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If you are injured at work, then your injuries are more than likely covered by workers’ compensation in New Jersey. While it is true that not all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, most employers will. Workers’ compensation is a no fault insurance program designed with workers in mind.
The workers’ compensation program encourages workers to seek medical attention immediately after an accident, and also ensures they receive payments faster than a typical personal injury case. In fact, if you are out of work, payments for your injuries often start within a week or two of your accident.
Although there are huge benefits provided by workers’ comp, there are some downfalls in this system as well. When these types of scenarios occur, that is when experienced workers’ compensation lawyers are necessary.
Benefits Available under Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
There may not be as many benefits available in a workers’ compensation claim when compared to a personal injury claim, but the offered benefits can be an invaluable resource to you and your family while you recover from your injury or accident.
Without workers’ compensation, you may not get a payment until months or even years down the road. It is difficult to support yourself or your family when working isn’t an option due to injuries sustained.
The benefits included in most workers’ compensation cases include:
- Medical benefits: As long as your medical care is work-related, it should be covered by workers’ compensation. This can include everything from your initial emergency visits, to follow up care years down the road. Your employer or their insurance company should take care of all of these bills for you.
- Temporary total benefits: If you are disabled or unable to work for more than seven days, then you would be entitled to temporary total benefits. These benefits are sometimes referred to as “healing” benefits because they are given to you while you recovering from your injuries and cannot work at all. The benefits are typically 70 percent of your average weekly wage. New Jersey has maximums and minimums that apply as well.
- Permanent partial benefits: Often, when someone is injured at work, they will be able to work again, but they may be affected in some other way. Sometimes, that may mean that you cannot work at the same level as you could before the accident. It can also mean that you have some sort of permanent problem or disfigurement. In those situations, you will likely receive a benefit for your partial disability.
- Permanent total benefits: If you are unable to work at all, then you will likely be entitled to permanent total benefits. If you receive this type of benefit, then you will start with an award of 450 weeks at 70 percent of your average weekly wage. If you remain disabled beyond that time, then weekly benefits may continue beyond the initial period.
In the unfortunate event that a loved one dies due to a work-related activity, death benefits for the family are also available through workers’ compensation. These benefits are still 70 percent of your loved one’s average weekly wage, and includes a funeral expense benefit up to $3,500.
The surviving partner and natural children who were a part of the decedent’s household at the time of death can receive benefits because they are automatically considered dependents under New Jersey law.
Other family members, or those who did not live with the deceased, may have to prove dependency to receive benefits. Often, a dependency hearing must be held to determine who will receive benefits after a work-related death.
How a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Workers’ compensation is designed for workers, but the system has flaws, and does not always work like it should. Insurance companies may attempt to compensate you less than what you deserve. They may also try to say that your injury is not work-related, or provide a whole host of other excuses to avoid paying you benefits.
You can do something about it—Call Schibell & Mennie, LLC at 732-774-1000 today to get your workers’ compensation case started.
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