Workers’ Comp Attorney New Jersey
Get the help you need from a New Jersey workers’ comp attorney from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. if you have been injured at work. You have probably heard about workers’ comp, especially if you have a potentially dangerous job. This is the system that compensates all workers for any injuries they suffer while working. This does raise the question, however, of what injuries and illnesses are covered by workers’ comp. This is actually quite a simple question to answer, so read on.
Table Of Content:
- What Is Covered
- Types of Injuries
- Signs You Need to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
- Workers’ Compensation For Your Anxiety
- Why is it so much harder to file a claim for something like this?
- Can you receive workers’ compensation for your anxiety or stress?
- Getting Started With the Workers’ Compensation
- A Denial
- What to Do After a Workplace Accident
- Speak with a Workers’ Comp Attorney New Jersey Workers Rely on From Rispoli & Borneo, P.C
What Is Covered
The answer is that there are no limitations on what kinds of illnesses and injuries are covered. If it cost you financially to have it treated and it was the direct result of your job, then it should be covered. Keep in mind that workers’ comp does not compensate for emotional or physical pain as personal injury lawsuits do. It is only financial losses that are covered.
Injuries are still covered regardless of fault. If you caused the injury yourself or if a co-worker caused it, you are still covered. If a person unrelated to your job causes the injury, such as a pedestrian walking by a construction site, then workers’ comp does not cover the injury. In this case, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the responsible individual. Speak to your workers’ comp attorney New Jersey relies on if you are unsure about the best solution.
Types of Injuries
There are essentially no limitations on the types of injuries or illnesses that are covered. Traditional injuries are quite simple to understand, but there are some types of injuries that you might not even consider. All these non-traditional types of injuries are still covered:
- Repetitive stress injuries – Doing the same action over and over for months or years can cause damage to your body. These are called repetitive stress injuries, and the most common type is carpal tunnel.
- Emotional injuries – While emotional damage is not compensated, financial damages that result from emotional injuries might be covered. Some states have stricter laws surrounding this type of injury than others, and it may be difficult to prove that your job caused the emotional injury. Ask your workers’ comp attorney in New Jersey if this is an option.
- Respiratory injuries – If you inhale dangerous substances, it can cause serious damage to your lungs. It is easy to only think of external injuries when considering workers’ comp, but internal injuries are just as valid. This does also apply to poisoning and other types of internal injuries.
Signs You Need to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you’ve been injured on the job, one of your first questions may be whether you should hire a workers’ comp attorney in New Jersey or not. The answer depends on your specific situation. Some employees may require the assistance of an attorney while others may not. Here are a few signs that you may need legal assistance.
- Your employer has rejected your claim. The reality is that not all workers’ compensation claims are approved. Employers can decide to reject a claim for various reasons. For example, if your employer doesn’t believe the injury actually occurred at work, your claim may get denied. However, just because your claim gets initially denied, doesn’t mean that you have to give up. You can file an appeal. A skilled workers’ comp lawyer can assist you with that.
- Your settlement doesn’t cover all your medical bills. Even if your employer approves your workers’ compensation claim, it still might not cover all of your medical bills. If the settlement you were offered only covers a portion of your medical bills, it may be time to get a workers’ comp lawyer involved. Medical bills can be very expensive, and you don’t want to get stuck paying anything out of pocket.
- You suffered a disability. If you endured a partial or total disability from your work injury, you may not be able to take on the same work duties as before. In severe cases, you may not be able to work at all. In this situation, you may be entitled to receive additional compensation. However, these payments can be very expensive for insurance companies and they aren’t willing to give them up so easily. That’s why you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer fighting for you.
- Your employer has retaliated against you. While it’s perfectly within your rights to file for workers’ compensation, that doesn’t stop some employers from retaliating against you. If your employer has demoted, cut your pay or fired you after you filed for benefits, understand that it’s illegal and you don’t have to stand for it. It’s important to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer about your options promptly.
- You have a preexisting condition. If you have a preexisting health condition, it may be more difficult to prove that your injury occurred at work. It’s in your best interest to have a skilled lawyer on your side.
Workers’ Compensation For Your Anxiety
Often, people who are struggling with a work-related mental illness do not consider filing for workers’ compensation benefits. After all, that is surely for people who are suffering from physical injuries, like falling off a ladder or slipping and falling while working, right? Not necessarily. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover more than just physical illness or injury. If you are suffering from anxiety or stress related to your job, give our office a call. We want to assist you in getting the help you need and learn about what goes into filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Why is it so much harder to file a claim for something like this?
It can be harder for a person to file a workers’ compensation claim for things like mental illness because the signs are not always obvious. If you were physically injured at work, you may be suffering and unable to return to your job any time soon. Even with a workplace illness, the signs may be more obvious than a mental illness related to your job. Because of these reasons, many people may doubt their illness or may even be too ashamed to do anything about it.
Can you receive workers’ compensation for your anxiety or stress?
Although more complicated, it is still possible to receive benefits for your mental illness. When filing your claim, it is important to differentiate between a stressful time at work and work causing continued stress. Most people may find that they have a particularly hard assignment or work with a difficult client, but would overall consider their job enjoyable. However, if your mental illness is causing you to be unable to function in your job or you feel that you have experienced some sort of trauma, then it is a good idea to reach out to our workers’ comp attorney. Similar to showing that you have a physical injury, you will also want to provide evidence for your mental injury. This can include medical bills for therapy and it can include a statement from your therapist describing the kind of pain you are in and how it may interfere with your job.
Remember, if your job has caused you to experience some sort of trauma or has imposed anxiety on you, you should not feel that life should continue as usual. Instead, speak with one of our trusted attorneys to see how we can help you with your workers’ compensation claim.
