Things You Need to Know if You Suffered a Work-Related Injury

Dealing with a workers’ compensation claim can get very complex and time-consuming, especially if you are not familiar with workers’ compensation law. It doesn’t take much to get overwhelmed with all the moving pieces involved. You should know, however, that the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act exists to protect injured workers, and make sure that they are treated fairly.

What should I do first?

After suffering a work-related injury thoughts of concern flood your mind, “What do I do now?”

It is important to know that you are protected, here some simple steps and tips to follow when dealing with a work injury:

  • Notify your employer
  • Seek immediate, appropriate medical treatment
  • File your claim as soon as possible
  • Keep in touch with the insurance company
  • And think about your responses

The first thing you should do is notify your employer and seek immediate medical treatment. Notifying your employer is very important because you have a limited period of time in which you have to notify your employer and file a claim. In New Jersey, you must notify your employer within 14 days, and your employer should notify their insurance carrier within 24 hours, but if you want to file a claim against your employer you have 2 years.

One of the first things you need to do is get treatment for the injury. Depending on the severity of the injury this may be the first step you take. Any injury left untreated can get worse and can also make it seem you are not that hurt. Here is an earlier blog going into the do’s and don’ts.

Next, make sure that the proper paperwork gets filed. Your employer should file paperwork with the insurance carrier, but if they do not, you should file a claim. Even though you have 2 years to file a claim against your employer; you should get this done as soon as possible. Why wait? The faster you start receiving benefits, the better off you’ll be.

You also need to keep in touch with the insurance carrier and be on the same page with them. It would not be fun finding out that the insurance carrier terminated your benefits before you are ready.

This last one is also very important, consider your responses when communicating with the insurance carrier, their goal is to stop paying you benefits as soon as they can. Anything you say will be used against you.

It is always advised that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney, just in case. The attorney will help guide you through the process and help make sure you are being treated fairly. And, if need be also step in and fight for the benefits you deserve.

A little more on the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act?

The Workers’ Compensation Act protects employees in ensuring that they receive the benefits they deserve and also protects employers from direct lawsuits. Under the act, employees give up their right to sue the employer in exchange for workers’ compensation benefits.

All employers are required to have some form of workers’ compensation insurance. If the employer does not have coverage that meets state requirements or no insurance at all, they will be fined.

Can I Lose my Job if I am Injured?

The answer is no. Nearly every state has made it illegal for employers to fire employees who were injured on the job and filed for workers’ compensation.

If an employer were fire an injured worker, it could be considered retaliation, which would result in a whole mess of legal trouble. However, once the worker is healthy enough to work the employer can provide the employee with an appropriate job, that is within the scope of the employee can perform.

So, if you were injured and made a full recovery then the employer would offer you your old job back, but if you suffered a permanent impairment, then the employer would offer you a job that fits within the scope of what you can with your condition.

What Types of Damages are Recoverable?

Serious work injuries can and will have major effects on you and your family’s life. Such injuries can hurt your income, have permanent physical effects, and leave you with tons of debt and medical bills. Here are the more common types of damages you can recover, they include:

  • Medical benefits
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Permanent partial benefits
  • Permanent total benefits
  • Death benefits

All these benefits are designed to help you and your family, in your time of need and while you recover from your injury. And in a much more serious instance, they allow your family to receive benefits, in the unfortunate instance, you were to die as the result of injuries suffered at work.

Know you are protected and are entitled to these benefits.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

Need Help?

Here are Goldberg & Wolf, we understand that workers’ compensation law is complicated and hard to deal with alone. If you or someone you know has been injured at work and need help or simply have questions about what to do next, do not hesitate to contact us or call 856-651-1600.

It is also important to note that workers’ compensation law is not the same in every state. If you need help with workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, reach out to our good friends at Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo.

Most Common and Notable Workplace Injuries Nationwide

Work injuries are a natural occurrence and can be sustained in any setting. It is a common misconception that work injuries occur in non-office settings. This is not true, however, as falls are the most common workplace injury and office workers are 2-2.5 more likely to suffer a disabling injury from a fall than non-office workers.

Falls are not the only work-related injury that occurs; there are many other causes. Some of the more common work injuries include:

  • Overexertion
  • Slips and Falls
  • Accidents Involving Heavy Objects or Equipment
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

These injuries account for the larger percentage of work-related injuries.

Overexertion

Overexertion is the most common work injury; it is very easy to sustain. Just like when playing sports or working out, overexertion, occurs when you pull, push, lift, hold, or in general move heavy objects. According to the Liberty Mutual Group, overexertion was responsible for about 23% of total work-related injuries.

Overexertion can cause many kinds of injuries from the simplest and most minor strains and sprains all the way to bone breaks and fractures.

In fact, back injuries are the most common results of overexertion. They can occur when you pick up something that is too heavy or get up too quickly. If left untreated, back injuries can get worse and evolve from a simple strain to tears and slipped and ruptured discs.

Overall, injuries caused by overexertion cost employers around $14 billion per year in losses. It is nearly impossible to prevent these sorts of injuries, but they can be minimized or even prevented, to a certain degree, with the proper training.

Slips and Falls

While seemingly innocent and not too serious, slips and falls are a cause for a large percentage of work injuries. According to the Liberty Mutual Group, falls on the same level and to the lower levels account for about 27% of work-related injuries nationally, racking up around $12 billion in losses for employers.

Very similar to overexertion, slips, and falls are nearly impossible to prevent, but they can be prevented by taking caution while in the workplace. Here are some precautions that can help prevent such injuries:

  • Watch for spills
  • Avoid being close to holes and open ledges
  • Be alert when walking around the workplace

Workers in all occupations and settings are in danger of slipping or falling. Falls can result in fractures, breaks, concussions, and a number of other injuries.

Accidents Involving Heavy Objects or Equipment

Unlike the previous injuries, being involved in an accident involving heavy objects or equipment is most commonly related to and occurs on construction sites. While it can happen at the office it is very uncommon, in that setting.

Injuries related to such accidents, however, still account for a good amount of workplace injuries across the country, about 7.5% and cost employers about $4.5 billion.

Similarly to falls and overexertion, while not totally preventable taking the correct precautions at work can help prevent many of them. It is important to understand that work accidents will always happen and a good workplace protocol is a very useful in preventing them.

Construction companies should have safety guidelines in place. It is extremely important to always be aware of your surroundings, especially on a construction site.

Some simple ways to help prevent these injuries are to always look around and pay attention. Injuries related to heavy objects have the potential to be much more serious and even fatal than other kinds of work injuries.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries occur when you perform the same tasks every day for a long period of time. One of the most common examples of a repetitive motion injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. This injury usually affects people who do a lot of work on the computer and are constantly typing.

Tendinitis is another common example. Tendinitis is usually pretty minor, resulting in minor stiffness or pain. However, if not cared for, this injury can become very severe and can potentially lead to tendon tears or even permanent damage to the joints.

If the work you do is based on a lot of repetitive motions, these can be the result. It is very highly recommended you take a small break each hour from the repetitive motion. A short rest can go a long way.

These types of injuries account for nearly 3% of the national total for work-related injuries and cost employers nearly $2 billion.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

Need Help?

If you suffered any of these or any other kind of work-related injury and need help with your claim, or just want some guidance, our experienced attorney at Goldberg and Wolf are more than happy to help. You can contact us or call at 865-651-1600.

Also, it is important to remember that workers’ compensation law differs from state to state, as happy as we would be to help you we only serve the New Jersey area. However if you were injured in Pennsylvania, our good friends at Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo and their experienced team of attorneys will be able to help.

Appealing for Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey

A workplace is supposed to offer maximum comfort. An employer should take into account the safety of their employees, their well-being, and satisfaction. After all, it is things like these that offer the most productive results from the employees, while keeping them happy. It is a win-win situation.

Unfortunately, things are not that simple in the corporate world. A majority of the companies are spiraled into a mess that has brought the efficiency of both the company and the employees down. For workers’ compensation in New Jersey, employees have occasionally been found complaining about their employers not offering them benefits despite an injury caused at the workplace.

Why Is It Important?

Workers’ compensation benefits is a program that makes employers pay for your medical expenses in case you get injured while doing a work-related activity. It offers many benefits to the employees. Some of the key advantages are the following:

Medical Expenses

The foremost advantage of the program is that you don’t have to pay a dime if you are injured at work or while doing something related to your job. A lot of people think that this covers augmented expenses as well. However, the employer is only entitled to pay for the core medical expenses that are necessary for treatment.

This may include anything from visiting a doctor to undergoing a therapy for a longer period of time. Unlike popular belief, it is not actually the employer paying every penny out of its pocket. In the Workers’ Compensation, your employer is in a contract with an insurance company that is essentially paying for your treatment.

Disabilities

If the injury caused by the workplace results in a short-term disability that impedes you from working, you will be covered for all the wages lost up till the point you are able to get back on the job. As per the law of New Jersey, you get 70% of your income with a maximum weekly limit of $896.

On the other hand, in case a permanent disability occurs due to the accident, you are compensated according to the schedule of injuries set for New Jersey. This schedule decides the total amount of benefits that you will get based on the intensity and area (body part) of injury. This schedule also enlists the time period for which you will be compensated by these benefits.

