The State of Workers’ Compensation Law in New Jersey

A large part of our adult lives revolves around work. It goes as deep as new friends, a comfortable living situation, and many other things. This all sounds good, but unfortunately, not everything is great at all times. Even though work helps us achieve a lot of things we want to do it can also cause us pain and suffering.

One of the most common issues experienced with work are work-related injuries. Let’s face it no one thinks it is going to happen to them and nobody hopes of getting injured at work.

According to the US Department of Labor, in 2015, the number of people killed on the job was 4,836… that amounts to 13 people a day. Injuries as a result of fatal four (falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between) stood at 4,379.

If you’ve ever been through a work-related injury, I’m sure your mind was full of doubts about how you would support your family. Eligibility for workers’ compensation and the amount are generally the prime areas of concern for employees with work-related injuries.

Thankfully the Workers’ Compensation takes care of your deepest concerns. The Act defines it as a “no fault” insurance program where the injured worker has the right to the following:

  1. Medical Benefits
  2. Temporary Total Benefits
  3. Permanent Partial Benefits
  4. Permanent Total Benefits

 

Legal or documented immigrants and workers do not have much to worry about. The process of filing a claim in generally straightforward and they can receive the mandated compensation.

It is the undocumented or illegal workers who worry about receiving compensation in case of a work-related injury. The first thing that goes through their mind is the fear of being deported as they aren’t legally authorized to work in the country.

And if they are deported, will workers’ compensation be of any help? And, so many undocumented workers don’t voice their rights out of fear of losing their right to work, and being deported.

Although various raids across the state of New Jersey has been rounding up hundreds of illegal migrant workers, the state remains liberal when it comes to the workers’ compensation. According to the NJ Workers’ Compensation Law, one is eligible for compensation even if he/she is an undocumented worker.

New Jersey courts have held that the effect of one’s immigration status has no bearing on the work-related injury suffered or the need, or right, to medical treatment for an injury suffered during employment.

In a landmark judgment in the case Fernandez-Lopez vs. Jose Cervino, Inc., 288 N.J. Super. 14 (App. Div. 1996), the Court ruled that an illegal alien status does not make a person ineligible according to the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. The Court also said, “Unless and until the Legislature expressly excludes undocumented aliens from workers’ compensation benefits, the compassionate public policy which animates this social legislation favors inclusion of all injured workers not specifically excluded by the Legislature.”

In the current scenario, the Department of Homeland Security, ICE and various enforcement authorities have stepped up vigilance, in efforts to curb illegal immigration and employment.

 

Though there hasn’t been any drastic change in laws that govern workers’ compensation, if you were injured at work, it’s very important to seek the help of an experienced lawyer before filing for compensation. It’s good to have someone on your side when you’re going through a lean phase in your life.

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

Need Help?

If you or someone you know was injured at work the good attorneys at Goldberg & Wolf can help. Our attorneys have helped thousands of injured workers secure the right they deserve and need. You contact us today or call 856-651-1600.

Keep in mind that workers’ compensation law differs from state to state, if you were injured in the state of Pennsylvania reach out to our good friends at Krasno Krasno & Onuwdinjo.