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Important points about workers' compensation in New Jersey

Workers in New Jersey who suffer workplace injuries, a condition or an illness as a result of their employment, must be cognizant of various factors that are important with workers' compensation benefits. Workers who are injured will receive benefits for medical treatment. Also, depending on the level of injury suffered, they will receive temporary total benefits, permanent partial benefits or permanent total benefits. Any issue regarding the workplace injury and who is at fault is irrelevant as New Jersey is a no-fault state. With that, workplace safety or a mistake on the part of the worker does not factor into the equation.

When there is an injury, the worker must tell the employer as soon as possible. It does not need to be in written form. When medical treatment is required, the employer should also be informed of this immediately. The employer has the right to select the medical professionals that will provide treatment. The employer must inform the state of an injury to a worker. The insurance carrier will examine the claim and decide whether the worker is entitled to workers' compensation based on information provided by the worker, the employer and the medical treatment provider. If a worker is out of work for more than one full week, he or she will receive temporary total disability benefits while rehabilitating.

After 26 weeks and the worker going back to work or achieving the highest level of improvement, the insurer must provide the workers' compensation division of the state a report about the case. In some cases, there is a dispute among the parties. In such a situation, the worker has the right to file a claim petition or an application for an informal hearing. This can be due to whether the injury or illness is believed to have been linked to the work, how much medical treatment should be provided and the payment of benefits.

People who have suffered an injury or illness because of their work need to be aware of how the workers' compensation claims process works. No matter whether there is a dispute or something to do with workers' comp appeals, the first decision that should be made is to speak to a legal professional experienced in workers' compensation to protect one's rights from the beginning of the process to the end.

Source: lwd.dol.state.nj, "Injured Workers," accessed on Oct. 17, 2016

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