Workers’ Compensation is a special insurance that is taken out by employers to protect their employees in case of accidents and serious injuries that occur while on the job. Each state has rules on eligibility, maximum compensation levels, and procedures. You may be wondering how workers’ compensation works in the state of New Jersey. These important details will help you to get through the process smoothly so you can get the settlement you need to recover.
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
In order to be able to file a claim and get a settlement in New Jersey, you must satisfy all eligibility requirements. Failure to satisfy any of them is grounds for invalidating your workmens’ compensation claim.
Eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Employer took out a workers’ compensation insurance plan.
- You are employed with said employer.
- The injury occurred at the workplace or while doing designated work for them at another location.
- The injuries are serious enough to have created damages and costs.
- The incident had to have been reported within two weeks.
- The injured victim must file a claim within the statute of limitations.
- The employee must follow all responsibilities detailed below.
The Workmens’ Comp Claims Procedure
In order for a workmans’ comp procedure to go smoothly, you should be aware of the many factors that both employees and employers are responsible for.
Responsibilities of employers:
- Must take workers’ compensation insurance for employees.
- Must get an independent medical examination set up for employee.
- Must submit necessary forms after employee reports the incident.
- Investigate the situation and gather all witnesses.
- Set up a legal deposition with attorneys, witnesses, and injured victims present.
Responsibilities of employees:
- Report the incident or injury within 2 weeks.
- File a claim within 2 years of injury incident.
- Seek immediate medical attention and follow all doctor’s orders.
- Be on time and present at independent medical examination.
- Be present to deposition and participate honestly.
Workers’ Compensation Payouts Based on Injury Level
In New Jersey, there are settlement caps based on the level of your injury, which is based on disability level. There are also certain designated settlement amounts in place for different injury categories.
Workers’ compensation offerings based on disability type include:
- Temporary Disability – 70% of a worker’s average weekly pay, with a maximum amount of $903/week as of 2018. This continues until you have either returned to work, reached the maximum medical improvement (can’t get better) that you can, or received 400 weeks of payments.
- Permanent Total Disability – Once a doctor designates you as unable to improve any more medically, you can be evaluated for this benefit level. If you are decided to be permanently totally disabled, you will receive weekly payments at your temporary total rate for as long as you are disabled. Certain serious injuries automatically are considered at this level such are loss of both eyes, feet, or hands.
- Permanent Partial Disability – When you are not completely disabled and are able to still function with limits, you can be classified as permanently partially disabled.
- Scheduled Loss Payments – This subcategory is for disabilities of specific body parts such as eyes, ears, teeth, arms, legs, hands, or feet. You get 70% of your average weekly paycheck for a predetermined number of weeks based on the level of your injury.
- Non Scheduled Loss Payments – For other bodily injuries, such as head, spine, or organs, you get 70% of your average weekly paycheck for up to 600 weeks depending on the body part and percentage of disability involved with it.
- Maximum Settlement Amounts – Partially disabled works have established New Jersey maximum rates that they are entitled to.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case
A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi represent clients in Piscataway, Edison, Lakewood, Brick, and through the state of New Jersey. Call (732) 709-7992 or email us today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, and we also have offices in Edison, Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.