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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 00:00

Injured at work? What are your rights?

Written by Jonathan Druckman

If you have been injured while working you are entitled to bring a Workmen's Compensation claim against your employer.

In New Jersey, all employers are required to have Workmen's Compensation insurance coverage. This coverage provides workers with a guarantee of payment of their medical bills related to the accident, payment of lost wages, and provides a pool of money available to pay an award based upon the percentage of permanent injury which the worker suffered. 

In New Jersey, the Workmen's Compensation insurance company decides which doctors are allowed to treat you for your injuries. The insurance companies have doctors who work for them providing treatment for injured workers. These doctors are known as "authorized doctors". 

If you are treated by the company's authorized doctors the insurance company will pay 100% of your medical bills. While you are free to obtain treatment from your own doctors, If you choose to go to your own doctors, the insurance company may not pay all of your medical bills. Therefore, it is important that you treat with the company's authorized doctors 

With regard to lost wages, if the authorized doctor tells you to stay out of work, you are entitled to be paid 2/3 (66.6%) of your salary while you are out of work under the authorized doctors instructions. If you choose to remain out of work on your own, the insurance company may not have to pay you for your lost wages 

With regard to your permanent injury claim, you are entitled to a cash award for all of your permanent injuries. Under the law, even a sprain is generally considered a permanent injury. The amount of money which you are entitled to, will depend on the level of injury you have suffered. The more extensive your injuries, the more money you will obtain. In determining the amount of money to which you are entitled, the court looks at functional disability. 

So if you have been injured while working it is important that you follow the following steps: 

1. Immediately report your injury to your employer. Failure to promptly report your injury can result in your employer denying your claim or making it much harder for you to receive the medical care that you deserve.

2. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Ask your employer to send you for medical treatment for your injuries. By obtaining immediate medical treatment you are more likely to have a better recovery from your injury. Early treatment also makes it easier to document the extent of your injuries.

3. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Even though you have up to two years to file a Workmen's Compensation Claim with the court, you gain nothing by delaying in contacting an attorney. An experienced Workmen's Compensation lawyer can ensure that you receive the medical attention that you deserve. An experienced lawyer can also protect you in the event your employer is attempting to wrongfully terminate your employment based upon your injuries.

At Druckman and Hernandez we have been handling Workmen's Compensation claims for over 21 years. If you have been injured while working do not hesitate to contact us. Consultations with our attorneys are always free.

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