Becoming ill or getting injured on the job presents a unique set of legal situations and questions. Understanding the typical process of a workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey can be beneficial for giving you all the information you need to know about filing a claim.
In order to obtain the benefits under the workers’ compensation system, you need to follow the New Jersey rules carefully and file a claim immediately.
Since your employer requires it and since you’ll likely want to get benefits as soon as possible, do not wait to file a workers’ compensation claim. Even if you’re not yet sure whether you’ll be filing an official claim, your employer needs to know about the situation.
Your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you because of your intention to file a claim or the action of actually filing one.
Officially Filing a Claim
As soon as possible after the injury or illness, you need to get medical care. It is then your responsibility to notify your employer right away.Your employer should cooperate with you in filing the claim. Your employer is likely to have specific forms for you to fill out or can point you in the right direction.
In the event that your claim is not disputed by the insurance carrier or the employer, it will then be approved and an insurance company adjuster will be in touch with you or your employer about how to submit your medical bills for payment.
In the best case scenario, you will be able to submit your workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits shortly thereafter. However, in certain situations, there can be significant delays or even claim denials that can push back your ability to receive benefits. In this situation, you need to consult with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney Now
Even if you are awarded benefits, the insurance company might disagree with whether or not you’re entitled to a settlement once you achieve maximum medical improvement.Most workers filing a claim don’t realize the long-term implications of failing to hire a workers’ comp attorney.
A workers’ comp attorney can help you address these complicated and important issues. When a doctor says that you have reached maximum medical improvement, this is the stage at which your injuries have recovered and healed as much as they are going to heal.
This often does not mean that your injuries are totally healed. As a patient who has achieved MMI, you may still be unable to return to work and you may have numerous complications, including pain, affecting your everyday life.
A workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine the specific problems associated with your claim in order to increase the chances that you will receive benefits.
Having an attorney that you’ve already formed a relationship with can be extremely beneficial in the event that your claim is denied. It can be frustrating to learn that your claim has been denied even if you feel that your injuries are quite obvious and severe. If your claim is denied, consult with your attorney about the next steps.
What Kind of Benefits Can I Get with a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Injured employees may be entitled to receive:
- Temporary benefits for employees who have been excused from work for more than 7 days on physician orders can receive up to 70% of his or her average weekly wage for the statutory period or until he or she returns to work.
- Medical benefits or reasonable medical expenses associated with the injury can be requested until the employee reaches maximum medical improvement or goes beyond the statutory period.
If you have recently suffered injuries as a result of an accident that happened on the job or an illness you contracted on the job, speaking with legal counsel as soon as possible is the best way to protect yourself.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Claim Lawyer
Cases that are denied need to go through administrative hearings and having an attorney advise you about this process and walk you through the stages can be beneficial.
Small missteps made on your part can lead to significant delays or even denials having an attorney who is familiar with the New Jersey compensation system, however, can put you in the best possible position to succeed.