it easier for employers to skip out on paying worker’s compensation insurance for those employees.  And while New Jersey does have an Office of Special Compensation Funds to help employees who weren’t covered by employers, you may find yourself in the position of having to prove you were misclassified if you wait until you need that money. It may

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Employers Commit Workman’s Comp Fraud Too

By Albert Talone | August 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

Often, when people start talking about worker’s comp fraud all the focus is on employees who fake injuries, who fail to disclose pre-existing conditions, or who exaggerate the severity of injuries so they can live off workers comp funds without going back to work.  But employers commit fraud as well. And it’s important to realize that filing a claim against your employer can be to your benefit when genuine fraud exists.  They’ve failed to obtain insurance at all. This form of fraud exposes your employer to criminal penalties. According to New Jersey Law, they can be sent to jail for up to 18 months and assessed a $10,000 fine. In the meantime, a fund exists to pay benefits if you are a victim of this kind of fraud, through the Office of Special Compensation Funds. They’ve classified you incorrectly.   In New Jersey employers must obtain worker’s compensation insurance for

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What Happens When a 3rd Party Injures You on the Job in NJ?

By Albert Talone | July 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

Third parties are involved in New Jersey worker’s compensation cases more often than you might think. In fact, one of the jobs your New Jersey worker’s compensation lawyer should be doing is identifying any other third parties who might be involved. For example, if you were driving for work and got into an accident than the third party would be the other driver. If you were using equipment or products on the job and these items injured you because they were defective, the manufacturer of those products is a responsible third party. If a subcontractor failed to follow a safety process and injured you, then the subcontractor becomes the third party. And if you were injured on someone else’s property while working a job for your employer, then the property owner becomes a responsible third party. This is actually good news, though it can make your case a little more

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What to Do If Worker’s Compensation Denies A Medical Procedure

By Albert Talone | July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

One of the most frustrating things about dealing with worker’s compensation is dealing with the insurer itself. It’s not uncommon for your doctor to recommend a treatment, only to have the insurance company deny coverage for it. It seems intensely unfair. How can an insurance adjuster, who never went to medical school, look at you and your doctor and tell you that your procedure isn’t “medically necessary?“ Or, how can they say the procedure that’s been proposed has nothing to do with the injury you took on the job, when it’s so clear and obvious that it has everything to do with it? See also: Repetitive Stress Injuries and NJ Worker’s Comp. The problem is, insurers stay in business by looking for every reason to deny coverage they can find. They aren’t really concerned with straightforward common sense or fairness. They’re concerned with making a case that allows them to

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3 Mistakes That Can Get You Accused of Workman’s Comp Fraud

By Albert Talone | June 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

Workman’s compensation fraud is serious. It is a crime, and it carries steep penalties. Many people immediately think of workers who fake injuries when they think of workman’s compensation fraud. Or workers who claim disabilities well after healing has taken place. And this form of fraud does, in fact, happen. So does a form of fraud perpetrated by employers, who fail to obtain or maintain adequate workman’s comp coverage. But there are simple mistakes that good, honest workers make when they are dealing with workman’s comp that can get them accused of fraud, even if all their actions were innocent. #1) Failing to report changes in employment status. “Misrepresenting your job status while collecting disability benefits” is one of the first definitions of workman’s comp fraud in the statute as written. Any change in work status must be reported both to your employer and to the insurance company. This could

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The Law Office Of Albert J. Talone
The Law Office Of Albert J. Talone is committed to providing for those with Workers Compensation cases throughout New Jersey.
302 N Washington Ave #101
Moorestown
New Jersey
08057
United States

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