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NEW JERSEY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER

A Workplace Injury Can Have Severe Consequences & Our Highly Skilled NJ Workers Compensation Lawyers Will Ensure That Your Rights Are Fully Protected. An attorney with decades of experience is available to take your call immediately at
(877) 450-8301.
Medical Benefits
Income Benefits
Permanent Disability
Total Disability Claims
Death And Dependent Benefits
Third Party Claims

New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured in the workplace, the workers compensation attorneys at our firm have the tools to ensure that you receive the medical, lost income and permanency benefits that you are entitled to under the New Jersey Workers Compensation Laws. Our team is led by Dan Santarsiero, a certified civil trial attorney who has been representing injured workers for almost thirty (30) years throughout the state. Dan or another lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is fully prepared to answer your questions and provide any other guidance that you require in a free initial consultation. Lawyers are available 24/7 at 877-450-8301 to take your call. We also encourage you to review the workers compensation resources contained on this site.

How Does The New Jersey Workers Compensation System Work?

Our Skilled NJ Compensation Attorneys Will Fight To Make A Full Recovery of Your Lost Wages, the Medical Treatment You Need & the Permanency Award Provided By Law

The framework of laws that make up the NJ workers compensation system are designed to protect employees injured in the workplace (i.e. “on the job”) by providing a framework for immediate medical treatment, income benefits and compensation for permanent injury. Coverage is afforded on a no-fault system basis with no need for the worker to establish fault. This is the exclusive remedy available to an employee injured during the course of employment.

The relief provided by the Workers Compensation system is administrative in nature. There is no lawsuit that is filed but rather a claim petition that requests relief by a worker. Every employer is supposed to possess workers compensation insurance to compensate an employee who is injured on the job.

Every county in the state has its own Workers Compensation Court where all legal issues associated with a claim petition are decided. There are no juries empaneled to decide a case. All factual and legal issues are decided by a compensation judge without assistance of a jury. Dan Santarsiero has considerable experience handling cases in the Workers Compensation Division, including in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Somerset County, Essex County and Union County.

INCOME BENEFITS

“Getting seriously injured at work is something that can be jarring enough on it’s own, then to have to navigate NJ’s extremely complicated Workman’s Comp system all by yourself.Daniel Santarsiero was referred to me shortly after a work related accident and from the day of our very first meeting, I was never less than 100% satisfied with his services! ”

- Peter

Injuries Must Arise Out Of The Course Of Employment To Result In Compensation

“Arising out of or in the course of employment” are the magic words that were set up by our lawmakers when the Workers Compensation Act was first established over a hundred years ago. There are two requirements for workplace accident to arise during the course of employment. First, the injury must happen while the employee is performing his work duties. The second requirement for an injury to be compensable is the existence of a causal relationship between an injury and employment. The but for test is often employed in this context; namely, would the injury have been sustained but for the workers employment? The coming and going rule often crops up in this context. This principle provides that an employee is not acting in the course of employment when he or she is coming or going to the workplace. An accident driving to or from work typically falls outside the workers compensation system but there are exceptions in this regard. For example, an employer provided parking lot is considered an extension of the workplace so an injury sustained on the related property is compensable. The result is that a slip and fall that occurs in the parking lot or car accident on the property will usually falling within the ambit of a valid workers compensation claim.

The main point to keep in mind if you believe you may have an issue concerning your injury arising during the course of employment is that the law interprets this principle broadly. Oftentimes you’ll see strange fact patterns decided in an injured worker’s favor to enable the Workers Compensation Act to protect as many people as it was originally intended to protect. Representation by a savvy workers compensation attorney is important to your establishing compensability. The lawyers at our firm can thoroughly and skillfully protect your interests.

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NJ Workers’ Compensation Benefits Explained

The Workers Compensation Act provides coverage for necessary medical care, temporary disability income benefits and permanent disability. The headings that follow discuss each of these subjects in more detail. You are encouraged to call our office at 877-450-8301 if you have any questions or need assistance with a workers compensation claim.

