In New Jersey, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for most job-related injuries and illnesses. If you get injured or sick on the job and you are eligible for coverage, then your employer should provide medical and disability benefits promptly.
Unfortunately, this is not always how it works. In fact, many employees find themselves unable to collect the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Employers and their insurance companies deny employees’ claims – rightfully and wrongfully – on a regular basis, and this leaves many employees struggling to pay their bills while they try to recover.
5 Steps to Take If Your Employer Has Denied Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
What should you do if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied? Here are five important steps you should take to protect your legal rights.
1. Make Sure You Filed Your Claim Appropriately and On-Time
First, it will be important to make sure that you filed your workers’ compensation claim in accordance with New Jersey law. In order to remain eligible for benefits, you must report your job-related injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible, and in any event, no later 14 days after it occurs. For WEAR and TEAR injuries and occupational illnesses, you must file a claim with the Division of Compensation within two years of when you knew or should have known about your injury or illness and its relation to work. This can present some challenges, and employers frequently deny these types of workers’ comp claims on the basis that the employee did not file in time.
2. Continue Your Medical Treatment
Even if your employer has denied your claim, you should still continue your medical treatment. You need to get better, and the only way to do that is to keep up with your medical care. If your employer has wrongfully denied your claim, the medical expenses you incur now can still be covered. If you stop treatment, your employer may try to deny future coverage on the basis that you are to blame for prolonging your recovery.
3. Continue to Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
It is important that you continue following your doctor’s advice at home as well. This includes staying home from work if necessary. If you return to work too soon, this could make your injury or illness worse, and it could also make it more difficult to overcome your workers’ compensation denial.
4. Learn about Dealing with Workers’ Comp Denials and Appeals
Dealing with a workers’ compensation denial is not easy. Not only can it be very stressful, but it also involves complicated legal rules and procedures. If you need to file an appeal, you will need to file a Claim Petition or an Application for an Informal Hearing with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation, and you will need to be able to argue effectively that your workers’ comp denial should be overturned. To learn more about dealing with a workers’ comp denial, you can read:
- What If Your Workers’ Compensation Is Denied?
- What to Do When Your Employer Denies Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in Bad Faith
5. Consult with a Proven Compensation Attorney
Finally, in order to protect your legal rights, the best thing you can do is to discuss your claim with a New Jersey compensation attorney. An attorney at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo can help you make informed decisions about protecting your rights by answering questions such as:
- Why was your claim denied? In order to determine whether you are entitled to benefits, you will first need to determine why your claim was denied.
- Can any issues with your claim be corrected? In some cases, simple issues can be corrected so that injured and sick employees can start collecting benefits without the need to file an appeal.
- Can you file an appeal? If you need to file an appeal, our attorneys can make sure you are still eligible, and we can handle your appeal before the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation on your behalf.
- Do you have another claim for financial compensation? In addition to fighting to help you collect workers’ compensation benefits, we can determine if you have any additional claims for compensation or benefits as well.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Trusted New Jersey Lawyer at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo
Has your employer or its insurance company denied your claim for workers’ compensation benefits? If so, our attorneys are here to help.
The award-winning Workers’ Compensation Team at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo work hard for our hard working clients. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully handle your claim and will fight hard to make sure you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled.
Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ compensation. Since 2011, the firm has been named every year on the prestigious Best Law Firms in America® in Atlantic City list for Workers’ Compensation. The head of the firm’s Workers’ Comp Department, Frank Petro, has received the highest rating (A/V) from Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials (the A/V rating is only for lawyers considered the top in their field). Since 1995, Frank Petro has been named every year on the Best Lawyers in America® list for Workers’ Compensation. Additionally, Frank Petro has been named to the NJ Super Lawyers® list since 2005 in the practice area of workers’ compensation. He is also certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Workers’ Compensation Law Attorney, the highest specialty certification available to workers’ compensation attorneys in New Jersey, and has held this certification since its inception in 1998. In addition, he has achieved a rating of “Superb” on the leading lawyer-review website, Avvo®, the highest achievable rating.
For your convenience, Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has four offices in southern New Jersey, including Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys to discuss fighting your workers’ comp denial, call us directly at 888-675-7607 or request an appointment online today.