Injured on the Job in New Jersey?
Workers Compensation Attorney for Work Injury Claims
New Jersey law requires that all employers, regardless of the size of the business, cover the cost of any worker’s injuries when sustained on the job. Some businesses qualify for federal programs or get approval for self-insurance. However, most companies must purchase workers compensation insurance in order to comply with these laws. If you are hurt at work, this kind of insurance should pay for your medical bills as well as a portion of your lost wages. In serious cases, workers compensation benefits also include disability payments and wrongful death compensation.
Although most work injuries should qualify for workers compensation benefits, some businesses and insurance companies may try to deny your claim or offer you a low settlement. A New Jersey workers compensation attorney can give you legal advice and represent you in your claim to ensure you get the benefits you deserve. Even if the insurance company already denied your claim, having a lawyer on your side will give you a better chance of winning your appeal.
What Injuries Qualify for Workers Compensation in New Jersey?
According to New Jersey workers compensation laws, almost all work injuries qualify for benefits. This includes any accidents that happen while performing your work, as well as injuries sustained on business trips. Essentially, if you are injured anywhere on the premises of your workplace or while traveling for work, you should qualify for workers compensation benefits. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, you cannot get workers compensation if your injuries resulted when you knowingly violated a specific company safety policy.
The most common workplace injuries typically covered by workers compensation include:
- Muscle strain. The most common workers compensation claim is for muscle strain or sprains, especially in the back. Incorrect lifting techniques and lack of training are the most frequent causes of these types of work injuries.
- Cuts and lacerations. A serious cut or puncture wound can cause nerve damage and impaired mobility that may last a lifetime. Cuts and tissue damage are the leading cause of workers compensation claims for small business in New Jersey.
- Bone fractures. The most common workplace accidents are falls, which often result in a broken bone or multiple fractures.
- Eye injuries. These work injuries commonly happen when employers fail to provide workers with adequate safety equipment, especially in manufacturing and construction.
- Repetitive motion injuries. If you perform the same motions every day, you may develop muscle strain or another condition over time. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive motion injury that workers compensation should cover.
- Occupational diseases. If you develop an illness or disease as a result of your job or workplace, you should qualify for workers compensation benefits. For example, if a workplace with hazardous chemicals lacks proper ventilation, a worker may develop serious and possibly permanent breathing issues.
How Do I File a Workers Compensation Claim?
The statute of limitations for a work injury claim is two years, according to New Jersey workers compensation laws. However, you should act quickly after a workplace accident to ensure you get the benefits you deserve. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the insurance company will deny your claim. Additionally, if you delay treatment, the insurance adjuster may argue that your injury is not as severe as you claim or that the injury is not work-related.
After a work injury, follow these steps to give yourself the best chance of approval for your workers compensation claim:
- If your injury is severe, seek emergency medical treatment. As with any accident, the most important thing you can do is get medical help for serious personal injuries. Workers compensation should cover the cost of a trip to the emergency room, and any life-saving treatment you require.
- Inform your employer. If your injury is not life-threatening, it is a good idea to tell your supervisor or boss immediately after a workplace accident. Then, while you seek medical treatment, your employer can begin the paperwork for your workers compensation claim.
- See a doctor. Even if you receive emergency treatment, you will probably have to see another doctor for your work injury claim. New Jersey workers compensation laws allow your employer to choose a physician to treat you. Sometimes, these doctors may downplay the severity of your injury, resulting in a low insurance settlement.
- Call an attorney and complete your workers compensation paperwork. Even if you think you have a solid workers compensation claim, it never hurts to get free legal advice. Your employer should provide the paperwork for your claim. However, you should check with a workers compensation attorney before signing or completing any forms.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Jersey Workers Compensation Attorney Today
If you were hurt at work, a workers compensation attorney from Keefe Law Firm can give you advice about your claim, completely free of charge or obligation. Our work injury lawyers can answer your questions and assist you during your initial application process. Or, we can investigate your workers compensation denial and file an appeal on your behalf.
We have offices in Red Bank, New Brunswick and Newark, and are happy to accept workers compensation cases statewide. Call one of our offices or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today.