Getting hurt on the job is stressful. Workers’ compensation coverage should pay for your injuries and time away from work. However, you might not know the steps to qualify or where to begin. Even if you have a great employer with a wonderful human resources department, you may struggle with their insurance company. The whole process can be complicated, annoying, and unfair, but a local personal injury attorney can be a great resource. A Woodbridge workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure you understand what steps to take to file your claim.
State Workers’ Comp Regulations
New Jersey requires certain employers to carry workers’ comp insurance coverage. The state outlines policies and procedures for employees and employers in its Workers’ Compensation Law, New Jersey Revised Statutes § 34:15-1 to 146. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development can assist employees who want to know if their employer should have this insurance coverage. Furthermore, each employers’ human resources departments should inform workers of this coverage.
A workers’ compensation lawyer in Woodbridge Township can help an employee understand if the law covers them and what remedies should be available.
Steps to Claim Workers’ Comp
To make a worker’s compensation claim, an employee must follow some basic steps.
First, seek medical treatment. In emergencies, an employee can get care from any provider. In non-emergency situations, an employee must go to the healthcare provider designated by their employer. This is necessary for preauthorization. Workers’ comp does not cover non-emergency costs unless they are preauthorized. An employee needs to let their doctors know the injuries are work-related, and they need to comply with doctor’s orders.
Next, an employee must report their injury to their employer. An employee only has 90 days from the date of injury to provide an employer with that notice. The law does not require the notice to be in writing, but putting it in writing and sending it via email is one way an employee can prove they submitted the injury report.
After receiving notice of an injury, the employer has 21 days to file with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. An employee can check with them to ensure the employer filed this report. The employer or insurer investigates the claim and then accepts or rejects it. When they accept a claim, they begin paying benefits. When they deny a claim, an employee can appeal that decision. An attorney in Woodbridge can review a worker’s compensation claim and help an injured person with the appeal process.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Denial
An employee can appeal when an employer denies a workers’ comp claim. There are two possible ways to appeal: a claim petition or an application for an informal hearing. Informal hearings are faster, usually occurring within a few weeks. In an informal hearing, a judge of compensation reviews the claim and makes non-binding suggestions to the employer on how to resolve the dispute. An employee can file a claim petition after an informal hearing.
Claim petitions are a longer process, taking about six months. Compensation judges also hear these claims, but their decisions are binding. Claim petitions are more like legal trials, where employees can present evidence like medical records and testimony. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Woodbridge can help represent an employee in these claims.
Schedule a Consultation With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Woodbridge
Want to find out more about a potential workers’ comp claim? The best solution is to talk with a Woodbridge workers’ compensation lawyer. A local attorney knows state laws and what type of evidence local compensation judges want to see to support a claim.
At Fredson Statmore Bitterman, we make it a priority to be accessible to our clients. We aim to combine the extensive network of resources of a big firm with the personalized attention and advocacy of a small firm. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.