Monmouth County

NJ Workers’ Compensation Court System

The workers’ compensation law in New Jersey is administered by various workers’ compensation courts. These workers’ compensation courts are not the traditional judicial courts that most people think of. Instead, they are actually administrative law agencies that are under the governance of the state. Each county, with a few exceptions, has its own district office usually in the country seat. In Monmouth County the local district office is located in Freehold.

Each district office has one or more judges along with staff. In Freehold, for instance, there are four judges. There is an administrative supervisory judge in each district as well as other judges who all share the same jurisdictional powers. In Freehold the administrative supervising judge is Lionel Simon, and there are three additional judges who are there on a day in/day out basis. Those three additional judges are Judge Leslie Berich, Judge Watson Berich, who is her husband, and Judge Salvatore Martino.

The day to day operations of the workers’ compensation courts in New Jersey and the cases that are listed before a particular judge at a particular district office are grouped together by the workers’ compensation insurance carriers. Each employer in New Jersey is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. There is a small fraternity of insurance companies that are authorized to write workers’ compensation insurance in the state. Employers therefore will oftentimes have only one insurance company, but that insurance company may have anywhere from 50 or less to 500 or more different employers that they insure for any particular time period. Cases will then be grouped together by which particular attorney is handling the particular insurance company’s list before a particular judge.

Why to Hire a Monmouth County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

All cases in workers’ compensation court that are resolved are done so either through settlement, dismissal, or trial. In a dismissal, the case is dismissed and the court finds that the injured worker is not entitled to further benefits. If a case is settled, this means that there is a resolution that’s agreed upon between the injured worker’s attorney and the insurance company’s attorney. In a trial, evidence is presented to a judge and then the judge makes a determination as to that injured worker’s entitlement to benefits. All three of these potential outcomes need to be approved by a workers’ compensation judge. That is very different than judicial cases which occur outside the workers’ compensation system, as in a traditional personal injury case in New Jersey oftentimes settlements are effectuated with a simple phone call or handshake between attorneys, which becomes binding. That is not the case in workers’ compensation court. Any settlement in workers’ compensation court needs to be approved by a judge of workers’ compensation. For this reason, it is very important to consult an attorney with a proven track record in the workers’ compensation field, such as Daniel Santarsiero at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall.