Denial and Delay of Claims
When a person suffers a workplace injury or contracts an occupational disease, it is critical for the person to begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible. While many workers’ compensation claims are handled in a prompt manner, some workers’ compensation insurers delay evaluating claims or unjustly deny claims. If you filed a workers’ compensation claim, and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer has not responded to your claim or denied your claim without a valid reason, it is essential to speak with a knowledgeable attorney regarding your rights. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our dedicated New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers are skilled at handling issues related to the denial and delay of claims, and we will zealously pursue any benefits that you may be able to recover.Penalties for a Delayed Claim
If you are injured at work, you must notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible, or no more than 14 days after the injury. If an employer receives notice within 30 days of an injury, however, it cannot argue that late or defective notice exempts it from paying the claim unless it can show prejudice caused by the delay. Similarly, if an employer receives notice of a claim within 90 days, if the employee can show that the failure to provide timely notice was due to a mistake, inability, or any other reasonable excuse, an employer must pay benefits unless it shows that it was prejudiced by the failure to receive timely notice.
Thus, if an employer’s workers’ compensation insurer receives proper notice of an injury, but it negligently refuses to pay or delays paying temporary disability compensation, or negligently or unreasonably delays the denial of a claim, the insurer must pay the injured employee additional funds in the amount of 25% of the amount due, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees caused by the delay or refusal. Under New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Law, a delay of 30 days or more creates a rebuttable presumption that the conduct of the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer was negligent and unreasonable.Options Following the Denial and Delay of Claims
Generally, if you were denied workers’ compensation benefits, it is prudent to retain an attorney to assist you in filing a formal Claim Petition with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. A Claim Petition must be filed within two years from the date of your injury, or two years from the date of your last payment of compensation, which includes employer-authorized medical treatment, whichever is later. In cases involving occupational illnesses, Claim Petitions must be filed within two years of when the employee became aware of his or her illness and its relation to his or her employment. Within six months of when your Claim Petition is filed, a workers’ compensation judge will hold a hearing on the matter, during which you can present evidence. If the judge does not rule in your favor, you can appeal his or her decision to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to file a Claim Petition, you may file an application for an informal hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. During the informal hearing, the judge will weigh the evidence but will not issue a formal decision. If the judge does not rule in your favor, you may still file a Claim Petition, as long as you are within the two-year filing deadline.Contact a Work Injury Attorney
When a person suffers a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation benefits can provide much-needed relief. If your claim for workers’ compensation benefits was delayed or denied, it is imperative to confer with an attorney who is experienced in issues related to the denial and delay of claims. The capable workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are experienced in helping people fight for the workers’ compensation benefits that they are owed. We represent people in workers’ compensation matters throughout New Jersey, including in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, and Union Counties. You can contact us at 877-450-8301 or through the online form to arrange a meeting.