Pain and Suffering
Workers’ comp generally only compensates injured workers for objective financial losses. For example, your hospital bill might be $1,000. Because you can put an exact dollar value on the expense, it is a special compensatory damage, and workers’ comp would compensate you fully for it.
However, pain and suffering does not have an objective monetary value. You might argue that you should be compensated for the pain you experienced, but because the monetary value of pain and suffering is subjective, it falls in the category of “general compensatory damages,” and workers’ comp generally will not cover it.
Losses commonly covered by workers’ comp include:
- Hospital bills
- Medicine purchases
- Lost wages
- Mobility equipment purchases
Remember, to be covered by workers’ comp, the loss needs to be the direct result of the injury. If you have questions about whether certain expenses will be reimbursed by your coverage, don’t hesitate to as a New Jersey workers’ comp attorney for guidance.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Unlike workers’ comp cases, you can receive compensation for pain and suffering and other general compensatory damages if you file a personal injury lawsuit. This may make you wonder if you can choose not to file a workers’ comp case, and file a lawsuit instead. This is usually not an option, as the workers’ comp system is meant to prevent work injury lawsuits in most cases. However, there are exceptions to this rule and a New Jersey workers’ comp attorney can clarify whether your unique circumstances “fit” into one of these exceptions.
Getting Started With the Workers’ Compensation Process
Becoming injured at work means that you may need to file a workers’ compensation claim as quickly as possible. While there are some injuries that may not require you to file a claim (a papercut, a bruised leg from hitting a file cabinet, etc.), there are some far more serious injuries that should be a cause for concern. A workers’ comp attorney New Jersey has to offer, such as one from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., want you to know that when you sprain, break, fracture, or suffer from some other type of more serious injury, you should speak with your supervisor immediately regarding your need for medical attention and simply to bring the injury to their attention. The sooner you speak with your supervisor, the sooner you can begin getting your workers’ compensation claim underway.
What is the process?
The process is not that complicated. It is important to remember that when you do become injured at work, you must file a notice with your supervisor and you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Although the laws are different depending on the state you are in, you will typically find that the standard time to notify your supervisor that you were injured is within 30, sometimes 45, days of the injury occurring. If you fail to notify your supervisor, you may have no basis for a workers’ compensation claim. If you are concerned about the ability to notify your supervisor, you can speak with a workers comp attorney New Jersey workers know and respect.
What if I cannot give notice?
In certain circumstances, we have seen our clients are unable to give notice to their employers because they needed to be hospitalized due to the severity of their injuries. This would be considered a special circumstance and you likely would not be required to provide your employer with a written notification detailing the accident and your injuries.
The Rest of the Process
When you have notified your employer (or someone else has done so on your behalf), it is your employer’s responsibility to notify the state workers’ compensation board / their workers’ compensation insurance regarding the injury/ claim. Further, you may need to be the one who submits a workers’ compensation claim form after you have seen your doctor regarding the injuries you sustained. Once submitted, you will either get the workers’ compensation claim accepted or denied depending on the details of your claim and the accident.
Do not worry if at first your workers’ compensation claim was denied. This is not uncommon and you should speak with a trusted workers’ comp attorney in New Jersey quickly regarding the denial so that we can go over the details of your claim and see where things went wrong. When you are sent a notification of the denial, the letter should give you the information you need regarding why you were denied. We have helped many people in the past get workers’ compensation even after a denial, so do not let this give you less hope.
What to Do After a Workplace Accident
Nobody goes into work expecting to get injured, but it can happen. The steps you take immediately after a workplace accident can make a big impact on your settlement.
- Report Your Injury: In New Jersey, you are required to report any workplace injury to your employer within 90 days. If you don’t inform your boss about your injury within that time frame, you will not be eligible to receive compensation. To avoid issues, tell your employer about your injury as soon as it happens. He or she will then file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf.
- Go to the Doctor: Even if your injury seems fairly minor, you should still seek medical attention right away. Some injuries may not show obvious symptoms right away. A doctor will evaluate your injury and recommend the appropriate treatment. During your appointment, tell your doctor that the injury occurred at work and the types of symptoms you have been experiencing. Do not try to embellish any of your symptoms, as that could jeopardize your case. If you wait too long to see a doctor, your employer’s insurance company could argue that you are not as injured as you claim to be.
- Follow Your Doctor’s Orders: Whether your doctor wants you to take medication or go to physical therapy, you should listen to his or her recommendations. If you try to cut corners and not follow your doctor’s advice, you could put your health in jeopardy. Your employer could also cut off your benefits too soon if they discover that you have not been following your doctor’s treatment advice.
- Hire an Attorney: While you are not required to hire a workers comp attorney in New Jersey, it may be in your best interest. Navigating through workers comp paperwork can be daunting and it is easy to get overwhelmed. An attorney will make sure you fill out the paperwork on time and without errors. He or she will also be on your side if any complications arise in your case. For example, if your boss tries to retaliate against you for filing a workers comp claim, your attorney will protect your legal rights.
If you were recently hurt at work, schedule a free consultation with a workers comp attorney in New Jersey at Rispoli & Borneo P.C. as soon as possible. He or she can review your case and advise you the best way to proceed.
Speak with a Workers’ Comp Attorney New Jersey Workers Rely on From Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.
If the type of injury causes your claim to be denied, hope is not lost. If you believe the decision was made unfairly or mistakenly, you should speak with an attorney who specializes in workers’ comp cases. Chances are good that you have several legal options to pursue. Call our office to talk with our New Jersey workers’ comp attorney now at Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.