Injuries happen in the workplace all the time. While you think benefits for injuries might be limited to things like broken bones or head injuries, your repetitive stress injury may also be eligible for workers' compensation. Years spend sitting at a desk and typing away on a computer can cause long-term damage to your joints and nerves.
If you have suffered an injury at work, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. You should not be responsible for medical bills that are a direct result of your job related duties. A local New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you file a workers' compensation claim and get the benefits you deserve. Read further for an overview of New Jersey's workers' compensation laws.
Your employer's duty
In New Jersey, your employer is required to carry insurance so that you do not experience a financial burden due to injuries you suffer at work. In addition, your employer must also carry Temporary Disability Insurance to assist if you suffer an injury outside of work.
While workers' compensation laws are a legal requirement for businesses in general, there are some exceptions. For example, there are limitations on the types of employees that are eligible for coverage. Volunteers, farm hands, and the majority of domestic workers are not eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
Usually, coverage applies to any physical injuries you sustain from completing your duties as an employee. In the cases of occupational diseases, you have to years to file a claim from the date you discovered the illness. Mental injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, that are work-related are harder to prove as compensable. A five-element test must be passed in order for an insurer to approve a mental injury claim.
Benefits and compensation
If the insurer approves your workers' compensation claim, you may be entitled to receive lost wages and medical treatment. You might also receive vocational rehabilitation to help you learn a new skill for future job placement once you can reenter the workforce. Compensation for lost wages will depend on how badly you are injured and how long it takes you to fully recover. You may be entitled to up to 70 percent of your average weekly wages.
Handling a claim denial
If the insurer denies your claim or your boss does not believe you were injured while on the job, you have the right to file formal petition or apply for an informal hearing. The New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation will review your case and conduct a hearing. If you have to appeal a denial, state law prohibits your employer from taking any kind of retaliatory actions toward you or any other employee that testifies on your behalf.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, you may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits.