May 6th, 2020|
One of the most important things to do when you’ve been injured at work is to make sure the accident is reported. Many people don’t report accidents right away, which can lead to problems further down the line. The reason many people don’t report accidents is because there wasn’t any noticeable bodily harm or serious enough injuries to require immediate medical attention.
Even if your injury doesn’t appear to be very serious, it’s crucial you report your accident as soon as possible. If you haven’t reported your injury, your employer may deny you medical treatment and benefits for missed time from work. Always report your accident as soon as possible in order to avoid having to deal with these issues.
In addition to your employer denying you medical treatment and out of work benefits, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will question why your employer didn’t report the accident as soon as the accident happened. Your private health insurance carrier also will not pay for treatment for work-related injuries. Also, if the accident isn’t filed immediately, your employer may deny the accident happened or claim that it took place outside of work. Many employers even impose 24-hour deadlines for reporting accidents, resulting in being suspended without pay or reprimanded if you miss the deadline.
In the event that you are injured from a mundane task, such as lifting heavy objects, but the injury doesn’t seem serious at the time, it’s still important that the accident is reported as soon as possible. The natural conclusion for many in this situation is to tough it out, not mentioning it to a supervisor unless it gets serious. However, waiting to talk to a supervisor about even the most minor of injuries is exactly where many people get into trouble.
Imagine the strain in your back from lifting a heavy box suddenly starts becoming more serious a few days or weeks later and you didn’t report your injury to your employer. In many cases, it’s not only too late to report the accident, but you may be without pay and without work while you recover from your injury, all while paying for medical treatment out of your own pocket.
Proper Reporting Procedure
Workers’ compensation claims are “no fault” claims, meaning any negligence that resulted in your work accident injury has no effect on your ability to receive the necessary compensation in order to recover from and continue supporting yourself during your injuries. The state of New Jersey and the federal government also have protections in place to protect you from any potential retaliation from the employer that you file a claim with.
If you have been injured, reporting the accident to your employer will only speed up the process of getting the medical treatment and compensation you need. In reporting your accident, your employer should fill out a detailed injury report with you to get you the help you need.
If your employer doesn’t ask you for further information or fill out any paperwork, take notice as this may be an indicator that they don’t intend to report the injury. With how expensive medical bills can easily become, you want to have all of the support you can possibly get.
What to Do if Your Employer Refuses to File Your Workers’ Comp Claim
It’s important to be aware that it’s up to your employer to report your accident to the Department of Labor. Because you can’t report your own injury yourself, you need to be committed to making sure your employer reports the accident. If they haven’t reported the accident and don’t plan on it, it’s important to take action immediately.
It may be your employers’ responsibility to file a workers’ compensation claim, but it’s up to you to ensure he or she does so. If your employer hasn’t filed your workers’ compensation form, reach out to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, who will help you through the process of filing the correct forms (typically form WC-14). Due to the complexity of these situations, it’s important to also reach out to an injury attorney who will make sure that you’re covered.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits You’re Entitled to if You’re Injured in New Jersey
- Medical treatment provided by your employer
- Temporary disability benefits
- Monetary award based on the degree of permanent injury
If you’re late reporting an accident, you should still follow the recommendations listed. Injured workers are allowed up to 90 days to report an accident in New Jersey. Although many employers have much shorter deadlines, you still may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits eventually. That being said, when an accident is not properly reported, you will face additional obstacles throughout the process.
Injured on the Job? Demand Justice Today.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, it’s important that you contact a New Jersey injury lawyer. Demand justice for your injuries and contact our team of workers’ compensation and injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law at 732-888-8888 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our No Fee Guarantee means we only get paid if you get paid, so you don’t have to worry about consultation or retainer fees and can focus on what’s most important—your health.
January 21st, 2020|
It’s important to be familiar with how workers’ compensation functions in New Jersey. Workers’ compensation benefits are very important to those who need their weekly paychecks to pay bills, afford groceries, and settle any other expenses that might present themselves. The benefits of workers’ compensation are also necessary for someone who needs immediate financial relief after suffering a work injury.
Work injuries are a major risk in many lines of work, which makes it important to be familiar with the steps you need to take if you suffer a work injury. There are a number of different ways workers’ compensation works depending on the extent of your injuries. For example, if your work injury keeps you out of work for a few weeks or months, the benefits you receive will be different from someone whose work injury has prevented him or her from working for an extended period of time.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If your work injury prevents you from working for at least seven days, you’re entitled to receive temporary disability benefits. In the state of New Jersey, workers’ compensation benefits allow you to receive 70% of your average weekly wages. In addition to receiving 70% of weekly wages, there is a minimum and maximum benefit that can be received. The minimum and maximum benefit changes every year, but in 2019 the minimum was $246 and the maximum was $921 per week. If you suffer a work injury, you are eligible to receive temporary disability benefits until you’re able to return to work, have received benefits for 400 weeks, or have reached maximum medical improvement.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
Upon reaching maximum medical improvement (meaning you are unlikely to get any better, even with further treatment), you will need to be evaluated to determine if you have a lasting disability and to what extent. If you’re permanently and totally disabled, you will continue to receive benefits for 450 weeks, after which you must go through further evaluation to determine whether or not you’re still unable to earn at your pre-injury level. If you’re still unable to earn at your previous level, you will continue to receive benefits while still disabled, with the amount of your benefits being reduced in proportion to any wages that you are able to earn.
Severe injuries, such as the loss of both eyes, hands, arms, feet, or legs are automatically considered to result in permanent and total disability.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
In the event that your work injury or illness has left you with a lasting medical condition or impairment, but you are able to work in some capacity, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits. If eligible, the amount you receive will depend on your pre-injury wages as well as the extent of your impairment and the affected part of your body. In New Jersey, there is a schedule of disabilities which lists the maximum benefits for impairments to certain body parts. To find New Jersey’s current schedule of disabilities, visit New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.
In New Jersey you may be eligible for other types of workers’ compensation benefits, such as medical benefits, death benefits, and funeral expenses. Workers’ compensation pays for any necessary medical treatment related to a work injury, as long as treatment is authorized. When it comes to death benefits, if an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, the surviving spouse, minor children, and other dependents will be entitled to compensation. New Jersey Workers’ comp also pays the family of a deceased employee up to $3,500 in funeral or burial costs.
Limitations of Workers’ Comp Benefits
Unfortunately, workers’ comp benefits don’t cover the entirety of your lost wages. Despite this, workers’ compensation benefits are extremely helpful to those who need compensation quickly without filing a lawsuit and proving that your employer was at fault for causing the injury, which can take a lot of time and isn’t an option for those who can’t afford to wait, the downside being that you lose out on some of your wages. That being said, you may be able to sue outside of the workers’ comp system in certain situations and receive more for the injuries you’ve suffered.
At Judd Shaw Injury Law, you come first. If you’ve suffered an injury at work and need representation in your workers’ comp case, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to fight on your behalf and get you the compensation that you need and deserve.