Injuries sustained on the job can be life-altering, not to mention stressful–especially if you’re unsure about what is covered under worker’s compensation law. During your recovery, the last thing you want to think about is high medical expenses and whether you can afford the treatment you need to fully heal.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we have years of experience with these types of cases; below, I’ll explain the process and which benefits you are eligible for. I’ll also discuss when you may benefit from working with a Northern New Jersey personal injury attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Defined
If you’ve never suffered a job related injury, worker’s compensation is likely an unfamiliar entity. For starters, workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance–this means that regardless of who was responsible for your accident and injuries, you are eligible to receive benefits for lost income and medical treatment or rehabilitation. Workers’ compensation insurance also provides benefits if you develop any occupation-related disease while working full- or part-time. This is true regardless of how long you have been employed.
Although this type of claim may sound easy to navigate, in reality the process is often challenging and frustrating. In large part, this is because insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line, which means you will have to provide significant documentation and meet specific requirements to prove that you are injured and that your injuries resulted from your job.
Some of the most common types of workers who get injured on the clock include construction and healthcare workers, truck drivers, law enforcement officers, roofers, and manufacturers. Due to the dangerous nature of these types of work, the injuries are often severe, so receiving the compensation you deserve will be key to a full recovery.
Something else that is important to keep in mind is that if you are an independent contractor, consultant, or freelancer, you are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the circumstances though, you may still have a case.
If you are having difficulties negotiating with an insurance company after a workplace accident, you can start by trying out these tips. If this doesn’t work, it may be time to seek legal advice from a Northern New Jersey personal injury lawyer.
Which Injuries are Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Not every injury will be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. In order to qualify, your injury must have occurred because of a work-related task. This could include an accident while on an errand for your boss, getting injured on company property, or being exposed to hazardous chemicals or diseases while on the clock.
After a workplace injury, you are legally entitled to legal counsel, medical care, medical leave, and job security. This means your employer cannot terminate or discriminate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
In terms of benefits, there are many that are typically covered under New Jersey workers’ compensation, including:
- Medical benefits, including emergency treatment
- Temporary disability benefits to cover lost wages if you are prevented from working for more than seven days
- Permanent disability benefits if you are permanently disabled due to your injury. Depending on the circumstances, you could receive payments for the entirety of your life.
- Death benefits (such as funeral expenses) if you or a loved one dies due to an injury on the job. Benefits go to the deceased’s dependents.
For a complete review of workers’ compensation protections in the state of New Jersey, visit the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
What to Do After a Work Injury
If you have been injured on the job, report it as soon as possible to your employer. You have a maximum of 14 days to do so under New Jersey law. You should also seek out medical care immediately, as waiting can jeopardize your case. Write down the names and addresses of anyone involved in the accident as well as witnesses. And finally, get in touch with a workers’ compensation case attorney serving Northern New Jersey.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we believe in defending our clients’ rights in the face of employer negligence and will fight to help you recover the compensation you need to recover.
Get in touch today for a free consultation at 1-800-NOW-HURT.