When an employee is hurt during the course and scope of his or her employment, he or she is entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits, such as paid medical care, temporary disability, and permanent disability. The exact amount of compensation due to the employee can be a source of controversy and largely depends upon the part of the body that was injured, the physical impairment rating assigned to the employee, the employee’s wages at the time of the injury, and whether the employee is able to return to his or her pre-injury job. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our experienced New Jersey workplace injury lawyers are here to provide assertive legal representation to people who have been injured in the workplace.
Workers’ compensation cases are different from other types of personal injury cases (such as those resulting from a car accident or a fall on someone else’s property) in that they do not require proof of negligence against the employer. Under the exclusive remedy doctrine, a worker is limited to the monetary payment that he or she receives in settlement or adjudication of his or her workers’ compensation claim. The worker cannot file a negligence lawsuit directly against the employer, even if the accident was due to the employer’s negligence or fault. However, if a third party’s careless conduct or breach of the duty of due care caused the accident, a claim against that person or entity may be possible. If the third-party case is successful, the employee may need to reimburse the employer for some or all of the proceeds paid out in the workers’ compensation case from the proceeds of the third-party action. This is called “subrogation.”Temporary Versus Permanent Disability
Depending upon the nature and extent of a worker’s injuries, he or she may be temporarily disabled either totally or partially. Our workplace injury attorneys can help New Jersey residents seek the appropriate types of benefits. In a case of temporary partial disability, a worker may be able to perform some of his or her duties or may be able to work a light duty job but does not earn the same amount of money as before the injury. In such a case, the employee may be entitled to temporary partial disability payments to make up some of the difference between the pre-injury and post-injury wages. This will not be a 100% replacement of the lost wages.
If the worker is not able to work at all for a period of time, he or she may receive temporary total disability benefits. Again, this is not a complete replacement of the wages lost by the employee. Workers’ compensation is a system built on the idea of compromise. The worker does not need to prove fault, but he or she does not receive the full compensation for his or her injuries that might be available in a non-work-related personal injury case. A New Jersey workplace injury attorney can explain the differences between these claims.
Once an person who has been hurt in a workplace accident is determined by a medical professional to be at a state of maximum medical improvement, he or she is no longer entitled to temporary disability payments (partial or total). If the worker has some degree of permanent physical impairment because of the workplace injury, he or she may receive either permanent partial disability benefits (if he or she can continue working, albeit with some amount of vocational disability) or permanent total disability benefits (if he or she is unable to return to work following the work-related accident or illness).Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Having a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney by your side during the process of filing a claim and seeking the maximum benefits to which you are entitled is very important. Your employer will likely have a team of professionals handling their end of the case, as will their workers’ compensation insurance company. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case with a workplace injury lawyer in New Jersey, call the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at (800) 999-0897 or contact us online. Our attorneys regularly represent injured workers 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.