What steps should I take after a workplace accident?
Each year, hundreds of New Jersey employees are injured while working. Fortunately, every business with employees in New Jersey must have workers’ comp insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees injured on-the-job. If you have been in a workplace accident, it is important that you take the following steps to ensure that you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
Seek medical treatment
It is in your best interest to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after your workplace accident. The medical provider you see should be authorized by your employer, unless it is an emergency situation. You should make sure your doctor is aware of how the accident occurred to come up with an appropriate treatment plan. Once your doctor prescribes treatment, it is important that you follow it. You should also keep copies of all your medical bills and records.
Inform your employer about the accident
Once you have seen a doctor, it is important to report the incident to your employer, preferably in writing, within 90 days of the date of the injury. Your report should contain all the important details about your injury, including the date and time of the incident and the names of any witnesses to the incident. Your employer will then have to submit a First Report of Injury to the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation within 21 days of the filing of your notice.
Wait for an acceptance or rejection of your claim
Following an investigation, your employer will either accept your claim and start paying you benefits or reject your claim. If your claim is rejected, you can apply for an informal hearing or formal claim petition. An attorney can represent you throughout this process.
Appeal, if necessary
If the judge denies your claim petition, you can then appeal your case to Superior Court Appellate Division.
Workers’ compensation benefits can help support workers as they recover from their workplace injuries. A New Jersey attorney specializing in these matters can help you file your claim for benefits and file an appeal if your claim gets denied.