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Workers’ Compensation – The Basics

If you have been injured on the job in New Jersey, chances are very good that any benefits to which you are entitled will come through a workers’ compensation claim. In New Jersey, as in all other states, the legislature has implemented a workers’ compensation program as a tradeoff for workers and employers.

The workers’ compensation statute mandates that covered employees file their claims through the workers’ compensation program, and provides a cap on how much you will receive for a specific type of injury. Accordingly, in most circumstances, an employee does not have to face the prospect of unlimited damages in a court of law. In exchange for this protection, employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, which in covers potential claims. In exchange for relinquishing the right to unlimited damages, workers have access to a streamlined process whereby they can receive monetary compensation more quickly, with less cost, and without the need to file action in a court of law.

How a Claim is Processed

When you have been hurt on the job, your first step, provided you don’t need immediate emergency care, is to notify your employer. If your injury is serious or catastrophic, requiring treatment on the scene or in a hospital, you should always get the care you need first. If your injury does not require immediate care, notify your employer. They may require that you go to a specific doctor or medical facility. Even if they do, you can seek treatment from a physician of your own choice, as a second opinion. You must typically notify your employer within 30 days of an injury.

Once you have notified your employer, and provided all documentation supporting your claim, your employer will submit the claim to his or her workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The workers’ compensation insurance provider will evaluate the merits of the claim and decide whether you are eligible for benefits. In the process, they will determine whether your disability is temporary or permanent, and whether it is partial or total. The amount of compensation, as well as the length of time you receive it, will be based on this determination.

If the workers’ compensation carrier denies your claim (which happens frequently), there are avenues by which you can appeal the rejection. At this point, however, you will likely want to retain the services of an experienced lawyer, someone who knows how to help you get the benefits you need.

Contact Us

At the office of Harold J. Gerr, Attorney at Law, we have protected the rights of injured workers in central New Jersey for more than three decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at 732-537-8570 (toll free at 1-877-249-4600).

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