Many New Jersey residents do not understand the State’s workers’ compensation system. Of course, unless you have first-hand experience in dealing with an injury at work, you may not have had the need to learn anything about the system and how it works.
If you have been injured at work or while performing work-related activities, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation to pay for your medical costs and lost wages. In New Jersey, you may be entitled to a workers’ comp disability award when your case is closed. New Jersey is a no-fault workers’ comp state, which means that you are entitled to workers’ comp when injured at work regardless of whether the injury was your fault, your employer’s fault, or unavoidable.
Understanding Workers’ Comp in Cape May Court House, NJ
NJ workers’ comp is like an insurance policy that covers both workers and employers. It allows workers to receive compensation for any injuries they might sustain while at work. In return, the employer is protected from lawsuits, because the injured worker cannot sue the employer unless the employer intentionally injured the employee. If a worker is killed at work, his or her dependents can get death benefits from workers’ comp, regardless of who is at fault.
Workers’ Comp Benefits to Which You May Be Entitled
If you’re injured at work, you may be entitled to some or all of the following workers’ comp benefits:
- Medical benefits. Workers’ comp will cover any medical expenses related to workplace injury. You can get coverage for prescription drugs, surgery, hospital stays, and other medical treatments.
- Temporary total disability benefits. Workers’ comp will cover 70 percent of your average weekly pay if you have to miss work for more than seven days due to a work-related injury. You’ll continue to receive these benefits until you’re able to return to work or an authorized workers’ compensation doctor states that you have reached maximum medical improvement
- Permanent partial disability benefits. If you sustain a permanent disability due to workplace-related injuries, but can still perform some type of work after the injury, you may receive permanent partial disability benefits for the loss of function cause by your injuries. These benefits are payable after your case is settled.
- Permanent total disability benefits. If your workplace-related injuries are so severe that you are unable to perform any type of job duties as a result, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. You’ll receive these benefits for an initial period of 450 weeks. If you remain totally disabled after 450 weeks, you can continue receiving these benefits.
- Death benefits. If someone you care about is killed on the job, you and other dependents may be entitled to death benefits. Usually, a surviving spouse and natural children who were dependent on the deceased parent are eligible for death benefits. Dependent children remain eligible until age 18, or if they’re enrolled in college full-time, until age 23. A physically or mentally disabled child may be entitled to further benefits. Dependents can receive weekly payments totaling 70 percent of the deceased worker’s weekly wage.
- Funeral benefits. If a worker is killed on the job, the employer or its workers’ comp insurance carrier must pay up to $3,500 in funeral expenses.
If you are injured at work, or someone you care about has been killed on the job, you may need the help of a NJ workers’ comp attorney to represent you in workers’ comp court and make sure you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Workers’ comp is intended to make sure you can get the medical treatment you need to recover from your workplace injuries, and keep paying your bills until you can return to work.
The workers’ comp system allows you to be a better employee, and it frees your employer from concerns about facing lawsuits brought by injured employees. The no-fault system means you are entitled to benefits even if your injuries were your own fault.
What to Do If You’re Injured on the Job
If you are injured on the job in New Jersey, you should immediately notify your employer of the injury. He or she should then file a First Report of Injury to his or her workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The carrier will then determine if you are covered under your employer’s workers’ comp insurance plan. If your employer is self-insured, they will decide for themselves whether or not your injuries are covered.
It is our recommendation that you consult a workers’ compensation about your injury as well. It is important for you to understand how the system works and what benefits may be on the table. Our attorneys can guide you to ensure that you receive all of the benefits to which you may be entitled.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
What happens if you are injured at work and your employer says your injuries are not covered under workers’ comp? In that case, it is even more important that you consult with a competent NJ workers’ comp attorney and have them on your side to ensure you are being treated and compensated fairly. Our attorneys can also help if your employer intentionally injuries you. In some cases, you may also be entitled to a third-party settlement for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and lasting disability.
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 with one of our attorneys. Petro Cohen has a reputation throughout the region for being one of the area’s top workers’ compensation firms. In fact, for the past nine years, Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been ranked in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally for Workers’ Compensation Law.
For your convenience, we have offices throughout New Jersey, including Northfield, Cherry Hill, Cape May Court House, and Hamilton. 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.