Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. From a construction site to an office setting, it is common to slip and fall, suffer burns, or even become exposed to more hazardous situations. No matter whose fault it is, workers’ compensation benefits are available to cover any medical treatment that is required for a work-related injury and to reimburse lost wages after an accident.
If you live in New Jersey and have suffered an injury after an accident at work, read on to find out about the workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to claim.
Reporting the Injury to your Employer
If you have suffered a burn, broken bone or soft tissue injury as a result of an accident at work, it is important that you report your injury to your employer as soon as you can. By notifying your supervisor, personnel officer or a department with authority about your accident, you can start the process for claiming workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible. Notification does not have to be completed in writing; a conversation with your employer is enough.
In the state of New Jersey, there is a time limit of two years in place where you can make a workers’ compensation claim after being injured at work. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to file the claim with your employer or you will risk losing your chance of compensation for the injury you have suffered at work.
First Report of Injury
Once you have alerted your employers about the accident and to your injuries, this will allow them to notify their workers’ compensation insurance carrier about the situation. Workers compensation insurance is mandatory for employers in the state of New Jersey; if you find out that your employer does not have this insurance coverage in place for you, it is important to report it to the Office of Special Compensation Funds. Contact that office using the information below:
Call: (609) 292-0165
You can also fill out a Report of Non-Compliance form.
Once your supervisor has notified their workers’ compensation insurance carrier about the accident, a First Report of Injury is filed with the state of New Jersey. This will contain all of the details about the work-related injuries you have suffered. This means you do not need to personally file the workers’ compensation claim, your employer does this for you.
Evaluating your Injury Claim
In order to find out whether you can be compensated for your work-related injury, the insurance company will need to do some investigation and evaluate your claim. This can involve an examination by a company-approved doctor to verify the injuries you have reported to your employer.
A successful workers’ compensation claim will mean that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for any medical attention that you require and any wages you have lost as a result of your injury. Medical treatment that you need to rehabilitate your injuries will be provided to allow you to return to work again. It is always best to tell your employers when you need medical treatment. Under New Jersey laws, your employer can choose the doctor to provide your care.
You may also be entitled to wage replacement if you have been unable to attend work after the accident. In the event that you have suffered permanent injury and long-term disability, you can be eligible for further workers’ compensation benefits.
Just like many other states, the law in New Jersey ensures it is illegal for any employer to discriminate against any worker that has claimed workers’ compensation benefits. This means it is against the law to have your contract terminated because you have filed for compensation benefits or are testifying in a claim. If your employer, in the course of the compensation claim, has discriminated you against, it is recommended that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney for advice.
The Appeal Process
If you are unsatisfied with the compensation you receive from your work-related injury claim or have had your request denied, you are entitled to dispute this decision. You can appeal by filing a formal claim petition or you can submit an application for an informal hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. These can be complicated processes if you have never gone through them before. It may be best to seek help from a workers’ compensation insurance attorney, as they have the expertise and experience you need to succeed in appeal.
If you have been injured at work and wish to find out more about workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey, follow the links below: