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 contact the provider.
The alternative is an employee can file a workers’ compensation claim with the state of New Jersey. An employee may need to take this action if an employer is self-insured or illegally uninsured, in terms of workers’ compensation. Navigating this process often requires the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Benefits are Delayed or Denied by an Insurance Provider
After an employer reports an injury to its insurance provider, the insurance company will interview the employee, speak with the employer, and investigate the claim. This is separate from the legal process undertaken by the Division of Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey, but a private investigation by the insurance provider. The insurance company will make a determination on the employee’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits and what benefits to offer.
If an employee disagrees with the amount or finds the determination of benefits unfair, he or she must file a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. This is also true if the insurance provider denies workers’ comp benefits entirely. It can be a fight to receive full workers’ comp benefits, but a lawyer can assist with the process.
As well, an employer or insurance provider is not allowed to unreasonably delay or deny a claim. In most instances, employees can expect to receive benefits within two weeks, but there are times the process takes longer. A delay is unreasonable after 30 days. There are financial penalties imposed on an employer or insurance provider who unreasonably refuses benefits by denial or delay; possibly, 25% of the amount owed to an employee.
Finding a Lawyer After Delay or Denial of Workers’ Comp
If you are experiencing difficulties, delay, or were denied a request for workers’ compensation after a workplace injury, it is time to speak with a New Jersey lawyer. The Law offices of Albert J. Talone have handled these issues, and other legal questions regarding workers’ compensation for many years. Call our office at (856)-234-4023 to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer today.