Making an Appeal

In New Jersey, if an employer denies you Workers’ Compensation benefits, you have the right to make a legal claim. New Jersey handles these claims with either a formal hearing or an informal one. In the case of the former, you will be required to file the claim within two years of the last date you received a certain benefit from your employer, or prior to the completion of this two-year period from your injury.

A hearing will take place which will take into account the evidence you have to prove that the employer has not given you your rights. It will be similar to a trial.

On the other hand, an informal appeal takes you to an informal hearing. Both parties will present their cases to an official judge, and taking into account all the evidence, the judge will give his/her decision. However, since the hearing is informal, both parties have the authority to reject the recommendation made. This normally leads to a formal hearing.

When Will Your Case Be Denied?

Just because you have made a claim against your employer doesn’t guarantee getting your workers’ compensation rights in New Jersey. The chances of this happening are especially high if your employer pleads their case with a professional lawyer. This is usually why it is recommended that you hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in order to win your claim.

Following are certain circumstances when your claim could be rejected straight away.

  • According to the New Jersey state law, if you don’t file a claim within ninety days of your injury, you will lose your right of claiming the benefits altogether.
  • You will lose your claim if your employer proves in the hearing that the injury was not related to your job in any way. This usually happens in the case of not having a legal representation at your back.
  • In New Jersey, if you acquire medical treatment with a doctor of your own choice, you will lose the right to claim your Workers’ Compensation benefits. Your employer’s insurance agency or the employer itself will recommend the doctor for the treatment of your injury.

Other Alternatives of Settlement

If you or your employer want to avoid the legal issues, there is an alternative. However, there are little to no cases in New Jersey where such off-court settlements work. The reason is that employers are often found guilty and try avoiding the court by offering you a settlement offer. However, if you have a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for assistance, you will have a clear picture of the benefits your employer owes you as opposed to the ones he or she is settling the matter for.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

Hiring an Attorney

Workers’ Compensation Appeals in New Jersey can be very complicated. If yourself or someone you know has been injured on the job and your workplace is failing to take responsibility, you’re not alone. Here a Goldberg and Wolf, we are proud to serve Cherry Hill and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one needs help in fighting to get what you deserve, contact us or call 865-651-1600.

What to do After Suffering a Work-Related Injury in New Jersey

If you ever suffer a work-related injury in New Jersey, you should immediately report the injury to your employer and seek appropriate medical attention as soon as possible, not only can not seeking medical attention hinder your claim but it can also worsen your injury. It does not matter what your profession is work injuries can occur in all environments, even in an office setting.

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law provides paid medical treatment, temporary disability, wage loss benefits, permanent disability benefits and death benefits. All of these are available to employees who have suffered injuries at work. Permanent disability compensation is usually for individuals who have suffered a job-related illness or are deemed to be permanently disabled as a result of their injury.

It is important to note that you qualify for only the benefits that are deemed appropriate to your situation.

The actions listed above are not the only actions that you need to take; there are other things you can do that will help.  It is important to do the rights things so that your claim is not hindered or denied simply because you did not follow the rules. Here are important things that you need to do:

  • Notify your employer as soon as possible.
  • Do not give a sworn or recorded
  • Seek immediate medical attention.
  • Do not pretend you are not hurt.

Notify Your Employer As Soon As Possible

This is important because if you do not notify your employer in a timely fashion, this includes filing an incident report. Typically, your employer will/should file a claim within 24 hours of finding. Then a claims examiner will come to interview you, your employer and witnesses, and review you claim. It is important to act quickly, so that you can begin to receive the benefits you deserve as soon as possible.

Do Not Give a Sworn or Recorded Testimony

This may seem harmless, but it is not. All and any evidence can be used against you in court. Remember, even though workers’ compensation does not come directly from your employer’s pocket, it works like an insurance policy. Insurance carriers never want to payout money unless they have to. Employers are not too happy about successful claims because their insurance premiums go up. Really the only people on side are the good attorneys at Goldberg & Wolf.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

If you were injured at work, you may want to hold off on receiving medical treatment and hope you get better. THIS IS A MISTAKE!!! Not only will not getting prompt medical treatment hurt your claim but more important it may also result in a worsening of your injury.

A work injury just like any other injury can potentially get worse if left untreated. A minor injury can progress to a much more severe injury or even death! It is important to protect not only your health but also your potential claim. Seek medical help as soon as possible!

Do Not Pretend You Are Not Hurt 

Sometimes you may want to pretend that you are not hurt but it is a mistake, it can hinder not only your claim but also your health. Here are a few common reasons why people may pretend to not be hurt:

  • You may feel bad about hurting the employer financially.
  • You may be embarrassed about being injured or admitting that it occurred.
  • Fear of what will happen, will your employment be put at risk?

