You may have worked for years or even decades without any issues. Suddenly, one day, you experience pain from a slowly-building repetitive stress injury. Maybe there's an accident at work, and you're seriously injured. Now, you can't perform your job anymore, and you're wondering what workers' compensation will cover.
The first thing you should do is report your injury to your employer. Whether it was an accident or a repetitive stress injury acquired over the course of years, you should report the injury or accident as soon as possible. Doing so is the first step toward workers' compensation.
From there, you should take time to personally document the accident or workload that resulted in your injuries. It is possible that your employer could try to deny your claim. Sometimes, the accident isn't reported by your employer, in which case, your documentation could be critical to your case. Seek out necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. Make sure your doctor or the hospital know this is in relation to a work injury. You should also speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney who understands New Jersey law.
Workers' compensation should cover your medical bills and lost wages
Workers' compensation should pay in full for all medical treatment necessitated by your injuries. Depending on your injuries, these treatments could range from trauma care to surgery and physical therapy. In addition to covering your medical costs, workers' compensation will cover your lost wages while you are unable to work due to your injuries. The amount is generally 70 percent of your average weekly wage while you are considered temporarily disabled. The same amount will be paid if you are eventually found to be permanently disabled as a result of your work injury.
In some cases with serious injuries, you may not be able to return to the same line of work. Generally, this means you will be covered by permanent disability. In cases where a worker dies, his or her surviving dependents should receive the same 70 percent weekly wage. The employer is also expected to cover $3,500 of the funeral costs. Sometimes, getting these maximum benefits can be difficult.
Your attorney will advocate for your benefits
There are paperwork and documentation requirements for workers' compensation claims. If your employer did not report the accident or is trying to deny your claim, the help of an attorney can prove to be critical to the success of your claim.