New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Facts
How much attention do we pay to our rights as an employee while taking up a new job? We are not thinking about morbid things like accidents and injuries at such a time, right? So it is not uncommon for most workers to be completely unaware of their right to compensation or benefits if they get injured at work.
Workers spend a significant amount of time at work. Getting hurt while on the job is always a possibility. In the event you get a work-related injury, it is essential to know your workers’ compensation facts.
Injuries are not limited to physically taxing work like construction jobs. They could happen anywhere, at any place of work. The damage could be minor, or it could be grave. It could be due to an accident, or it could be due to a repeated stress injury which manifests over a period.
Whatever may be the cause of the injury, if it occurs at the workplace, the claim for compensation is valid. If a worker needs medical attention or has to miss work while recuperating from a work injury, then he or she is eligible to get benefits that compensate for the losses incurred by him or her.
Know Your Rights
If employees are familiar with their compensation rights, the chances of being cheated out of receiving monetary benefits from the employer or the insurance company are lower. Lack of awareness could lead to being denied what is rightfully yours. This is why it is necessary for workers not to be ignorant and to educate themselves on such matters.
Division of Workers’ Compensation
In New Jersey, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has a specific division that looks into compensation for workers who have sustained injuries at work. The Division of Workers’ Compensation serves as a regulatory body when it comes to protecting the rights of workers as well as employers in the state of New Jersey.
Some of the objectives of this organization are ensuring that employers obtain insurance coverage for their employees and that the workers receive compensation if they get injured at work. The Division also levies fines or penalties on erring companies that do not have insurance coverage for their employees. It provides temporary benefits to employees who have been injured at the workplace.
What Should a Worker Do If They Get Injured at Work?
When workers get injured at work or discover that an existing injury has been caused due to a work-related activity, the first thing they must do is inform their employers.The employer then has to notify the insurance company after which a ‘first report of injury’ can be filed.
If medical treatment is required, the employer’s insurance company will have a list of pre-approved hospitals and doctors that can be consulted. If the worker goes to a doctor, not on the list, there is a chance that the insurance company may decline the compensation claim.
What If You Disagree With Your Employer?
While work injury compensation may seem like a straightforward matter, it is not always so. A lot of times there may be disputes on claims between injured workers and the company they work for. One of the primary reasons for dispute is if the company believes that the worker’s injury is not work-related.
In such situations, an informal claim can be filed by either party with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. A judge will preside over the hearing and will mediate between the opposing parties to arrive at a consensus. This exercise helps save time and effort involved in having to go the legal route. If the solutions that come up are not acceptable to either party, they can file a formal claim as well which will involve a pre-trial stage and subsequently a formal trial. Throughout this claim filing process, whether formal or informal, it is advisable to consult with a work injury lawyer.
If the case goes to trial, there is a chance that the company may try to pressurize their employee to withdraw the case or discriminate against the employee at the workplace. This is strictly against the law in the state of New Jersey. In case of the worker suspecting discrimination, he or she can file a complaint against the employer with the Division.
A competent lawyer at Goldberg & Wolf, in Cherry Hill, NJ, can help you through the complicated process of getting worker compensation. Contact us today at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation or to speak with a member of our legal team.