Workers Compensation is a “no-fault” insurance program put in place by the federal government to medically treat and financially compensate employees who have suffered injuries or illnesses on the job. It also provides death benefits to dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment. If you have been injured or became ill while performing work as an employee in New Jersey, you may be eligible for workers' compensation to cover medical bills, ongoing care, as well as lost wages from missed time at work.
It is important to know your rights to be sure you receive the appropriate medical care and compensation you deserve. Under-reporting of injuries is actually a significant problem in the workers' compensation system. Workers, fearing retaliation from their employers, may avoid reporting injuries incurred on the job and instead seek treatment privately, bearing the cost themselves or passing these costs on to their health insurance provider – an element in the increasing cost of health insurance nationwide.
Often, employers or insurance companies will try to deny or undervalue a legitimate claim or to trick, trap or pressure the injured employee to accept a smaller than required settlement. The moment you are injured or disabled on the job, it's up to you to protect your (and your family's) future. Consulting with an experienced personal injury and workers compensation law firm in NJ is your first step.
Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyers in NJ
Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience to help determine if your injury meets the eligibility requirements for New Jersey workers' compensation. The NJ workers' comp attorneys at Villani & DeLuca P.C. have a proven track record representing individuals facing all types of workers' compensation claims in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey. We will negotiate with the insurance company to be sure you get the compensation you deserve and protect your rights. Our knowledgeable lawyers understand the New Jersey laws and will guide you through them, helping you through every step of the process. It is our goal to make sure that you are adequately and fairly compensated for all your personal injury claims, including private disability claims and Social Security disability claims.
What is the New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law? (N.J.S.A. 34:15-1)
The Division of Workers' Compensation is responsible for the administration of the New Jersey Workers' Compensation Act. The law requires that all New Jersey employers have workers' compensation coverage for all employees. Workers' compensation provides medical treatment, wage replacement and permanent disability compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, and death benefits to dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment. An injured employee can receive benefits regardless of who was at fault – the employee, the employer, a coworker, a customer or some other third party.
Workers' compensation covers job-related injuries and illnesses including injuries caused by accidents as well as by repetitive motions (repetitive trauma injuries or RTI) or constant work stresses. Workers' compensation also covers occupational diseases, such as those caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or work stress-induced heart attacks. Common claims include shoulder injuries, knee injuries, back injuries, or head and brain injuries as a result of falls, overexertion, being trapped or struck by an object, being assaulted or motor vehicle accidents.
Generally, an injury that occurs when an employee is on his or her way to or from work does not qualify for workers' compensation benefits; however, there are some exceptions if your responsibilities demand that you be in multiple locations, or stay in the course of your employment after work hours.
Workers' Compensation Benefits Available in New Jersey Include:
Medical Benefits (N.J.S.A. 34:15-15.2)
Workers' comp will pay 100% of your medical bills for treatment from the work related injury or illness. This includes things like prescriptions and hospital stays.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
TTD benefits are available for injured employees who are unable to work and are receiving medical care. TTD payments are generally 70% of coverage for the employee's (gross) average weekly wages. The compensation will be paid during the period of disability, not to exceed 400 weeks.
Permanent Partial Disability
A permanent partial disability entitles you to ongoing benefits. The amount of your weekly payment depends on the severity of the injury. These benefits begin after TTD benefits end.
Permanent Total Disability
If you are unable to return to any type of work due to a job-related injury or illness, more permanent benefits are available. These benefits are generally 70% of your (gross) average weekly wage – the same amount you were receiving for TTD. Permanent total disability is available for life.
Death Benefits (N.J.S.A. 34:15-13)
In addition to workers' compensation benefits for workers for their job-related injuries and illnesses, if such maladies ultimately result in death, certain survivors have the right to receive death benefits. These benefits are generally 70% of the weekly wage of the deceased as well as the coverage for the cost of burials and funerals (not to exceed $3,500).
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Law Firm for Help
If you have been injured on the job, first, report the incident to your employer and get the medical treatment that you need. Then contact an attorney experienced in handling workers' compensation matters so you can understand all of your rights and obligations related to filing for workers compensation in NJ. At Villani & DeLuca P.C., we are always available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will receive personal attention and sound legal counsel from the initial consultation throughout the entire process.
Contact the New Jersey workers' compensation lawyers of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at (732) 709-7757 to protect your rights as soon as possible. Call today for a free consultation with an experienced worker's compensation attorney. We serve clients throughout Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey.