A wolf in sheep’s clothing is not afraid to fleece you.
If you or a loved one have suffered hurts or harms while on the job, you face the jumbled organization that is Workers comp New Jersey.
Every workers comp claim is different, with different pitfalls, different advantages, and different deadlines. Workers comp New Jersey has its own particular set of rules and guidelines. In general it provides the same services, however:
- Medical Benefits
- Temporary Total Benefits
- Permanent Partial Benefits
- Permanent Total Benefits
These benefits follow roughly the same guidelines as other states’ workers comp.
- Notify your employer as soon as possible
- Request medical attention (if needed)
- Contact the insurance provider and file a First Report of Injury
- Make sure a Subsequent Report of Injury is filed within the 26 weeks following the injury
All of this information is good and helpful, but gives very little real information. Every worker’s comp claim is different, and is treated differently. There is very little certainty. At TMH Law, we’re here to help. Here are 3 pitfalls to avoid when navigating the worker’s comp process.
3 Tricky Parts of Workers Comp New Jersey
- Workers comp New Jersey is a ‘no fault’ system. That means that when you accept worker’s comp you automatically waive your right to bring a civil action against your employer for any pain or suffering or ‘other damages.’ The fact that the Department of Labor lists simply ‘other damages’ means that anything short of intentional harm can not be brought up as soon as you accept worker’s comp.
- The NJ Department of Labor states that “In cases of dispute between an injured worker and the employer and/or insurance carrier over entitlement to benefits, the worker may file either a formal Claim Petition or an Application for an Informal Hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Disputed issues may include whether the injury/illness was considered work-related, the type and extent of medical treatment, and/or the payment of temporary disability benefits.” Disputes are frequent, because worker’s compensation is not here to help you. Worker’s comp is here to keep you from getting the compensation you deserve by appeasing you with the bare minimum settlement (or nothing at all!).
- Don’t be afraid. The law forbids that an employer discriminate against an employee because they are in the process of obtaining or contesting worker’s comp.
The entire system is set up against you; designed to appease or distract, but not to pay out. One main tactic is for workers compensation New Jersey to offer a lump sum.
Tom Holland is experienced in evaluating lump sum offers. Early lump sum settlement offers may be encouraging, but Tom Holland will be able to help avoid leaving settlement funds on the table. If the disability continues to be treated without a definitive diagnosis and/or prognosis, prompt settlement may not be prudent.
When and if to settle is your decision to make, but BEWARE. What’s the hurry? Please be cautious of an early settlement offer from a claims adjustor who suggests you do not need a lawyer.
Our law office specializes in representing injured employees, and we know worker’s compensation law inside and out. You are allowed to represent yourself in worker’s compensation proceedings, but remember that the litigation is complex and your employer will be represented by an experienced attorney. Don’t walk into court, unprepared and outnumbered. The timing of a lump sum settlement is as important as a settlement value.
Call Thomas More Holland, because experience counts – results matter.