Permanent Disability Benefits
On-the-job injuries, including those that result in at least some level of permanent disability, are fairly common in New Jersey. While people in certain occupations may find themselves at a higher risk of serious injuries, anyone can sustain a work-related injury. Fortunately, there are state laws that protect people who are injured at work. Under these laws, there are several different types of benefits that may be available, depending on the level of severity of a worker’s injury. These include medical benefits, temporary disability benefits, and permanent disability benefits. If you have been hurt at work, the experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are here to help guide you through the process of seeking the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.
The good news about filing a workers’ compensation claim is that an injured worker does not need to prove fault or negligence against his or her employer in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This is true regardless of whether a work-related accident results in a temporary and partial disability or a permanent and total disability. The bad news is that the benefits available in a workers’ compensation case may be less generous than the money damages that the worker could potentially receive for a similar injury in a traditional personal injury case. This is because the workers’ compensation system is based on a compromise: simplifying the process for injured workers while limiting the financial liability of employers.Filing a Claim for Permanent Disability Benefits
The first step in a workers’ compensation case is for the injured worker to notify his or her employer of the injury for which benefits are sought. Ideally, this notice should be given to the employee’s supervisor or to someone in the personnel office as soon as possible after the injury. While the employee technically has 90 days in which to give this notice, the wisest course of action is to give immediate notice, if possible. Once the employee has seen a doctor, at the expense of the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier, the employee may be taken off work or given temporary work restrictions, such as light duty. Once the employee has reached a point of maximum medical improvement, he or she may receive a disability rating from his or her treating physician. The employee may opt to obtain an independent medical evaluation as well.
If the injured worker’s physician determines that he or she has suffered some form of permanent disability as a result of a work-related accident, he or she may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. The exact amount due to the worker depends on several factors, including his or her wages at the time of the accident, the part of the body that was injured, the severity of the permanent disability, whether the employee is able to return to work, and more. It can be important for the employee to hire an experienced attorney during the negotiation or adjudication of the percentage of permanent vocational disability so that his or her legal rights are fully protected during this process.Schedule a Consultation with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in New Jersey
There are strict deadlines for filing a claim in a workers’ compensation case. Failing to file a claim for permanent disability benefits within the time allotted by law can result in the denial of an otherwise deserving claim for benefits. If you have been hurt at work, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible so that you can have an experienced advocate looking out for your best interests at every step of the proceedings. (You can be sure that your employer and its insurance company will have plenty of professionals working on their side of the case.) To set up a consultation to talk with a knowledgeable New Jersey attorney, call the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at (800) 999-0897 or contact us online. We represent clients in communities such as Freehold, New Brunswick, Toms River, Jersey City, Plainfield, Trenton, Newark, Paterson, and the surrounding areas of Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, Union, Mercer, Essex, and Passaic Counties.