Medical Treatment. In a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation case, there are three benefits. Each of those benefits involves a lot of different things involved in each one, so let’s unpack each one. The first benefit is you’re entitled to have all of your medical care paid for by the Workers’ Compensation insurance company. That means there’s no copayment and no deductible. Whatever medical care is required, the Workers’ Compensation insurance company is required to provide it. The drawback to this system is that the Workers’ Compensation insurance company does get to select the doctor or the doctors who are treating the injured worker. In other words in exchange for having healthcare provided to the injured worker, the injured worker gives up the right to select the doctor of his or her choosing.

Wage Replacement Benefits. The second benefit provided to an injured worker is wage replacement benefits. These benefits are known in the law as total temporary disability benefits. Lawyers who handle these types of claims commonly refer to that type of benefit as TTD. T for total, T for temporary, D for disability. The law requires that someone who was unable to work as a result of a work related accident, or who was recuperating from an authorized medical procedure that was required due to a work related injury, is entitled to receive total temporary disability benefits. Those benefits are 70% of that person’s gross weekly wage.  That’s gross weekly wage. In other words, before taxes are taken out. There are certain exceptions to that rule. There are certain maximums and certain minimums, but by and large, this system is a 70% payment based upon that person’s gross weekly wage, and that’s a weekly payment.

Permanency Award. The third benefit provided is an award for the permanent disability that result from a work related accident.  Once a worker has completed his or her medical treatment and is discharged by the treating doctor(s), that person is then evaluated so that his or her disability rating can be determined.  Each disability rating corresponds to a dollar amount, based on the body part or system involved and the percentage of disability. The general rule regarding such awards is that less severe injuries are awarded less significant sums of money and more significant injuries are awarded more significant sums of money.  Additionally, there are special rules involving persons with prior injuries or limitations. All in all, the selection of the right attorney is extremely important regarding this type of benefit as no two injuries are alike and similar injuries may impact different workers differently.

Do I Have An Injury That Is Covered By Workers Compensation?

A wide spectrum of injuries can result in workers compensation benefits. The first category of compensable injuries are those resulting from a single traumatic event such as an automobile crash, slip and fall, lifting or bending. A workers compensation claim can also result from injuries that occurred over a long period of time rather than a single accident or occurrence.

Occupational Exposure Cases. Non-accident cases are commonly referred to as occupational exposure cases. Occupational exposure cases can involve body parts such as necks and backs and shoulders and knees from repetitive bending or kneeling, or repetitive lifting, or repetitive carrying, or repetitive climbing. But they also can involve body systems, such as the respiratory system where someone may be in an environment where they’re continually breathing in chemicals or other harmful substances, and as a result develop some sort of lung dysfunction. Or even worse, some sort of a disease process.

Similarly, injuries to other body systems are compensable.  Such systems include neurological (or nerve) problems, psychiatric problems, pulmonary problems involving the lungs, cardiac problems involving the heart, or even the development of disease, such as cancer, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. All of these ailments are recognized by the workers’ compensation system.

Injuries Resulting in Total Disability. There is a special area of the workers’ compensation system that deals with seriously injured workers. Those are injuries which result in either total disability or death. Total disability in the workers’ compensation system tends to have a different meaning from what people traditionally associate with this term. In this context, the term refers to someone who has been rendered unable to resume work at any time. For example, a factory worker who sustains a significant work injury rendering him incapable of doing his job yet still able to work three or four hours a week as a clerk or in some other context, would not be permanently disabled for purposes of worker compensation. Someone must be injured to a degree that makes them unable to continue to work in any job in order to be awarded total disability.

The benefits that are provided to a totally disabled person under the Workers’ Compensation system in New Jersey are lifetime benefits. And what I mean by that is if you are found to be totally (100%)  disabled, you’re entitled to get a weekly amount for the rest of your life, depending on the amount of wages that you had earned during the course of your employment. For more information on permanent disability claims, click here.

