If you were injured on the job (even if it was your fault) you may be entitled to Worker’s Compensation Benefits. This is because New Jersey is a no-fault state and all workers are entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault. New Jersey’s Worker’s Compensation laws also provide death benefits to dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment.
At Gale & Laughlin we will make sure that you receive any medical benefits, temporary benefits and permanent disability benefits that you deserve.
All consultations for worker’s compensation cases are FREE.
Worker’s Compensation is an insurance system for employees, who are injured while doing their jobs. The Worker’s Compensation program pays benefits to assist injured workers with medical expenses and lost wages from on-the-job injuries. Most Workers’ Compensation cases involve the employer’s insurance company not the employer. The insurance company, not the employer, decides how to respond to the claims of the injured party.
Worker’s Compensation covers injuries that arise out of, and in the scope and course of, employment. This may include injuries caused by accidents on the job as well as by constant or repetitive work stresses – “repetitive trauma injuries.”
The most common on-the-job injuries Worker’s Compensation includes are:
- Overexertion – excessive lifting, pulling, pushing, holding, carrying or throwing
- Being Struck by an Object
- Bodily Reaction – injury caused by bending, climbing, reaching, sitting, slipping, standing or tripping without falling
- Back Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
- Respiratory Injuries
- Motor Vehicle Accident
- Being Caught in, under or Between Equipment or Objects
- Assault by Another Person
- Contact with Extreme Temperatures
- Defective Products
A worker should inform his/her employer about any accident as soon as possible, including that it occurred while on the job, where and when it occurred. Notice to the employer need not be in writing.
If you need medical treatment you should also request this from your employer as soon as possible.
Any previous injuries will be considered when calculating Worker’s Compensation Benefits.
Worker’s Compensation Benefits
Worker’s Compensation Benefits available in New Jersey include:
- All necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions and hospitalization services related to the work injury are paid by the employer’s insurance carrier or employer if they are self-insured.
- Your employer has the right to designate the authorized treating physician for all work related injuries. The exceptions are when the employer inappropriately refuses to provide medical treatment or if an emergency exists.
Temporary Total Disability:
- These benefits are provided during the period of time when the worker is unable to work and is under active medical care. Benefits are usually terminated when the worker is released to return to work in some capacity or if he/she has reached the Maximum Medical Improvement (when additional treatment will no longer improve the medical condition of the worker).
- If an injured worker is disabled for a period of more than seven (7) days, he/she will be eligible to receive Temporary Total Benefits at a rate of 70% their average weekly wage, not to exceed 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage or fall below the minimum rate of 20% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage.
Permanent Partial Disability:
- When a job related injury or illness results in a partial permanent disability, benefits are based upon a percentage of certain scheduled or non-scheduled losses. These benefits are paid weekly and are due after the date temporary disability ends.
- A scheduled loss involves: arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth.
- A non-scheduled loss involves any area or system of the body not specifically identified in the schedule such as: back, heart and lungs.
Permanent Total Disability
- When a work injury or illness prevents a worker from returning to any type of gainful employment. These benefits are paid weekly based upon 70% of the average weekly wage, not to exceed 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage or fall below the minimum rate of 20% the Statewide Average Weekly Wage.
- These weekly benefits are provided initially for a period of 450 weeks. The benefits continue beyond the initial 450 week period provided the injured worker is able to show that he/she remains unable to earn wage.
- Wages earned after the 450 week offset the weekly computation in proportion to the income at the time of the injury. If you are unable to return to any type of work due to the work-related injury. These benefits are usually 70% of your gross average weekly wage and are available for life.
- Permanent Total Disability is presumed when the worker has lost two (2) major members or a combination of members of the body such as eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet.
- These are for dependents (surviving spouse/children) of a worker who dies because of a work related injury or illness. The weekly benefits are 70% of the weekly wage of the deceased worker, not to exceed the maximum benefit amount established annually by the Commissioner of Labor. The benefit amount is divided by the surviving dependents as determined by a judge after a hearing on the extent of dependency.
- Children who are deemed to be a dependent remain so until the age of 18 years or if a full-time student, until the age of 23.
Statute of Limitations
There is a 2 year Statute of Limitations in Worker’s Compensation Cases. A form claim and petition must be filed within 2 years of the date of injury or the date of last payment compensation, whichever is later.
In cases of occupational illness the claim petition must be filed within 2 years from the date the worker first became aware of the condition and its relationship to employment.
When the Worker’s Compensation settlement is put on the record the worker will be advised, among other things, that he/she may, within 2 years after the last payment of benefits, re-open the case. However, if no treatment is sought for 2 years after the settlement check arrives he/she will be barred from reopening the case.
Effective Legal Counsel
All employers are required to have Worker’s Compensation insurance and we will make sure that they pay for your injuries. For decades the injured throughout Monmouth County, Middlesex County and Ocean County have been coming to us for assistance. If you have been injured on the job, contact us for a free case evaluation.
All consultations for worker’s compensation cases are FREE.