If you are injured at work in New Jersey, there are certain things that you should immediately do to protect yourself. After seeking the needed medical care, you should report the injury to your employer. Then either you or employer should report that injury to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If you were injured on the job, you have certain rights, assuming that the injury was not intentional or the result of, for example, a fight with another employee.
You have a right to have your medical treatment paid for and provided by authorized doctors in your workers’ compensation coverage. You have a right to get paid, to a certain extent, for the wages that you lose as a result of being injured at work. Very often, you have a right to receive a lump sum recovery at the very end, depending on the permanent nature of your injuries. In New Jersey, a workers’ compensation court protects people who are injured on the job. If you find yourself in need of workers’ compensation, you will have to file a Worker’s Compensation Claim Petition with the State of New Jersey, Department of Labor.
Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, if you have a valid workers’ compensation claim, your employer is obligated to pay you seventy percent of your gross weekly income. You must be out of work for seven consecutive days in order to receive the temporary disability payments. You must have proof, through a doctor note or prescription, that you do not have the ability to work for a set period of time.
However, that’s only part of workers’ compensation. If you’re on the job and injured because of someone else’s negligence, not related to your employer, you have the right to make a negligence claim against that individual or company. In that case, you must demonstrate the person exposed you to an unreasonable harm and that you were injured by that unreasonable harm. You can collect pain and suffering, economic damages, and future loss in terms of loss of earning capacity; you can collect compensation, for things of that nature, through the negligence claim.
When you’re dealing with workers’ compensation and negligence, remember, they are intertwined. They are intertwined in the sense that if you collect money in the negligence claim, you must reimburse your employer. Your employer is paying you whether anyone is negligent or not, so if you’re able to recover from someone who caused the employer to pay you, then you have to reimburse them. That’s called your employer’s workers’ compensation lien.
The intricacies of the workers’ compensation lien and the recoveries in negligence are confusing and technical. Sometimes, it takes a great deal of finesse in negotiating liens and dealing with adjusters and those responsible for collecting those liens. It is important that if you find yourself injured in an incident that involves workers’ compensation and it involves a liability action, such as a construction accident, that you consult a personal injury lawyer who has experience and who has handled such cases in the past. It is to your benefit. We, at the law offices of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. are here to assist.