Death (Dependency) Cases. An unfortunate fact of life in this country is that sometimes a work related accident can take a loved one’s life.  In New Jersey, the families of such workers are protected. Those workers who die as a result of a work accident are entitled to have their families and their dependents compensated for such a horrible loss. Those types of claims are referred to as dependency claims and there are special rules associated with bringing a dependency action. But if the injured worker died as a result of his or her work injuries and it can be shown that they have family members or other persons who are dependent upon them for support, those family members and dependents are entitled to be protected.  In New Jersey, the law recognizes spouses and minor children as automatically qualifying for dependency benefits. Dependency benefits are weekly payments that are based in part upon the prior wage history of the deceased worker.

There are also other types of persons who can qualify as a dependent, other than spouses and minor children. So if a deceased worker had a distant relative who was dependent on that worker, that dependent would be entitled to compensation for an extended period of time as well. Those payments also will be weekly payments that will correspond to the amount of money that had been earned by that worker prior to his or her death. For more information regarding this death and dependency claims read more.

Second Injury Fund for Workers with Pre-existing Disabilities. There’s also a very interesting area of the law which allows for someone to be found totally disabled when the injuries that were sustained at work combined with a certain pre-existing injuries lead to that result. That’s called the Second Injury Fund. And I’d like to talk a little bit about the history of that fund.

Prior to the enactment of the Second Injury Fund provision in the Workers’ Compensation system, it was common for workers to suffer serious injuries and then need to go back into the workforce. And since we’re talking about 40, 50, and 60 years ago, one has to remember that the workforce was a lot different than it is now. Most of the jobs that existed back then involved physical labor, very physically demanding jobs, in places that weren’t always the safest work sites. New Jersey in the early and mid 1900’s was very industrial.  Workers were hurt in factories, canneries, construction sites, assembly-line plants, smelting plants, and quarries. Workers in all those types of environments would often times get hurt, partly due to the nature of those jobs and partly due to the fact that safety systems weren’t as effective as they are now.

So you would oftentimes have somebody who suffered an injury while on the job, received medical treatment, and as a result of that injury had some sort of residual physical problem. That person would then need to go back to work to try to support his or her family. They would go to a different employer, and that different employer would review that person’s resume, take him in for an interview, and notice that the worker had some sort of pre-existing disability.

So what was happening is you had a very large pool of seriously hurt workers who still needed to work to support themselves and their families, but could not find jobs because other employers would look at that person and say, “Hey, I think Mr. Smith is qualified to do this job, but I can see from our interview that he has a severe limp on one side. And I know it’s only a matter of time if he’s doing this physically demanding job that he’s going to suffer a different injury, and I don’t want to be the employer that ends up having to pay total disability benefits to this worker for the rest of his or her life.”

So our lawmakers realized that this was an area that needed to be corrected and set up the Second Injury Fund. That’s a special department of the state that deals with just those types of circumstances, where you have someone who has a pre-existing problem, it could be a pre-existing work injury, or it could be something that’s totally unrelated to a work injury. For instance you can have someone that has a pre-existing heart condition, or a pre-existing history of diabetes or high blood pressure, and as a result of a new work-related accident is unable to work. So you have a new work accident involving someone’s shoulder that requires surgery, but due to the fact that the person already had a pre-existing back problem, and already had been a surgical candidate for that pre-existing back problem, now has two injured body parts together making that person totally disabled. In that type of circumstance, the Second Injury Fund, that special department in the state, would contribute toward any total disability payments, thus making it more palatable for New Jersey employers to hire previously injured workers and be more willing to agree to pay total disability benefits in the event that a worker does suffer a subsequent injury that leads to total disability.

