Workers' Compensation in New Jersey
New Jersey's workers' comp (also known as work compensation, workman's comp, and workers' compensation) is a way to provide medical care and income to employees who have become ill, or injured on the job. Employers are required in New Jersey to carry workman's comp insurance for their employees. Independent contractors are not covered by workers' comp insurance. Work-related accident and/or illness claims must be filed with the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation.
There are some work compensation matters that should be handled with the assistance of a New Jersey work compensation attorney. For example, if your employer is uninsured, underinsured, or uncooperative, or if your injury is long lasting, serious or permanent, legal assistance may be necessary.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Mishaps that cause injuries at work are included in New Jersey's work compensation. These accidents may include falling, tripping and slipping at the workplace.
- Injuries that result on the job from an employee's actions while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, or that result because he is not following the employer's or statutory rules, are not covered by workers' comp insurance.
- Diseases that are caused by conditions at your workplace or by the work you do at work. For instance: lead poisoning, hearing loss, and asbestosis.
- Dependents may receive death benefits if the injured or sick worker dies.
The New Jersey Worker's Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- Promptly notify your employer (by telling your supervisor, foreman, manager, etc.) of your work-related injury or sickness. Failure to report your injury or sickness to your boss may cause your benefits to be delayed, or may cause you to lose your workman's compensation benefits entirely.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- File a claim with the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation: After hearing of your injury or illness, your boss should file a claim form with the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation. Claims should be filed within two years of the injury or illness. Filing after this period will bar recovery and may mean the loss of permanent disability compensation, medical benefits and/or lost wage benefits.
- Find a New Jersey Workers' Comp Lawyer if you have questions about your claim, or if your claim has been denied.
Benefits Received in New Jersey Under the Workers' Compensation Program
The following is a list of workers' comp benefits in New Jersey:
- Medical Treatment: Pays for all necessary medical treatment, prescriptions, physician's visits, hospital bills, and other care for your workplace connected injury or illness. The employer may choose the treating doctor for all work-related injuries.
- Wage Reimbursement: The employer must reimburse the employee for lost wages incurred while the employee travels to and from medical appointments, time he spends in treatment, and time spent at hearings at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
- Funeral: $3,500 in funeral expenses.
- Death: Dependants of an employee who dies from a work-connected injury or sickness may get death benefits at the rate of 70% of the deceased employee's weekly wage. This weekly payment cannot be greater than the maximum benefit determined each year by the Commissioner of Labor.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: New Jersey has a Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) to help disabled employees get new training and find new jobs, or keep their old jobs.
- Income Benefits: income replacement benefits in New Jersey include:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): When you are injured and cannot work, workers' compensation pays for you to live while you are undergoing medical treatment.
- Amount: Seventy percent of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed a statutory minimum or maximum.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): A worker's injury prevents him temporarily from doing his original job, but he can do some work.
- Amount: Benefits are paid out weekly at seventy percent of the employee's weekly wage.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): employee can no longer work because his work-related disease or injury is so serious that he permanently cannot work.
- Amount: Benefits are paid out at 70% of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage. Initially, PTD benefits continue for 450 weeks. Benefit payments may continue for longer if the employee can show he is unable to earn wages because of his injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): Maximum medical improvement has been reached by the employee, but the employee will always be affected by the injury or illness.
- Amount: Benefits are based upon a certain percentage of scheduled or non-scheduled losses.
Why Hire A New Jersey Workers' Comp Lawyer?
The consequences of misfiling or losing your work compensation claim can be disastrous. Sometimes it is difficult to prove that you were injured, your claim is contested, or your employer is uncooperative. In these cases in particular, it is imperative that you have a New Jersey workers' compensation lawyer. A New Jersey workman's comp attorney will be familiar with New Jersey workers' comp procedures, and can help you come up with a strategy for your case, file the appropriate paperwork, and make sure you understand the workman's compensation system. If it becomes necessary, your lawyer can also effectively argue your case to the Commissioner. In addition, if a third party is involved in your case, or if your injury resulted from a defective product for which the manufacturer is responsible, your lawyer can help you file suit.
New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law
New Jersey Workers' Comp Laws:
- Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation
- Workers' Compensation, Tit. 34, Chp. 15, Art.1.
- Covered Employees
- Workers' Compensation, Tit. 34, Chp. 15, Art.1.
- Labor and Employment, Tit 34, Chp.15, Art.2 §§ 13-15.2.
- Claims Procedure
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 34, Chp. 15, Art.2 §§ 17-27.