New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you were injured while working, you should contact a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. Getting an injury at work may seem like a hopeless situation, especially if your financial situation is tight. Luckily, in the United States, almost all employees are protected by the workers’ comp system. If you were injured as a result of doing your job, then chances are incredibly high that you will have your medical bills compensated in full. Learn more about the protection that comes from this system from a workers’ compensation lawyer New Jersey employees trust.
What Is Covered?
Workers’ comp can cover all financial losses that result from the injury if it happened while you were working. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Loss of earning ability
- Essentially, if you had an expense because of the injury, then it will be compensated. The system is quite generous with what is considered connected to the injury. The goal is to return you to the financial state you were in before the injury.
However, workers’ comp does not cover non-financial damages. For instance, a personal injury lawsuit usually compensates a victim for emotional trauma and physical suffering. This is not something that workers’ comp covers.
Who Is Covered?
There are two requirements for your injury to be covered by workers’ comp:
- You must be an employee.
- The injury must have happened while working.
- The term “employee” refers to a specific kind of worker. The definition is complicated, but there is an easy way to know for sure whether or not you are an employee. If your employer withholds a portion of your paycheck for taxes, then you are an employee. Unpaid volunteers, contractors, and freelance workers are not covered by workers’ comp.
The second requirement is that the injury must have happened while working. Essentially, if the injury was the direct result of actions you or a co-worker took to benefit the company, then it qualifies. Injuries that result from inaction are also covered, as are injuries resulting from simply being in a dangerous environment for work. It does not matter who is “at fault” for the injury. You can be compensated by workers’ comp even if the injury was your fault. To see if you would be covered, you can go over the details of the accident with your New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer.
Non-Traditional Workplace Accident Scenarios
Most of the time, we think of workplace accidents occurring on company property during the workday. This is the most common scenario, but not the only type of accident/injury that is compensable. Many work-related accidents can and do occur outside of the traditional workspace and an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can help you secure any benefits you may be entitled to as a result of such an accident. Here are some lesser-known scenarios to be aware of:
Car accidents: If you are a commercial driver or otherwise traveling for work, you are likely eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits after being involved in a car accident. In most cases, injuries sustained while commuting to and from work are not covered because they occur off the clock. But even this rule has exceptions.
Some commuting accidents: Let’s say your boss asks you to pick up coffee for her before you come in tomorrow morning. If you get into an accident while performing a task requested by your employer, that is usually compensable. Also, if you must travel between several work sites in one day, injuries sustained between work sites are typically compensable. Finally, if you are on a business trip, you are essentially considered “on the clock” the entire time, and therefore, covered for any injuries that occur.
Working from home: Remote work has become very popular for workers whose jobs are primarily online or who can otherwise do their work from anywhere. If you suffer an accident or injury while working from home, it may be considered compensable. However, these cases tend to receive much more scrutiny, so you should work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney when filing your claim.
Why Hire an Attorney?
You are not legally required to hire an attorney when filing or appealing a workers’ compensation claim. The system was originally designed to protect employers from litigation while making it easier for injured employees to receive compensation. Unfortunately, the system tends to be biased in favor of employers and workers’ compensation insurers. Therefore, many workers find it very helpful to have an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer advocating on their behalf.
A New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer from Rispoli & Borneo P.C. can help you:
- Understand your legal rights and obligations
- Ensure that you comply with reporting and filing requirements
- Help you file a strong claim documented by evidence
- Represent you throughout the appeals process if your initial claim is denied
- Ensure that you do not face retaliation or wrongful termination because you filed a workers’ compensation claim (this is illegal)
How Can a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help You
There are several ways a lawyer can help you out with your workers’ compensation claim. Accidents at work can be pretty common such as a broken arm from a fall off a ladder, a back injury from lifting heavy boxes, or carpal tunnel syndrome because of years of typing. A New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can help you by working with your claim and working towards compensating for the injuries that you have endured from work or from an accident that happened at work.
You could be owed for the medical bills, future medical needs, and/or lost wages while you were out of work because of your injuries. There is a lot for you to lose and you shouldn’t have to go through the stress and uncertainty because of an accident that occurred at your workplace.
Workers’ compensation laws can permit workers who have been hurt on the job to receive multiple benefits, depending on the injury. Those include:
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Medical benefits
- Wage reimbursement benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
When working with a workers’ compensation lawyer they will help you better understand the legal process and figure out a goal that best suits your needs. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer’s goal is to help victims of a workplace injury or illness and to pursue the compensation and benefits that they deserve. Workers’ compensation lawyers are also available to get competent medical care for those victims that have been injured on the job.
A lawyer will know how to navigate your claim in the best possible way so that you can receive compensation and benefits for your medical costs, lost wages, or mental distress. Hiring a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer puts you in a strong position to receive what you are owed without increased stress and having justice served.
Hiring a lawyer means that you will have a seasoned professional who will fight and defend you on your behalf. You will have a skilled resource who is familiar with workers’ compensation laws and what needs to be taken care of so that you can receive those benefits that you are owed.
Many employers and their insurers try to escape the responsibility for the injuries that an employee incurred while at work. A workers’ compensation lawyer will understand the legal process and will be able to facilitate communication with medical and insurance staff, offering advice on how to fill out crucial paperwork, and guidance and clarification throughout legal processes. A lawyer will be available to you and to protect your best interests at all times.
A lawyer will help you settle your workers’ compensation cases especially if an insurance adjuster fails to resolve your case. An employer will most often be more concerned for their welfare, so it is crucial to have a trustworthy workers’ compensation lawyer who will keep your goals and best interests in mind throughout the entire process. To achieve the best course of action and to increase your opportunities at achieving the best outcome in your claim means consulting with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
It is important to note that if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, New Jersey law considers this to be the “exclusive remedy” after a workplace accident. That means you are barred from suing your employer over your injuries. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that you receive the worker’s compensation benefits you need and deserve. Working with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer is often the best way to achieve that aim.
In nearly all cases, it is very clear whether an injury is work-related or not, but there are rare instances where this can be disputed. If you think you qualify for workers’ comp but you have been denied or your employer refuses to file for it, then you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in NJ immediately. If you cannot receive workers’ comp, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible individual. For more information, speak with a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer in New Jersey from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.!
Common Reasons Employers Reject Workers’ Compensation Claims
When you file a workers’ compensation claim after getting injured at work, you expect your employer to approve. Unfortunately, that does not always happen that way. As a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can confirm, employers can deny workers’ compensation claims for many different reasons, including:
- You did not notify your employer soon enough. In the state of New Jersey, you must report your work injury to your employer within 14 days. If you wait too long to tell your employer about your work accident, you may no longer be eligible to receive benefits.
- You did not seek prompt medical care. If you intend to file a workers’ compensation claim for an injury you endured at work, it is critical to see a doctor right away. A doctor will evaluate your injuries and recommend the appropriate treatment. If you do not see a doctor promptly, your employer may deny your claim.
- Your injury did not occur at work. In order to receive benefits for an injury, your injury must have occurred while you were working. If you technically did not suffer the injury while you were on the clock, you may not get benefits. For instance, if you suffered a slip and fall accident while you went to a restaurant on your lunch break, your employer may reject your claim.
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Employers do not factor in fault when deciding whether to approve your claim. However, if your employer discovers that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident, your claim will be rejected.
- Your injury resulted from a preexisting condition. If your employer has reason to believe that your injury is actually due to a preexisting condition, your claim could get denied. For instance, if you hurt your back from a slip and fall accident at work and your doctor discovers that you also hurt your back in a car accident several years ago, it could complicate your case. The insurance company may argue that the back injury stems from the car accident.
- You did not see an approved medical provider. If you’ve been injured at work, your employer will likely require you to see a specific doctor. If you got treated by a doctor of your choosing, your workers’ compensation claim could get denied.
Length of Time on Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When you are filing for workers’ compensation benefits, one of the questions you may have is this: how long will I be on workers’ compensation benefits? The truth is, each case is going to be different because each person will have a different set of injuries. A person who slipped and hurt their ankle may return to work in a week if they have a desk job. A person who is working with machinery every day and loses their arm in a terrible accident may be on leave for months, or longer, depending on rehabilitation. Below, you will find out more information on the different types of leave with workers’ compensation.
What if the doctor states that I now have a long-term disability?
Unfortunately, there are many accidents that can leave a person disabled in some way, whether it is temporary or permanent.
Temporary disability. If a doctor states that you have a temporary total disability, you could receive workers’ compensation benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks. Temporary total disability will end when you are able to return to your job, when you have improved fully (according to the doctor), or when you have maxed out 400 weeks.
Permanent disability. If a doctor states that you have a permanent partial disability, you can receive up to 600 weeks maximum of workers’ compensation benefits. If you get a diagnosis of a permanent total disability, you could potentially receive benefits for the rest of your life.
What exactly does this mean?
This means that if you are severely injured, your workers’ compensation benefits could pay for any medical expenses related to your injuries and they could help to cover a portion of your income during the period you are unable to return to work.
My boss says they do not have workers’ compensation benefits. What am I supposed to do?
If your boss is telling you that you do not have workers’ compensation benefits, they may be lying so that you do not file a claim. If your employer truly does not have workers’ compensation benefits, they could face expensive fines in addition to facing criminal charges. It is important to understand your employee classification (employee, contractor, etc.) and speak with your lawyer if your employer is claiming they do not have workers’ compensation benefits. When you face any roadblocks in your workers’ compensation case, it is always best to speak with your lawyer before moving forward.
The legal firm of Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. has successfully represented many workers’ compensation cases. Contact Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. today to speak with our New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyer for a free initial consultation.