Medical Treatment. In a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation case, there are three benefits. Each of those benefits involves a lot of different things involved in each one, so let’s unpack each one. The first benefit is you’re entitled to have all of your medical care paid for by the Workers’ Compensation insurance company. That means there’s no copayment and no deductible. Whatever medical care is required, the Workers’ Compensation insurance company is required to provide it. The drawback to this system is that the Workers’ Compensation insurance company does get to select the doctor or the doctors who are treating the injured worker. In other words in exchange for having healthcare provided to the injured worker, the injured worker gives up the right to select the doctor of his or her choosing.

Wage Replacement Benefits. The second benefit provided to an injured worker is wage replacement benefits. These benefits are known in the law as total temporary disability benefits. Lawyers who handle these types of claims commonly refer to that type of benefit as TTD. T for total, T for temporary, D for disability. The law requires that someone who was unable to work as a result of a work related accident, or who was recuperating from an authorized medical procedure that was required due to a work related injury, is entitled to receive total temporary disability benefits. Those benefits are 70% of that person’s gross weekly wage.  That’s gross weekly wage. In other words, before taxes are taken out. There are certain exceptions to that rule. There are certain maximums and certain minimums, but by and large, this system is a 70% payment based upon that person’s gross weekly wage, and that’s a weekly payment.

Permanency Award. The third benefit provided is an award for the permanent disability that result from a work related accident.  Once a worker has completed his or her medical treatment and is discharged by the treating doctor(s), that person is then evaluated so that his or her disability rating can be determined.  Each disability rating corresponds to a dollar amount, based on the body part or system involved and the percentage of disability. The general rule regarding such awards is that less severe injuries are awarded less significant sums of money and more significant injuries are awarded more significant sums of money.  Additionally, there are special rules involving persons with prior injuries or limitations. All in all, the selection of the right attorney is extremely important regarding this type of benefit as no two injuries are alike and similar injuries may impact different workers differently.

Are There Some Jobs That Result In Workers Compensation Cases More Than Others?

There are certain occupations in the state that lead to more frequent claims. The construction trades are probably top of the list when it comes to dangerous occupations. People who work at heights such as roofers and siders often suffer significant injuries when accidents happen. People who are involved in operating heavy equipment oftentimes have significant injuries when they’re involved in accidents. People who are involved in excavations where they’re working below the ground oftentimes suffer serious injuries when they’re involved in accidents.  Finally, prison and jail guards, due to their dangerous surroundings, also oftentimes suffer serious injuries.

Additionally, people whose livelihood depends on them using their car or truck work vehicle frequently also suffer significant injuries when involved in accidents. For instance, police officers who are required to drive as part of their daily routine are much more likely to be involved in a car crash than someone who sits at a desk for a normal eight-hour work shift.

Health care workers (such as nursing home workers, home health aides, and hospital nurses) oftentimes suffer serious injuries due to the physical nature of their job. Car mechanics and others in the service industries also oftentimes suffer serious injuries as a result of the nature of their job duties.

Undocumented Workers. You may have an employee who thought legitimately that he or she was an on-the-books employee and legitimately thought that the employer officially categorized him or her as an employee.  Only after some sort of claim occurs do they realize that they were not on the books. It doesn’t matter. That’s the employer’s problem to deal with, not the injured worker.

Similarly, even if the injured worker was off the books and knew that he or she was off the books, that too is the employer’s problem. It’s not the injured worker’s problem. Those employees are entitled to all the same types of benefits and all the same remedies which we have been discussing. Just as if they had been working on the books for 45 years with the same employer.

Is It Possible For Me To Sue A Third Party In Addition to Filing A Workers Compensation Petition?

The are many instances where an employee will have not only a workers compensation claim but also the ability to seek compensation from a third party who contributed in causing his or her injury. This is customarily referred to as a third party claim and allows that worker to recover classic personal injury damages, including pain and suffering resulting from an workplace accident.

