Protecting Your Right to Quality Medical Treatment
In New Jersey, employees are entitled to file for Workers’ Compensation benefits if they get injured at work. The law mandates that all NJ businesses should provide Workers’ Comp insurance to their employees, which covers medical treatment. However, not all Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage is created equal, and insurance carriers differ in their willingness to provide quality medical treatment.
New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system is a “no-fault” insurance program that provides income protection, medical treatment, and rehabilitation for workers who suffer injuries or become ill as a result of work. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the worker’s injury or illness, an employee may be entitled to medical benefits, temporary total benefits, permanent partial benefits, or permanent total benefits. The program also provides death benefits to qualifying dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment.
Securing workers’ compensation benefits for medical treatment is crucial to ensuring you have the means and opportunity to recover from your injuries. However, many workers encounter challenges in recovering appropriate financial coverage for their medical treatment. In these cases, it is imperative that you contact a New Jersey medical treatment lawyer at Petro Cohen, P.C. The attorneys at our office have extensive experience successfully navigating New Jersey’s complex workers’ compensation process and securing benefits for our clients. Contact a New Jersey medical treatment attorney at Petro Cohen today.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New Jersey
If you are injured at work, you should notify your employer as soon as reasonably possible. While notice does not need to be in writing, it is always advisable to have clear documentation of anything to do with a workplace injury. Ideally, your employer should create a record for each workplace injury or illness covered by workers’ compensation. This would ensure that the injured or sick worker receives proper payment. However, in many cases, employers fail to take this crucial step. Unfortunately, an employer’s failure to correctly record an injury or illness and subsequent medical treatment can create problems for workers.
Workers’ compensation claims cover employee medical treatment, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, disability, and death. Specifically, NJ workers’ compensation benefits cover the following:
- Medical benefits,
- Temporary and total disability benefits,
- Permanent partial disability benefits,
- Permanent total disability benefits, and
- Death benefits.
Once an injured worker reports the injury to their employer, the employer’s insurance company must file a report with the State. The insurance carrier will evaluate the claim and determine whether it is compensable through NJ workers’ comp laws. If the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) accepts the claim, they will direct the worker to a medical provider for treatment. Moreover, if the injury extends beyond seven days, the DWC will provide the worker with disability benefits.
Workers’ Comp Medical Treatment Coverage
Under NJ workers’ comp law, injured workers are entitled to all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospitalization services related to the work injury. These expenses are paid by the employer’s insurance carrier or directly by the employer if they are self-insured. For example, an employer must pay for things such as the following:
- Doctors’ visits,
- Diagnostic testing,
- Hospital services,
- Occupational therapy,
- Pain management,
- Prescription costs,
- Rehabilitation services, and
Employers should help the injured worker get immediate, appropriate medical treatment. In most cases, the sooner the injured worker receives the proper treatment, the sooner they can return to work. However, some employers focus on the injured employee’s return to work rather than actual recovery. While providing medical coverage is not considered an admission of liability, employers tend to focus on their interests and protection rather than the good of their workers.
Disputing Employer’s Medical Treatment Coverage
Workers’ compensation claims can sometimes result in a dispute between the worker and employer or their insurance carrier. Disputes may involve issues such as:
- Whether the injury was work-related,
- The type and extent of medical treatment, or
- The payment of disability benefits.
In these situations, it is critical that injured workers consult with a medical treatment attorney in New Jersey.
If you are in dispute with your employer over medical treatment or any other workers’ compensation issue, you should consult with an attorney to apply for an informal hearing. These hearings are available to resolve issues without requiring a lengthy formal trial. A medical treatment lawyer in New Jersey can help ensure that their client receives the treatment they need.
An attorney can represent injured workers in a formal hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. While most claims are settled by agreement, issues that cannot be settled will proceed to trial.
Motions for Medical or Temporary Benefits
New Jersey workers’ compensation laws provide prompt recourse to injured workers who require immediate medical treatment and temporary benefits. An attorney can help facilitate this process to ensure their clients receive appropriate medical treatment.
Further, New Jersey workers’ compensation law gives employers the right to choose a doctor for injured workers. Injured workers should work with their attorneys to seek alternative medical care if they believe that the doctor their employer chose is unqualified.
Moreover, qualifying NJ employers are only required to pay $50 in additional medical services. An attorney can help injured workers file a petition with the DWC to substantiate their claims for additional medical treatment.
Reach Out to a Dedicated New Jersey Medical Treatment Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you’ve been injured on the job, speaking to a New Jersey medical treatment lawyer can give you a much better understanding of your rights, as well as how to pursue them. At Petro Cohen, our lawyers have extensive experience helping guide clients through the process. We proudly help people obtain the benefits they need to get their lives back on track after an on-the-job injury. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients, and we will not bill you for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.