Our Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers are Here for You
Getting Hurt on the Job
If you were hurt while on the job, your employer and its workers’ comp insurance company should do everything possible to help you recover from your injuries and get you back on your feet – physically and financially. After all, you suffered an injury while doing your job for your employer. Now it’s time for your employer to do its job and work for you. If your employer won’t then hiring the trusted and experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo is a good first step. Unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies oftentimes do not make things easy for injured employees. In many of these cases, the difficulties and obstacles created by insurance companies are unnecessary, inappropriate, and completely contradict the law and spirit of New Jersey’s no-fault system.If you were hurt at work, you should be able to concentrate on your physical healing and well-being – not have to worry about your employer denying you the benefits you deserve.The New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo have the knowledge, skills, and proven ability to make workers’ compensation work for you. We solve problems. We get results.
Reputation, Success, and Respect
The reality is that the outcome of your case will largely depend on the skill of your New Jersey work injury attorney and the quality of your legal representation. Your attorney’s level of education, experience, track record, legal abilities, and reputation matter – big time.
Highest Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ comp. The firm received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials – in Professional Excellence and Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.
Best Lawyers®, Super Lawyers®, and “Superb” from Avvo
In addition to the firm’s stellar reputation, the department head, Frank Petro, is respected locally, regionally, and nationally as a leading attorney in this specialized field. He has been recognized as an outstanding attorney by Best Lawyers® every year since 1995 and by Super Lawyers® every year since 2005. Moreover, he has achieved a rating of “Superb” on the leading lawyer-review website, Avvo®, the highest achievable rating.
100+ Years of Combined Experienced
Along with Stephen M. Matarazzo, Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, Steven Lubcher, and Daniel Rosenthal, our New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience, having successfully handled thousands of litigated workers’ comp cases throughout New Jersey. This experience and winning track record means that you are going to have a skilled New Jersey work injury lawyer who will work for you.
Wear and Tear and Loss of Function – Delayed Onset Injuries
As a valued client of our firm, you can expect legal excellence when our proven New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers handle your matter, regardless of the size of your case. Your case management will involve a comprehensive review of basic workers’ compensation coverage – such as wages and medical coverage – along with more complex issues, such as work-related medical conditions, loss of function, and WEAR and TEAR injuries that may not show up until years after you have left a job.Some injuries, such as WEAR and TEAR injuries, may not be evident immediately, but rather develop over time. No matter what the extent of your injuries are, you will always be treated courteously and professionally by our staff.
What Kinds of Benefits Are Included in Workers’ Compensation?
The medical benefits of workers’ compensation are intended to cover doctor visits, medication, and surgeries related to identifying and treating your injury or illness. Should you need special therapy or equipment to deal with your injury, workers’ comp will cover these costs as well.
Disability benefits are meant to compensate you for wages while your injury or illness makes it impossible for you to work.
Temporary Disability Benefits – You are entitled to up to 400 weeks of tax-free temporary disability benefits, based on 70% of your wage for any medical condition that is either caused or worsened by your employment.
Permanency Benefits – There are additional workers’ compensation benefits known as “permanency benefits”, which are awarded by a Judge of Compensation based upon medical evidence supporting a measurable loss of physical function. Most work-related surgeries, fractures, dislocations, tears, disc bulges, protrusions, and herniations qualify. These benefits can be pursued up to two years from the last date of medical treatment, even if the person has not pursued workers’ compensation benefits or even if the person no longer works for the employer where the original accident occurred.
Total Disability Benefits – When your work injury permanently limits the kinds of work you can do or your ability to earn a living, you would receive total disability benefits.
If your injury or illness falls into one of these categories, your disability benefits will be based upon the amount you were earning prior to your injury—typically, two-thirds of your regular wages. You will not have to pay income tax on the benefits you collect. For more information in regards to your specific case, please consult with one of our experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys.
