Steps to Take When Going Through the Workers’ Comp Process In New Jersey
While you may think that filing a workers’ compensation claim is a simple procedure that just involves filling out some paperwork, it often ends up being a complicated process. After any accident, it’s vital to seek medical attention and report the incident to your supervisor as soon as possible. Your employer should then notify their insurance company right away so the insurer can file a First Report of Injury with the State.
Your employer’s insurer will then investigate your claim and determine whether you are eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. If the claim is accepted, they will direct you to an authorized medical provider for treatment. If your time off work extends beyond seven days, their insurer will also provide you with temporary disability benefits during your recovery.
Within 26 weeks after you return to work or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), your employer’s insurer must submit a Subsequent Report of Injury to the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. A copy of this form will be sent to you for your review.
Filing Claims with The State Of New Jersey
The New Jersey workers’ compensation program is designed to protect both the employee and employer. It ensures that injured workers receive reasonable and necessary medical care, temporary disability benefits and, when warranted, awards for permanent disability.
If your claim is in dispute, you can file a formal Claim Petition or Application for an Informal Hearing with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. A lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the New Jersey workers’ comp process can assess your case and advise you on the most effective course of action. He or she will also make sure that the appropriate claim is filed in a timely and accurate manner.
Motions for Medical and Temporary Benefits
New Jersey workers’ comp law provides immediate recourse if you are in need of prompt medical treatment and temporary benefits. You may file a Motion for Medical and Temporary Benefits, which is assigned an initial hearing date before a Judge of Compensation within 30 days of filing.
You must file a formal claim petition within two years of the date of injury or the date of last payment of compensation, whichever date is later. The first hearing before a judge of compensation is typically held within six months from the date of filing. In most cases, an experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help you negotiate a reasonable settlement so your case does not have to go to trial; but if the issues cannot be resolved, he or she will represent your interests in court and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
An application for an informal hearing before a judge of compensation can be filed by an employee, employer and insurance carrier. While legal representation is not required in these proceedings, it is recommended to ensure that your rights are protected. Informal claims proceedings can be an effective way to resolve issues and help to avoid more involved, time-consuming litigation, but recommendations made by the judge during an informal hearing are not legally binding. You can still file a formal claim, but keep in mind that the filing of an application for an informal hearing does not halt the two-year statute of limitations.
To discuss your workers’ comp claim with our experienced team at Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC, contact us at 732-936-9901 today.