Examples of Third Party Claims

A common example of where third party claims occur is a construction accident. There are often many subcontractors that work on a job site and when one of those entities causes or contributes to an accident that results in injury to an employee of a different company, there is the potential for recovery in a third party claim. The workers compensation bar only protects the employer so the actions of a third party like another subcontractor at the job site, would not be protected. The result is the possibility of recovery for pain and suffering, something not available in the workers compensation court, from the responsible third party. Another consideration in this example is the fact that a general contractor has responsibility for safety of the entire job site. If the employee of a subcontractor is injured because of a safety deficiency at the site, a potential third party claim exists against the general contractor.
Another example to help people understand would be a car crash case. For instance, I could be driving to the courthouse tomorrow morning. While I’m on my way there, I stop at a red light. There may be some person behind me who decides that it’s more important to text and drive than to simply pay attention to the road. As a result, that person isn’t looking up and smashes into the back of my car. I would have two cases: I have case against my employer, because I was in the course of my employment driving to the courthouse. That would the Workers Compensation case. I would also have a case against the person who wasn’t paying attention and was texting and driving and that would be a third party case outside of the Workers’ Compensation system. You would have two different cases in this scenario, namely, a workers compensation claim and third party claim.

As indicated, these non Workers’ Compensation cases are called third party cases, because the other person or company involved is not the employer. The law in New Jersey specifically allows an injured worker to have both types of cases at the same time. Because of the special circumstances involved in such a situation where you have two different cases involving the same set of facts that are going on at the same time, it’s very important to have an attorney who is familiar not only with the Workers’ Compensation system, but to also make sure that attorney is also a civil trial attorney who is familiar with the separate court system which is outside the specialized Workers’ Compensation court system.

The system outside of the Workers Compensation is normally called the civil justice system. It’s important to have an attorney who is familiar with both and who handles both types of cases on a frequent basis.

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CONTACT A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW ATTORNEY

At the Law Offices of John F. Marshall located in Freehold, Hackensack, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Newark, Paterson, Somerville, Toms River, and Trenton, New Jersey, our workers compensation attorney Daniel Santarsiero and our staff are committed to helping employees injured on the job, whether as a result of workplace accidents or occupational diseases. If you have been injured in a workplace accident it is important to have a lawyer review your claim to see that you are being treated fairly and to ensure that you receive full compensation for your injury claim. Please call 877-450-8301 or e-mail our office to arrange a free consultation.

CONTACT A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW ATTORNEY

At the Law Offices of John F. Marshall located in Freehold, Hackensack, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Newark, Paterson, Somerville, Toms River, and Trenton, New Jersey, our workers compensation attorney Daniel Santarsiero and our staff are committed to helping employees injured on the job, whether as a result of workplace accidents or occupational diseases. If you have been injured in a workplace accident it is important to have a lawyer review your claim to see that you are being treated fairly and to ensure that you receive full compensation for your injury claim. Please call 877-450-8301 or e-mail our office to arrange a free consultation.

READY FOR LEGAL ADVICE?

Fill in the form below and an attorney will be in touch with you shortly.

Locations Served by Our Workers Compensation Lawyers

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS TO BETTER SERVE YOU

Freehold Office
4400 U.S. 9 #1000a
Freehold, NJ 07728
(732) 462-1197

Toms River Office
250 Washington St
Toms River, NJ 08753
(732) 286-6500

New Brunswick Office
75 Paterson St
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 246-7126

Elizabeth Office
9 Caldwell Pl #12
Elizabeth, NJ 07083
(908) 988-4804

Trenton Office
247 E Front St.
Trenton, NJ 08611
(609) 549-2270

Somerville Office
50 Division St Suite 501
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 206-4238

Jersey City Office
160 Greene Street, Harborside Financial Center, Plaza 5
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 309-0500

Newark Office
1 Center St #2600
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 710-1520

Hackensack Office
411 Hackensack Ave #200
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(201) 429-9783