Q. I sustained an injury in a work-related accident. Am I eligible for work comp benefits?
A. In most cases, employees working full or part-time are eligible for work compensation benefits, and can file a work comp claim. If an injury resulted in the death of a worker, their family are eligible for dependency benefits.
Q. What work comp benefits can a worker receive if their claim is approved?
A. In the state of New Jersey, the benefits an injured worker can obtain are the compensation for medical bills, lost wages, as well as job rehabilitation.
Q. How much time does an injured worker have to file a claim?
A. An injured employee has no more than 2 years from the date of the injury or the last payment of compensation to file a work comp claim. The same applies in cases of occupational illnesses or diseases, especially if it takes some time for the worker to realize their condition is work-related.
Q. Should a worker be worried about getting fired while they are on sick leave, getting over the work-related injury or illness?
A. No. Under the law, employers have no right to fire any employee simply because they filed a worker’s compensation claim, collected benefits or took time off approved by the doctor. If an injured employee experiences any act of retaliation coming from their employer, they should be aware that such action is unlawful.
Q. Can an injured worker personally pick the doctor?
A. New Jersey law states that it’s the responsibility of the employer or their insurance provider to choose the doctor that will treat the injured worker. If you have sustained a work-related injury and you wish to have a doctor of your choosing treat you, you have the right to do so at your expense. There are cases, however, when the insurance provider concedes to the employee’s choice of doctor and covers the expenses.
Q. When should I contact a work compensation attorney?
A. If you got injured in an accident while performing your work duties, the first step you should take is report the accident to your employer. You should consult a qualified work injury attorney immediately after that.