Who can Make a Claim?

Attorneys Helping New Jersey Residents Pursue Workers’ Compensation Benefits

It is not uncommon for a person to suffer harm at work, and even the most cautious employees cannot always avoid sustaining injuries. Injuries can range in severity from mild to fatal, but most injuries require some degree of treatment and may prevent the injured employee from working as well. If you were injured at work or suffered the loss of a loved one due to a work-related injury, it is prudent to meet with an attorney to discuss whether you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. The New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can explain who can make a claim. They have ample experience assisting people in the pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits, and they will gather facts and evidence to help you recover the full amount of benefits that you are owed.

Who Can Make a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Medical and Disability Benefits?

Under New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Law (the Law), most people who perform services for wages are eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, independent contractors cannot file a claim for benefits, since only employees are covered by the Law. If there is a dispute as to whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, the employer bears the burden of proving that the worker is not an employee. Additionally, benefits are available only for compensable injuries. In other words, an employee seeking benefits following an injury must show that the injury is work-related, which means that it must have occurred while the employee was in the scope and course of his or her job duties. The employee does not need to prove negligence to be eligible for benefits, however, and can recover benefits regardless of who was at fault for his or her harm. Eligible employees may be awarded both medical benefits and disability benefits, depending on the facts of each case.

Who Can Make a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits?

If a work-related injury or illness causes a person’s death, the person’s dependents are eligible to file a claim for benefits as well. Dependents are defined by law, and while some people are presumed to be dependents, others need to prove actual dependency. For example, if the deceased worker is survived by a spouse or natural children who lived in the same home as the worker at the time of his or her death, they are presumed to be dependents. Dependent children generally will remain dependents until they reach the age of 18, except for children who are full-time students, who will remain dependents until they reach the age of 23. If a child is mentally or physically disabled, he or she may be eligible to recover additional benefits.

If the deceased worker is survived by natural children or a spouse who did not live with the worker at the time of his or her death, however, actual dependency must be proven. Similarly, if parents, siblings, grandparents, or grandchildren allege that they were dependents of the deceased worker, they must prove actual dependency as well.

The benefits recoverable by dependents include funeral expenses up to $3,500, as well as 70% of the weekly wage of the deceased worker, up to the maximum benefit amount, which is established by the Commissioner of Labor annually. The benefits will be divided among anyone deemed to be a surviving dependent.

Discuss Your Options with a New Jersey Attorney

If you sustained a work injury or lost a loved one due to a work injury, you should meet with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss whether you can make a claim. The diligent workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will aggressively pursue any benefits that you may be owed. We regularly assist people with workers’ compensation claims throughout New Jersey, including people in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, and Union Counties. You can contact us by calling 877-450-8301 or using our online form to set up a consultation.