If you file a workers’ comp claim in NJ, your employer or their workers’ comp insurance carrier should let you know if it was accepted. New Jersey is a no-fault workers’ comp state, so your injury should be covered regardless of whether it was your fault, your employer’s or unavoidable.
Neither you nor your employer should need to provide any evidence of fault in order to have the claim accepted. As long as your illness or injury was caused by work-related activities, you should be covered by workers’ comp.
Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Northfield, NJ
You should file a workers’ comp claim as soon as you are injured at work, or immediately after discovering that you have a work-related illness or injury. You could lose your right to collect workers’ comp benefits if you fail to report your injury or work-related illness within 14 days. Your spouse or dependents may notify your employer on your behalf if you are not able to do so, perhaps as a result of being hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated. If you are incapacitated and your dependents are too young to make such notification, someone else may be able to do so on their behalf.
To file your workers’ comp claim, notify your employer that you have been injured or that you have been diagnosed with a work-related illness, and tell him or her that you would like to file a workers’ comp claim. Your employer will then file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance carrier, or your employer, if they are self-insured, will fill out a First Report of Injury form and submit it to the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. This will begin the claims process.
The insurance carrier, your employer, or the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation will notify you directly when your claim is accepted. If your claim is accepted, you will be entitled to disability benefits to compensate you for lost wages. You will also be entitled to medical benefits to cover your treatment, including prescription drugs, surgeries, outpatient procedures, physical therapy, hospital stays, and all other medical treatment.
It is always a good idea to consult a workers’ compensation attorney, whether or not your claim is accepted. Many people who are injured at work leave money on the table as they are not aware of the various forms of compensation that could potentially be available to them.
If Your Claim Is Denied
If your NJ workers’ comp claim is denied, you may still be entitled to benefits. Workers’ comp insurance carriers may reject claims for a variety of reasons, including:
- They may say that your injuries were pre-existing.
- They may allege that there is not sufficient medical evidence to support your claims of an injury or illness.
- They may argue that the injury or illness occurred outside of the purview of your work-related activities.
- They may try to say that you were not an employee at the time the injury occurred.
Should your claim be denied, it is critical that you contact an experience NJ workers’ comp attorney who can guide you on how to proceed. Often, legitimate claims may be denied because the insurance company wants to protect its bottom line. Even if your claim is denied, you can still receive compensation by filing a formal or informal claim petition. You can do so within two years of the date of your injury or diagnosis of your illness.
An informal petition may be resolved more quickly than a formal petition, which requires litigation. However, your best chance of a successful conclusion is to speak with a workers’ comp attorney. They can tell you what type of petition would work best for your case.
When you file a petition, your case will be assigned to a workers’ compensation court judge. If you file a formal petition, you will have a hearing scheduled before a workers’ compensation court judge within six months. The goal of the petition process is to help you reach a settlement with your employer or their workers’ comp insurance carrier before the case has to be brought to trial.
However, if you are not able to reach a settlement, your case will be brought to trial. At the end of the trial, the judge will issue a determination, deciding whether or not your claim is valid.
If you are not happy with the judge’s determination, you can take your workers’ comp claim further. You can appeal the judge’s decision with the appellate division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. An appeal could help you win the compensation you need to pay medical bills and make up for lost wages. Having a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney by your side throughout this process is often critical to the success of your claim.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
We always recommend that you consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney regarding your work injury. If your NJ workers’ comp claim is denied, it will be particularly important need to talk to a workers’ comp attorney right away. A workers’ comp attorney can look at the facts of your case, help you file a petition with the workers’ compensation court, and work for you to get you a satisfactory settlement. It is the fastest way to bring your case to a conclusion.
Call the attorneys at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo as soon as possible at (609) 677-1700, or fill out the form online to schedule your free consultation. We can answer your questions and determine the most efficient way to proceed to best help you and your family obtain the compensation that you deserve.
We have offices in Northfield, Cherry Hill, Hamilton, and Cape May Court House, or, in some cases, can even come to you. Why leave potential compensation on the table? Talk with a member of our award-winning Workers’ Compensation Team to see how we can assist with your case.