It is important to understand that you have nothing to worry about, your employer cannot retaliate against you for pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. As mentioned above, you do not have to feel bad about potentially harming your employer’s financial assets. Workers’ compensation exists to protect you, the injured employee and works like an insurance policy.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

Contact Us

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law is complicated and can get very overwhelming very quickly. If you or a loved got injured at work, remember to follow these simple steps to help ensure your claim but also, more importantly, your health! Here a Goldberg and Wolf, we are proud to serve Cherry Hill and the surrounding areas. If you have any questions or need assistance with a claim, contact us or call 865-651-1600.

How the Workers’ Compensation Act can help if you are Hurt at Work

Not many people know that a Workers’ Compensation Act is legally in place. This makes an employer reliable for paying you in case you got injured at work.

The United States has a set of laws and regulations on every subject. However, there are areas where people often face issues despite being supported by the law. One common example in this regard is related to the accidents that happen at work.

It is very commonly witnessed that employers don’t offer their employees the benefits set for them by law. For the most part, employees do not react adversely to this, due to the lack of sufficient information. Not many people know that a Workers’ Compensation Act is legally in place. This makes an employer reliable for paying you in case you got injured at work.

If you are also going through a similar situation, the first thing to do is to educate yourself regarding the rights you have. The following section briefly introduces you to the rights that you have in case you get injured at your workplace. Following that will be a step by step guide as to what you should do in this regard.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

First off, you need to know that there is an Act named the Workers’ Compensation Act that makes your employer liable to pay you in the case of any injuries you have faced at work. According to the act, all employers are required to offer their employees with WC. This requires the employer to pay a small fee on your behalf at regular intervals and the case of any incident, the WC benefits help pay your medical bills for the most part.

To place it in a nutshell, if you are hurt at work, you have the right to claim the medical expenses from your employer. If he or she has offered you the WC benefits, then there usually is no problem in claiming them. The issue mainly arises, though, when an employer fails to give you the rights promised by law.

What Is Covered?

Bear in mind that not every employee is eligible to seek the benefits from WC. Those that are eligible get compensation for the time they spend off from work due to the injury. The injury may be any temporary or permanent disabilities that might have occurred due to the accident at work. The calculation of the benefits tends to vary between states, though.

What Should I do?

Now that you have an insight into your rights regarding the Workers’ Compensation Act, you should take the following steps in order to cope up with the situation.

Report

Start off by reporting the injury that you have had at work. This may include but is not limited to, trauma, hearing impairment, or any disease. Make sure you bring the accident into your employer’s knowledge as soon as possible. Furthermore, also ensure that you have proof of contacting the employer.

Accident REPORT

Once you have reported your case to the employer, he/ she will prepare a letter addressing the accident. You are required to visit a medical practitioner that is recommended by your company. The reason why it is important is that visiting a different doctor will weaken your case. Also, the employer will only be held liable to pay if the doctor is the one chosen by the company.

Hire an Attorney!

Although there is no harm in representing yourself, hiring an attorney tends to be a far better alternative in most cases. For one: workers’ compensation lawyers are professionals in their field and can help you get the benefits of WC, especially if the employer backs off! Furthermore, the job also becomes a whole lot easier as an attorney helps to prepare the documents and strengthens your case as much as possible.

You may also file a petition and choose another doctor in case the one recommended by your employer does not offer adequate medical care. A lawyer also helps you greatly in backing such a case.

Additional Claims

Did you know that it is quite common for the judges to settle the case with a certain adequate payment, even if it doesn’t cover the entire treatment and benefits? In case you are not satisfied with the resolved claim, which is, of course, subject to your employer backing off and not giving you your rights, you can challenge the court’s decision with the help of your hired attorney.

Workers’ compensation lawyers are experts in making your case stronger; making sure that your injury at work is properly compensated for. If you are not happy with your compensation claim, challenge it! It is as simple as that. Unless the amount is irrational for the claim, you are likely to have the case go in your favor.

New Jersey Law

Different states in the US have different rules and regulations regarding workers’ compensation. In New Jersey, almost all of the employers are required to offer their employees with WC benefits. In addition to that, the state requires you to file a petition within two years of your injury—in case you are in contradiction with your employer. The hearing will take place anywhere between one to six months, which is where a lawyer can be of great help to plead your case.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

WC Attorneys

Have you been hurt at work in New Jersey? Hire The Law Offices Of Goldberg & Wolf LLC. They are often deemed as some of the finest WC law attorneys in New Jersey. You can get in touch with them by dialing (856) 651-1600. To meet a workers’ compensation lawyer in-person, visit 1949 Berlin Road, Suite 201 Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.