If you suffer a workplace accident the consequences are immediate. After a workplace accident, you need medical attention and time off work – in the event of a serious accident, you need emergency care and weeks (or longer) to recover. These ramifications of an injury or illness are costly and there is every reason to worry about the financial consequences of a workplace accident.
In New Jersey, the state government has recognized the swift and cutting impact of a workplace accident and designed the process for a workers compensation claim to follow suit. An employee is entitled to temporary disability benefits when unable to work for seven days. The first workers compensation check should arrive within two weeks of reporting your workplace accident.
What if this isn’t the case for your workers compensation claim? Some employees wait much longer for their workers compensation claim to begin reimbursement of medical costs or payment of lost wages. At the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone, we take a look at what causes these delays and an employee’s options for getting their workers compensation benefits on time.
Delays by the Insurance Company or Employer
The most common cause of delay to a workers compensation claim is the insurance company. Employers in New Jersey are required to carry workers compensation insurance. These insurance policies protect the employer from exceptional costs, in the event of a workplace injury, but also provide assurance to the employee that a workers compensation claim will …Read More
In New Jersey, an employee injured at work should first and foremost tell an employer about the accident, incident or illness. Employers in New Jersey are required to have workers’ compensation insurance that reimburses an employee’s medical expenses and pays benefits after an injury. Once an employer knows about your injury, it has a responsibility to start the claims process with the insurance provider.
In most cases, the employer makes the appropriate phone calls to the insurance company and files the correct paperwork. The average employee injured at work in New Jersey encounters very few problems receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In these uncontested situations, an employee may ask initial questions of an attorney regarding what to tell an insurance provider, how to complete required paperwork, and what to expect throughout the process.
Employee Injured at Work & Pushback on Workers’ Compensation
Other employees receive deferment, delay and denial from their employer or the insurance provider. An employer may argue that the accident occurred outside of work or was the result of recreational activities. Some situations, such as repetitive motion injuries and cumulative trauma are harder for an employee to prove, and an insurance company may inappropriately pushback on these claims.
When an employee injured at work receives pushback or denial of a workers’ compensation claim, the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law provides separate paths for employees to obtain appropriate and entitled benefits.
Filing for an Informal Hearing
An employer injured at work can file with the New Jersey Department …Read More
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics nursing has one of the highest rates of occupational injuries in the United States. In New Jersey, nurses that work in hospitals are more likely to be injured than employees in most other professions. In fact, there are only five jobs more prone to non-fatal injuries than working as a health care professional.
While the vast majority of nursing injuries in New Jersey are non-fatal, employees can still incur extensive medical costs seeking treatment. Therefore, the consistent rise in injuries among nurses is of concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and certain state agencies. Plus, employees in the medical profession are concerned with the regularity in which nurses are injured.
Many people wonder why so many New Jersey nurses are hurt on the job and what to do if they suffer a nursing injury.
Nursing Injuries Arise from a Variety of Sources
Each year a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney will represent nurses injured on the job in hospitals, nursing home, psychiatric facilities and private homes. Nurses face multiple risks of injury in the workplace. On a regular basis, nurses claim workers compensation for slips and falls, collisions, lifting, pushing, illnesses, and other sources of injury.
It is apparent from the statistics that nursing injuries in New Jersey arise from a variety of health complications and incidents. This makes it more difficult for hospitals and other employers, to address the underlying cause of nursing injuries.
Many employers are implementing …Read More
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 …Read More
In our last blog post we discussed two ways settlement arrangements are reached in workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey. For many parties, these settlements have a sense of finality and conclusion. In some cases, this is true, and the claim cannot be reevaluated at a later date. However, The Law Offices of Albert J. Talone have represented quite a few clients in the instances when settlement was not the end of claim for an injured worker.
If you missed our last post, let’s catch-up quickly. There are two ways to settle a workers’ compensation case in New Jersey. Both offer pros and cons that should be considered by an injured employee and his or her legal representative. Sometimes, refusing to settle is the best strategy. However, when settlement is on the table, one of the major distinctions between types of settlement is whether or not you can reopen the claim.
First, When Settlement Is Final
When the parties agree to a lump sum, single payment as settlement of a workers’ compensation case, the amount paid is final. Referred to as Section 20 settlements, because this is the Section of the Workers’ Compensation Act in New Jersey that dictates the conditions of these payments, these one-off payments are typically preferred by employers and their insurance companies. Those parties know that even if a medical condition worsens or more doctors’ visits are needed, the amount cannot be adjusted.
As the employee is barred from reopening the claim, there is some risk …Read More
While certain jobs and job-related activities have inherent risks, a number of workplace injuries happen when employees do not or cannot follow workplace safety policies and procedures. Often, these accidents happen when there is improper training of an employee for his or her role or when mental factors prevent an employee from operating at 100% while on the job.
It is incredibly common for an employee to say, “I just wasn’t thinking straight,” or “I was stressed and trying to rush,” after an accident occurs. When a workplace injury happens for these reasons, many employees and employers want to know how the employee’s mental state or mental fatigue may affect a workers’ compensation claim.
Underlying Cause of a Workplace Injury
Lawyers and workers’ compensation insurance companies frequently discuss the most common types of injuries that occur at work. In New Jersey, similar to the rest of the country, employees are injured by overexertion, a slip, trip, or fall, or being struck by an object or piece of equipment. It is important for a workers’ compensation claim to know exactly how an employee was injured. Yet, the underlying cause for an accident or injury can be overlooked.
Mental fatigue, stress, sleepiness, and anxiety all negatively impact an employee’s performance. These mental factors will manifest themselves at work in a lack of focus, inability to address details, or lack of thoroughness. All of these effects can have serious consequences for employees and employers. Despite this, sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and anxiety …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