In New Jersey, there are several procedural and factual barriers that an injured employee must overcome to have a successful workers’ compensation claim. There include providing proper notification of an injury, filing a claim within the required period of time, and bringing a case in the state with proper jurisdiction to determine an outcome. All of these procedural requirements must be met before an injured worker even gets a hearing date.
An upcoming case before the New Jersey Supreme Court takes a look at the parameters and requirements for one of these procedural requirements – jurisdiction.
The Facts of Williams v. Raymours Furniture Co Inc
In August the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Keith Williams v. Raymours Furniture Co Inc. It is a case that began when Mr. Williams accepted a job back in 2014. Williams lived in New Jersey, and it is from his home in the state that he accepted a position at a warehouse in Suffern, New York. This is where Mr. Williams exclusively worked for Raymours Furniture.
During the course of his employment at the warehouse, Mr. Williams tripped and fractured his elbow. It was a serious injury that left Williams unable to work, and the New York Workers’ Compensation Board readily approved his application filing for medical treatment and indemnity benefits.
The New York workers’ compensation benefits eventually ended. At this time, Mr. Williams filed a claim with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation for partial permanent disability …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
If you are injured playing basketball with friends and fracture your arm, you need health insurance to help cover the medical bills from hospital visit or expenses for other care. Depending on your health insurance plan, there are many in New Jersey, you may pay a certain portion of these expenses “out of pocket.”
If you are working as a bartender and fall on the wet floor, fracturing your arm, you are entitled to workers’ compensation to cover the medical expenses. Workers’ compensation is mandated by New Jersey law, but provided through your employer. In New Jersey, nearly all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover these incidents. Therefore, a form of insurance also covers these expenses.
While these examples show the basic difference between health insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, the questions and interworking of these two insurance plans are much more in-depth.
If I am Injured at Work, Do I Need Health Insurance?
Currently, the majority of United States citizens are required to have health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. To remain compliant with federal law, you probably need health insurance, whether or not you are injured at work.
When it comes specifically to work-related injuries, workers’ compensation will cover these costs. That is why it is essential to document injuries and Of course, there are always contentious cases. An employer or insurance provider may argue that an injury wasn’t actually sustained at work or wasn’t in the …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 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
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
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