What to Do When You Are Injured at Work
If you are injured while on the job, the first and most important thing you must do is to advise your employer of the injury as soon as possible. Even if you initially think that the injury is not serious, it is important that you let your employer know about the incident. By law, you are required to report the workplace incident to your employer within 90 days of the accident.In the State of New Jersey, every worker is entitled to workers’ comp benefits regardless of the size of the employer or the length of time the employee he or she has been employed. In fact, you are eligible even on your very first day of employment.To make sure that you receive all of the benefits that you rightfully deserve, we strongly recommend contacting a competent New Jersey worker’s comp lawyer who will serve as an advocate for you and help guide you through the entire process. Regardless of which attorney you choose, you should never be asked to pay fees up front. Our attorney fees are actually set by the Workers’ Compensation Court and are ONLY paid after the lawyer is successful in obtaining benefits for you. By law, the fee cannot exceed 20% of your recovery.There are three benefits associated with workers’ compensation, which many people do not realize. These three benefits are temporary disability benefits, medical treatment, and permanent partial disability. All too often, injured employees leave money on the table because they are not aware of the full scope of benefits. When you work with our experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys, we will work hard to be sure you receive all of the benefits that you deserve.Although the system is designed to have the court review every case to be sure that the insurance company compensates you properly, you must retain a lawyer to file a Petition arranging for judicial review. Without a skilled New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer to file the Petition, you will receive whatever the insurance company decides to voluntarily pay; the court system will not be involved.As many of our clients will attest, having New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys from Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo by your side can be invaluable. We encourage you to check out the many client testimonials our clients have provided.
How We Can Help You
We earn our reputation by helping our clients overcome a limitless number of challenges time and time again. Specifically, many injured employees are thrown curve-balls by their employers and workers’ comp insurance companies that are confusing, perplexing, and unfair.Some of the most common issues we successfully handle for our clients include the following:
The insurance company’s initial denial (rejection) of a workers’ comp claim based on a number of different reasons:
Failure of employee to notify employer in a timely manner
Failure of employee to seek medical treatment for a work-related injury in a timely manner
Determination that the injury was suffered outside the scope of employment
Determination that the injury was not suffered at a place of employment (this may include a determination that the injury was pre-existing)
Determination that the incident leading to injury is exempt from workers’ comp insurance coverage (e.g., self-inflicted injury, injury caused as a result of horseplay, injury caused because of impairment due to alcohol or drugs)
The insurance company’s decision to not pay (or discontinue payment of) medical expenses based on the following reasons:
Determination that the medical treatment is or was provided by an unauthorized physician
Determination that the type and/or duration of treatment is or was not authorized
Determination that the medical treatment is unnecessary and/or unreasonable
Determination that the medical treatment is unrelated to work-related injury
Determination that the medical treatment has exceeded a reasonable duration
The insurance company’s decision regarding temporary, permanent, partial, and/or total disability:
Each of these classifications of disability determines the amount and duration of weekly benefits that an injured employee may receive, and insurance companies may improperly classify a disability in order to pay less in benefits.
The insurance company’s failure to correctly calculate an injured employee’s average weekly wages:
An employee’s average weekly wages prior to the work-related injury is critical in determining the amount of weekly benefits to be paid to an injured employee. Failure to correctly calculate this number may result in lower weekly check amounts.
An insurance company’s low-ball settlement offer:
In order to resolve an outstanding claim as quickly as possible (for as little money as possible), the insurance company may offer a low-ball amount to settle the claim. In workers’ comp cases, any settlement reached is referred to as a “lump sum settlement.”
Unlawful termination of employment because of a work injury:
Employers are not required to hold an employee’s position open in every single workers’ comp situation; in many cases, they must hold the job open.
There are strict rules and regulations that govern an employer’s duty in this regard; in many cases, employers unlawfully and/or improperly terminate an injured employee’s employment.
Moreover, injured employees may be able to return to work with certain restrictions, but employers do not want to deal with the hassle. In these cases, employers fail to provide legally required, necessary accommodations, or they may simply unlawfully terminate employees due to the restrictions.
In addition to helping clients face and overcome these specific issues, our New Jersey workers’ comp lawyers help injured employees through every step of the process.Some of the exceptional legal services we will provide you include the following:
Timely and complete filing of required documents with your employer, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development – Workers’ Compensation Division, the court, etc.
Assistance in obtaining authorization for medical treatment.
Assistance with the Independent Medical Exam (IME) process.
Direct communication with your employer and workers’ comp insurance company.
Obtaining all necessary medical bills and records.
Conducting necessary legal and factual research specific to your case.
