New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer
Seasoned Work Injury Attorney Pursues the Financial Resources Needed by Injured Employees Throughout NJ
When workers in New Jersey suffer injury or illness due to their work, the state’s workers’ compensation system guarantees them certain defined financial benefits to help those workers with their recovery so that they can hopefully get back to work. Unfortunately, too many workers who have suffered work-related injuries and illnesses face denials and delays of critical benefits from their employers and their employers’ workers’ compensation insurers. A New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can help you cut through the red tape to get the benefits you need.
For nearly 30 years, work injury attorney Daniel Santarsiero, Esq. at New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer of JFM Law has fought to protect the interests of employees throughout New Jersey who have suffered work-related injuries and occupational illnesses. We know the lengths that employers and insurers will go to avoid having to pay the full benefits that an injured or ill worker is entitled to under the law. Turn to our firm for legal assistance to get each and every benefit you need and deserve.
If you have been hurt at work, you deserve to receive workers’ compensation benefits to assist you in your recovery from your injuries. When you need help getting benefits from your employer, reach out to Daniel Santarsiero, Esq. at New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer for a free initial case review to discuss your legal rights and options with a New Jersey workers compensation lawyer from our firm.
When Can You Get Workers’ Comp?
In New Jersey, workers’ compensation is available for any employee who suffers an injury or develops an illness due to occupational exposure in the course and scope of employment. Under the state’s workers’ compensation law, all employers not subject to any federal workers’ compensation law, who have at least one employee (except for partnerships, LLCs, or sole proprietorships whose only workers are the owners/partners/members) are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to eligible employees. Employers can fulfill their obligation to provide workers’ comp either by purchasing a qualifying insurance policy or by being certified by the state to self-insure for workers’ compensation.
All employees, including part-time, seasonal, and under-18 employees, may receive workers’ comp benefits for a work-related injury or illness. An injury or illness need not have occurred on the employer’s premises. Injuries or illnesses that occur off the employer’s premises may still qualify for workers’ comp if the injury or illness occurred in the course and scope of the worker’s employment. For example, injuries or illnesses that occur while visiting a client site or traveling for the employer’s business may be eligible for workers’ comp. Workers’ comp benefits may also be provided for a work injury or illness that occurs off-hours on the employer’s premises.
An employee may also be entitled to obtain workers’ comp benefits after suffering an aggravation of a pre-existing injury or medical condition in the course and scope of their job.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Cases We Handle
Turn to New Jersey workers compensation lawyer Daniel Santarsiero, Esq. at New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer of JFM Law if you need help with a workers’ compensation claim involving:
- Providing your employer with notice of your work injury or occupational illness, including helping you through any claim paperwork from your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer or administrator
- Negotiating with employers and insurers for payment of full workers’ comp benefits guaranteed by law
- Claim petitions filed with the Division of Workers’ Compensation to challenge employer/insurer denials of workers’ comp claims
- Claim petitions to challenge the amount of benefits being paid or to challenge an employer’s/insurer’s termination of workers’ comp benefits
- Appealing an adverse decision by a workers’ compensation judge to the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court
What Workers’ Comp Benefits Can You File a Claim For?
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation can provide you with certain financial benefits, including:
- Payment of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment, rehabilitation, and pain management for the work-related injury or illness.
- Temporary disability benefits, which provide partial replacement of lost wages if you cannot work while recovering from a work injury or illness, or if you experience a reduction in your income due to working part-time or in an alternative position because of a work injury or illness
- Permanent partial disability benefits, which provide financial payments that are based on your pre-injury/illness wages as well as the type and severity of your disability
- Permanent total disability benefits, which continue partial wage replacement for as long as you are unable to work in any employment
- Death benefits, which provides partial wage replacement and reimbursement of funeral/burial costs for the surviving family of a worker who dies because of a work-related injury or illness
Pursuing Third-Party Personal Injury Claims after Filing for Workers’ Compensation
Under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system, you are typically limited in seeking compensation from your employer to filing a workers’ comp claim. This is because, in exchange for your right to file a personal injury claim against your employer, you are guaranteed certain financial payments for a work-related injury or illness without the need to prove that your employer had any fault for your injury or illness.
However, in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim with your employer, you may also be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against third parties who have liability for your causing your injury or illness. Examples of situations where you may be eligible to pursue a third-party personal injury claim include:
- You were injured by a subcontractor
- Your injury or illness was caused by a dangerous or defective product, such as tools, equipment, machinery, or substances or materials that you were exposed to in your work
- You were injured due to a defective or unsafe condition of someone else’s property that you were visiting in the course and scope of your work, such as slipping and falling on ice at a client site
- You were injured by a negligent motorist while driving somewhere in furtherance of your work duties, or while on an out-of-town work trip
Injured workers may pursue both workers’ compensation claims and third-party personal injury claims. However, any financial recovery that an injured worker obtains in a third-party personal injury claim may be subject to a lien filed by the worker’s employer or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, with the money used to reimburse the employer or insurer for some of the workers’ comp benefits that have been paid for a work-related injury or illness caused by a third party. This rule prevents a worker from obtaining a “double” recovery of lost wages or medical expenses.
Even though compensation in a third-party personal injury claim may be used to reimburse an employer or its workers’ compensation insurer, an injured worker should still pursue a third-party injury claim to recover for losses that are excluded from workers’ comp benefits, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Reduced life expectancy
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life because of permanent disabilities or disfigurement/scarring
- Loss of consortium
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
In New Jersey, an employee who sustains a work-related injury or illness is required by the state’s workers’ compensation rules to report their injury or illness to their employer as soon as possible. Work injury claims are normally expected to be reported within 14 days of a work-related accident, after which an employee’s benefits may be affected. However, an employee must notify their employer no later than 90 days after suffering a work injury, otherwise, they may be deemed ineligible for any workers’ comp benefits.
Although notice of a work injury to an employer is not required to be in writing, it is advisable that employees do provide written notice. Notice can be given to a supervisor, manager, or any other person of authority within the company or its safety or human resources departments. Once the employer receives notice of an employee’s work injury or occupational illness, they or their workers’ compensation insurer will file a First Report of Injury with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation to notify the division.
If your employer or its insurer denies you workers’ compensation benefits after you have reported your claim, or you are not receiving the full benefits you believe you are entitled to, or if your employer or its insurers has stopped paying you benefits, you must file a written claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. A claim must be filed within two years of the date of a work injury, or the date that a worker learned of their occupational illness and its relation to their employment, or the date of last payment of workers’ comp benefits.
An employee pursuing a claim with the division has two options for proceeding with their claim:
- Filing an application for an informal hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. This hearing is similar to mediation, as the judge will offer suggestions for a resolution that is not binding on the parties. An employee can still proceed with the second option if the informal hearing does not result in a favorable resolution.
- Filing a formal claim petition with the division. This results in a trial-like hearing before a workers’ compensation judge, who will issue a binding ruling.
If the workers’ compensation judge rules against the employee and the employee believes the judge made a procedural misstep or an error of fact or law, the employee may appeal the judge’s decision to the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.
Why You Need a New Jersey Workmans Comp Lawyer to Help with Your Case
When you have been badly injured or fallen seriously ill because of your job and cannot return to work, you need dedicated legal representation that can handle all the details of preparing and pursuing your workers’ compensation case. Let our firm go to work for you by:
- Thoroughly investigating the underlying accident or incident(s) that led to your work injury or occupational illness, recovering evidence we can use to show that your injury or illness is work-related and compensable under the workers’ compensation system.
- Explaining your legal rights and options to you and going over what you can expect to occur during your workers’ comp claim.
- Preparing and filing all necessary paperwork to move your claim forward, including assisting you with claim paperwork from your employer or its insurer, or preparing a claim petition to be filed with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
- Negotiating a workers’ compensation settlement, if appropriate for your individual situation, to help get you the financial resources you need more quickly.
- Advocating on your behalf during claim hearings before the division, or appealing adverse decisions to the courts if necessary.
Contact Daniel Santarsiero, Esq. to Discuss the Details of Your Case with a Knowledgeable New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer
After you have been injured on the job, don’t delay starting the process of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. Get the legal assistance you need to help guide you through your claim. Contact Daniel Santarsiero, Esq. at New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how a New Jersey workmans comp lawyer can assist you with securing the full scope of financial benefits you may be entitled to under New Jersey workers’ compensation law.
Frequently Asked Questions about Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
How much does it cost to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?
Can I collect additional compensation for my work injury outside of workers’ comp?
You should speak to a New Jersey workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible after being hurt on the job. You have limited time to notify your employer about your work injury to maintain eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier denies your claim or doesn’t pay you the full benefits you believe you deserve, you will want a workers’ comp lawyer in your corner to help you pursue your legal options for recovering benefits.
You may need a workers comp lawyer when your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer has denied your workers’ comp claim or if they are not paying you the benefits you believe you are entitled to, such as not covering necessary medical treatment or not paying you the correct amount of temporary or permanent disability benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer in New Jersey can advocate on your behalf, pursuing a legal claim with the state division of workers’ compensation to get your work injuries recognized and to secure the benefits you need and deserve. If necessary, a workmans comp lawyer can also negotiate on your behalf to obtain a workers’ compensation settlement that can get you the money you need more quickly.