If you or a loved one has recently been injured on the job, you probably have a lot of questions about your legal rights. In New Jersey, most employers and employees are covered by the state’s workers’ compensation laws. This means that the employer must have a workers’ compensation insurance policy in place unless it has qualified for being self-insured. Most accidents that occur during the course and scope of employment are compensable under New Jersey workers’ compensation rules, provided that the employee gives timely notice of the claim. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help protect your legal rights as you seek the maximum workers’ compensation benefits that are available in your situation.Medical Benefits
There are four basic types of benefits that may be available in a workers’ compensation case. The first of these is medical treatment. Medical benefits should be paid by the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier, instead of the employee’s regular health insurance company. Once the employee has given notice to the employer of a work-related accident or illness, the burden shifts to the employer to provide reasonable and necessary medical treatment associated with the worker’s illness or injury. This does not mean that the employee is free to see any doctor whom he or she chooses to see. Instead, it is typically the employer or its insurer that arranges for the employee’s medical treatment. There are, however, some occasions on which the employee may opt to see an unauthorized physician, such as during an emergency situation in which prior authorization is not possible or when the employer has denied the employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can advise New Jersey employees on the rules regarding workers’ compensation doctors.Disability and Death Benefits
While an employee is recovering from a work-related injury, he or she may be entitled to receive certain income benefits, including temporary total disability or temporary partial disability payments. Such payments replace part (but not all) of the wages that the employee loses while he or she is unable to perform his or her normal work duties. If the employee is left with a permanent physical impairment due to a work-related injury, he or she may also seek payment for permanent total disability or permanent partial disability. The amount of compensation that the employee receives depends upon his or her physical impairment rating (as assigned by the treating physician or an independent medical evaluator), the employee’s average weekly wage prior to the injury, whether the injury is to the body as a whole or to a scheduled member, and other factors. If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury, our New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys can help his or her spouse or dependents seek death and dependent benefits, including payment of certain burial costs and partial replacement income.Third-Party Claims
The exclusive remedy doctrine prevents people who are injured at work from filing a negligence lawsuit against their employer, but there is sometimes the possibility of filing a traditional personal injury case (which may result in more money damages than what the employee receives in workers’ compensation benefits) against a third party. For example, this could happen if an employee is injured in a car accident while making deliveries as part of his or her job or if a worker is hurt by a defective piece of equipment that malfunctions. In either case, the employee may need to pay out a portion of his or her third-party lawsuit proceeds to the employer or its insurance company if a subrogation claim is filed. However, the employee will still likely net a larger amount of compensation than would have been possible through a workers’ compensation claim alone.Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in New Jersey
If you need to talk to a lawyer about your workplace accident case, the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will be glad to meet with you at your convenience. Call us at (800) 999-0897 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We represent people in 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.