Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New Jersey
Many employees in New Jersey know very little about the state’s workers’ compensation system and the availability of workers’ compensation benefits to employees injured on the job. Unfortunately, without a basic understanding of the system and the process, employees who suffer legitimate, work-related injuries may unknowingly give up their rights to the benefits and compensation they deserve.
If you suffered an injury while on the job, it is very important to seek legal representation from an experienced workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible after the incident. To stress this importance, we have provided a brief list of three critical facts to know about filing for workers’ comp benefits in the great state of New Jersey.
New Jersey’s Workers’ Comp System is Considered “No Fault”
Unlike plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits, who must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was negligent or otherwise liable, injured employees have no such burden of proof under the state’s workers’ comp system. This means that an injured employee does not have to establish that the employer was in any way at fault in order to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits – only that the employee’s injury occurred while on the job and in the course and scope of employment.
In exchange, the law (in almost all cases) prohibits employees from suing their employers for pain and suffering and other damages available to plaintiffs in civil personal injury lawsuits.
You Must Adhere to Strict Deadlines When Filing for New Jersey Workers’ Comp Benefits
In order to successfully file for workers’ comp benefits, you must notify your employer of the accident and injury as soon as possible. If it is not an emergency, you should immediately submit a request for medical treatment to your employer.
If the workers’ comp insurance company denies your workers’ comp claim because it disputes one or more elements of the claim, you have a limited time to file an application for an informal hearing (the filing of which does NOT stop the two-year statute of limitations that applies to state workers’ comp cases).
The Insurance Company – Not You – Has the Absolute Right to Choose Your Treating Physicians
New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws provide that your employer and/or workers’ compensation insurance company have the absolute right to choose the physicians who evaluate, diagnose, and treat you for your work-related injury (with a few limited exceptions, such as in the case of emergency). If you wish to see a different medical care provider without prior authorization from the workers’ comp insurance company, you may be liable for all associated medical costs.
Contact Us Today
Workers’ comp attorneys exist for a reason: the system is complex, difficult to navigate, and wrought with potential missteps for injured employees. At Petro Cohen, P.C. we have decades of experience helping injured employees receive the workers’ comp benefits they deserve. Call or contact us for a free consultation. Talk to an experienced lawyer who can help you sort out your rights. We can be reached by phone at 888-675-7607, or you can complete our online form. We look forward to discussing your situation with you.