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Reporting a workplace accident in New Jersey

An accident at a workplace can happen for various reasons; it may be machinery failure, a slip and fall, an injury that occur while lifting an object, work-related car and truck accidents or some other reason. However, it is not required to apply fault for an employee to claim workers' compensation benefits in New Jersey. Here, a no-fault insurance program provides benefits to employees injured at work.

Many people may be aware that workers' compensation not only provides medical benefits for injured workers, but also can provide workers with permanent partial benefits, permanent total benefits and temporary total benefits. However, if the worker chooses to take these benefits, a civil action cannot be filed against the employer for additional compensation unless the act was intentional.

To obtain benefits under workers' compensation, a worker injured on the job has to immediately notify the employer about the injury. The employer in turn has to notify the insurance company about the workplace incident so that a first report of injury can be filed with the state. The employer can also select the physician who will treat the injured worker.

The insurance company has to determine if the claim is eligible for compensation under the workers' compensation law. The injured worker and the medical provider will be contacted to make an assessment. Once the claim is accepted, the injured worker will be directed to a medical provider for treatment. Temporary disability benefits can be provided if an employee is unable to work for more than a week.

However, smooth claim processing is not guaranteed and disputes between the injured worker and the insurance company or the employer may arise as a result of the injury claim. In such cases, a formal petition or an application for an informal hearing can be filed by the injured worker with the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation to ensure that the worker or the worker's family can put forth their case to be analyzed for eligibility for compensation.

Source: DoL.State.NJ.us, "Injured Workers," Accessed on Nov. 4, 2014

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