Representation at all hearings before the Department of Labor.
The handling of any necessary appeals.
Contact a Trusted Worker’s Compensation Law Firm – We Can Help
If you or someone you love would like to receive more information on workers’ compensation settlements, wage loss, workplace injuries, wage claims, and how to receive benefits, contact our New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys as soon as possible at (609) 677-1700 to schedule your free consultation. Our New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys can answer your questions and determine the most efficient way to proceed in order to help you and your family obtain the compensation that you deserve.
Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of Workers’ Compensation. The following Frequently Asked Questions provide valuable information on Workers’ Compensation. You can also check out some interesting facts on Workers’ Compensation by visiting our Facts You Need to Know page.
Our experienced NJ work injury attorneys are always available to talk with you and provide additional information on workers’ benefits, wage claim, workplace injury, wage loss, and workers’ compensation settlement. Call us at (888) 675-7607 for your free legal consultation.
Workers’ compensation is the payment (usually by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier) of three separate benefits when work either causes or worsens a medical condition.
Temporary Disability Benefits – are tax-free weekly benefits representing 70% of your gross weekly wage, payable up to 400 weeks. These benefits are payable while you are temporarily unable to work because of a work-related medical condition and under active medical treatment.
Medical Treatment – all reasonable and necessary medical charges to treat your work-related medical condition are payable by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The carrier has the initial right to authorize specific physicians who are competent to treat your condition. If a problem arises concerning the medical treatment you require, you have the right to make an application to a Judge of Workers’ Compensation. With our assistance, we can work with you and the Judge for a determination as to what, if any, additional compensable medical treatment you require.
Permanent Partial Disability – is additional compensation which is payable to you, if after your completion of compensable medical treatment, you have a measurable loss of physical function proven by “demonstrable objective medical evidence.” This benefit can be payable to you even if you are able to return to work and have made an excellent recovery.
In order to obtain the full benefits permitted by law, you should be represented by a competent and experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney.
Give us a call or fill out our online form to request a free and confidential consultation with one of Petro Cohen’s workers’ compensation attorneys.
If you are injured at work, the law requires you to report the incident to your employer within 90 days of the accident. To best protect your rights, you should immediately report every injury/accident to your supervisor, even if you do not think the injury is serious.
A work-related injury is any injury or illness that you suffer during the course and scope of your employment. This includes three primary types of medical conditions: physical injuries, occupational illnesses, and repetitive stress (what we call WEAR and TEAR) injuries.
Many people have a delayed onset of symptoms following an accident, especially with respect to spinal and joint injuries. By documenting your work-related accident as soon as it occurs, you reduce the risk that the insurance company will later deny your claim if it turns out that your injury is more serious than you first thought.
Failure to notify your employer immediately does not legally prevent you from receiving workers’ compensation approved medical treatment, even if your employer has you submit your treatment to your health insurer.
If your work aggravates or worsens a pre-existing medical condition, you may be entitled to further workers’ compensation benefits. Often the workers’ compensation insurance carrier denies benefits when the worker has a pre-existing medical condition. However, many of these “denied” claims are successfully challenged in the Workers’ Compensation Court when the medical evidence proves that the accident at work either worsened or aggravated the pre-existing condition making additional medical treatment now necessary.
As highly qualified New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys, we will consult with you at no charge to determine whether you have a valid workers’ compensation claim.
When we represent you, we will be paid based upon the benefits we achieve for you that are awarded by the Judge of Workers’ Compensation. Our system is designed to have the Workers’ Compensation court review every case to make certain that the insurance company has properly compensated you, but you must retain a lawyer to file a Petition arranging for judicial review. Otherwise, you will simply receive whatever the insurance company decides to voluntarily pay, and the workers’ compensation court system is not involved. Often this means you receive less than what you are legally entitled.
We often are asked, “Can I be denied workers’ compensation if the injury was my fault?” The answer is, “Almost never.”
Workers’ compensation benefits are payable without regard to fault (including your own). The only thing that matters is whether the medical condition was either caused or worsened by your work.
However, if the accident was caused by a third party (example: you are making a delivery during the scope of your employment and a bus drives through a stop sign, striking your vehicle), then you may also have a lawsuit against the responsible third party for which we can also represent you.
If you have questions about a potential workers’ compensation claim, our experienced New Jersey workers’ comp lawyers can help. Give us a call to request a free and confidential consultation.
Making a workers’ compensation claim is not a lawsuit against your employer and it is illegal for any New Jersey employer to retaliate or otherwise discriminate against an employee who retains an attorney and pursues a contested workers’ compensation claim.
If you have any questions regarding a potential workers’ compensation claim, our attorneys are happy to help. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers, give us a call or fill out our online form.
You are eligible for workers’ compensation the moment you are hired. Every worker in the State of New Jersey is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of the size of the employer or the length of time the employee has been employed.
The law gives the employer the initial right to select a physician (known as the “authorized” physician) to treat your work-related medical condition. So long as the physician is qualified to treat your medical condition, the insurance carrier will only have to pay for treatment provided by the “authorized” doctor.
However, if the “authorized” physician concludes that you do not need further medical treatment, or if your medical condition is not related to your work-related injury, you are then free to treat with your own physician if you otherwise have acceptable medical coverage (most policies exclude workers’ compensation conditions).
If a problem occurs with your medical treatment, you must contact us so we can advise you on how to proceed. Our New Jersey worker’s compensation attorneys are here to help.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied by your employer or their workers’ compensation carrier, immediately consult with us. As experienced workers’ compensation lawyers, we can advise you of your options.
Your temporary disability rate is based upon 70% of your customary weekly wage at the time of your accident. There is a minimum and maximum rate depending upon the year of your injury.
Actually, any medical illness or condition can potentially be a valid workers’ compensation claim if the particular occupational exposure is a material contribution to the causation, worsening, or acceleration of a medical condition or disease. Often these types of claims, known as “occupational” diseases, are contested, but with proper medical evidence supporting the claim, a Judge of Compensation can decide whether the condition is compensable or not.
At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, we have both the skill and experience required to help navigate through the complex workers’ compensation system. Contact us for a free consultation by phone or by completing our online form. We look forward to discussing your situation with you.
Almost any medical condition can be considered compensable under the workers’ compensation law, if it is determined by a Judge of Compensation that your work exposure was a material contributing factor to either the “causation, aggravation, acceleration or exacerbation” of the medical condition in question. For example, if a jackhammer operator, carpenter, secretary, casino dealer, cocktail server, food server, etc. repetitively flexes/extends his/her wrist as part of his/her routine occupational duties, the development of carpal tunnel syndrome may very well be a compensable condition depending upon the proofs.
If a construction laborer, warehouse person, delivery person, housekeeper, nurse, stocker, driver, or other worker routinely lifts, bends, flexes, exerts, and rotates his or her spine and develops a herniated disc or degenerative spine pain, the condition can also be considered compensable, depending upon the proof.
For more information, visit WEAR and TEAR injuries.
Since these types of cases are often complex, we strongly recommend that you speak with a qualified New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer regarding your claim. For a free and confidential consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys, call us at 888-675-7607 or complete our online form.
No, you do not need to lose time from work in order to have a valid claim for workers’ compensation. Even if you do not lose time from work, you are entitled to all appropriate medical treatment for your condition and you may even be entitled to permanent partial disability if you have sufficient “demonstrable objective medical evidence” of any loss of physical function. In other words, payment of permanent loss of function benefits is not dependent upon payment of temporary disability benefits. Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has a team of skilled and experienced attorneys who can be of invaluable assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, fighting to make sure you receive all the benefits to which you may be entitled. Contact us for a free consultation.
This is the third benefit of workers’ compensation and most people (even lawyers) know the least about this benefit. This benefit is potentially payable in most cases where your injury is more than minor, but you should retain a lawyer to fully pursue this benefit in Workers’ Compensation Court.
Few insurance carriers voluntarily pay (or at least fully pay) this benefit. Even if your workers’ compensation carrier has voluntarily paid for your medical treatment and your temporary disability benefits, you may still be entitled to permanent partial disability. We can file a Claim Petition on your behalf and ask the Workers’ Compensation Judge to award you this benefit. If you receive such compensation, it is a tax-free benefit to you. The Judge of Compensation will usually award this benefit approximately one year after you complete active medical treatment.
We strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will make sure you receive all the benefits to which you may be entitled. For a free consultation with a member of Petro Cohen’s workers’ comp team, give us a call at 888-675-7607 or complete our online form and someone will be in touch with you promptly.
Yes, you qualify for permanent partial benefits even if you are no longer working for the employer where you were injured. As long as your last authorized medical treatment was less than two years ago or the last payment received by you was less than two years ago, you can potentially file a claim. Your workers’ compensation rights apply the moment you are injured and do not require ongoing employment.
The workers’ compensation system can be complex to navigate. That’s why we strongly recommend that you speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney regarding the specifics of your case. Contact us for a free consultation.
Yes. However, sometimes there is a reduction of either Social Security disability or workers’ compensation, depending upon the type of workers’ compensation benefit you are receiving and the amount of benefits you are receiving.
At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, we have both the skill and experience required to help navigate through the complex workers’ compensation system. Contact us for a free consultation!
Yes. However, these are complex issues and require the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to resolve. Our skilled New Jersey worker’s compensation lawyers will help you navigate through the complex workers’ comp system.
Lawyer fees are set by the Workers’ Compensation Court only after the lawyer is successful in obtaining benefits for you. The fee cannot exceed 20% of your recovery.
Many people do not realize that there are three benefits associated with workers’ compensation. Rather than leave money on the table to which you may be entitled, we strongly urge you to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
What benefits does workers’ compensation cover?
Each New Jersey workers’ comp claim is unique and the benefits are specific to the situation. Most people do not understand all the benefits they are entitled to receive under workers’ compensation. Below are the three benefits.
Temporary Disability – tax-free payment of 70% of wages up to 400 weeks while you are out of work recovering from your work-related condition.
Medical Treatment – 100% payment of all reasonable and necessary treatment for any condition caused or worsened by work.
Permanent Partial (or Total) Disability – additional compensation for loss of physical function from your work-related condition. Our clients are often surprised to learn that most medical conditions qualify for this benefit as long as they are not minor injuries. These benefits can be paid whether your medical condition results from an accident or the WEAR and TEAR of your job over time.
If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact one of our knowledgeable New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys for a free consultation. We can help you determine if you have a claim for your work injury.
You must file a claim within two years from the date of the accident, last date of authorized medical treatment, or last date of workers’ compensation benefits paid to you, whichever date is later.
In an occupational claim (where your condition is the result of exposure or the WEAR and TEAR of your employment over a period of time rather than a specific accident or injury), you generally have two years from the date you knew or should have known that you had a work-related occupational medical condition. These claims raise time-sensitive issues and your rights can be permanently lost if you do not act within the proper statute of limitations.
For assistance with your worker injury case, the knowledgeable New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Petro Cohen can help. Call us for a free consultation by phone at 888-675-7607 or complete our online form and someone will be in touch with you promptly.
Payments are based on a special chart applicable for the year of your injury. Each body part is valued at a specific number of weeks. The rate at which each week is paid depends upon your wage. The following examples assume that your weekly wage is at least $635. The weekly rate cannot exceed 70% of your gross weekly wage. If you earn $200 per week in gross wages, your weekly permanent partial disability benefit rate cannot exceed $140 per week. In that event, your permanency award would be less than the following examples.
20% of the thumb = 15 weeks at $246.00 per week = $3,690.00
20% of the hand = 49 weeks @ 246.00 per week = $12,054.00
20% of the leg = 63 weeks @ $246.00 per week = $15,498.00
20% of the back = 120 weeks @ $264.10 per week = $31,692.00
50% of the thumb = 37.5 weeks @ $246.00 per week = $9,225.00
50% of the hand = 122.5 weeks @ $265.22 per week = $32,489.50
50% of the leg = 157.5 weeks @ $284.96 per week =$44,881.50
50% of the back = 300 weeks @ $614.00 per week = $184,200.00
For the full chart, click on the link below. View Chart**State of NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, we have both the skill and experience required to help navigate through the complex workers’ compensation system and to answer any questions you may have. Contact us for a free consultation by phone at 888-675-7607 or by completing our online form. We look forward to discussing your situation with you.
"The way my case was handled was of the utmost caliber!...I am now six-months out from surgery and I feel great. I have my life back!" - Penny L