Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey – An Overview
In New Jersey you may be entitled to certain benefits if you suffer injuries arising out of your employment. Your injury may be as a result of a specific traumatic event may be occupational in nature. An injury that is occupational in nature develops over time as a result of repetitive movements or as a result of ongoing exposure to a dangerous condition.
Regardless of whether your injury is as a result of a traumatic event or as a result of an occupational exposure, in the event that your injury is arising out of your employment, you are entitled to certain benefits in New Jersey. These benefits include medical benefits, temporary benefits and benefits for any permanent residuals of your injury.
Primarily, should your condition or injury cause the need for medical treatment, the workers’ compensation insurance company on behalf of the employer is to provide reasonable, necessary and causally related medical treatment in an effort to cure the condition or injury. This is to be provided without a financial cost to the injured employee. However, in New Jersey, the insurance carrier does have the right to choose the doctors and facilities at which the employee receives medical treatment. This is called authorized medical care.
In addition, while receiving medical treatment, should the employee be temporarily totally disabled as a result of that medical condition, the carrier for the employer is to provide payment to the employee. This determination is made by the doctors authorized to provide medical care and there is a seven (7) day waiting period. Payment is made at the rate of seventy percent (70%) of the employee’s average weekly wage and is capped at the statutory rate seventy percent (70%) of the state standard average weekly wage.
If the authorized physicians are of the opinion that the employee may work during medical treatment, but at a lesser capacity than their normal job requires, the employer may accommodate these medical restrictions. At that point, the insurance carrier is not obligated to continue to pay temporary disability benefits. However, should the employer not be able, or be unwilling, to accommodate the medical restrictions, the carrier is to continue to provide temporary disability benefits for as long as those restrictions remain temporary in nature.
In the event that the employee has permanent residuals from the injury or condition, the employee may be entitled to payment for same. This is true whether the permanent residuals are partial or total in nature. In addition, should the injury or condition result in the death of the employee, there is a possibility of payment of dependency benefits payable to the dependents of the deceased employee.
Should you believe that you have suffered an injury or condition as a result of a traumatic event or occupational exposure, it is important that you seek the assistance of experienced counsel to guide you through the process. This will help to insure that you receive all appropriate benefits under the law and assist in avoiding unnecessary delays.
At R.C. Shea & Associates, we have several attorneys that are experienced in assisting clients through this difficult time in your life. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.