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About Workers' Compensation

If you are interested in discussing a potential case, please contact us by e-mail via this Web site or call  1-973-696-7900.

 
The New Jersey Legislature had many goals in mind when it formulated a workers' compensation system for the state. In general, the goal was to relieve the injured employee of the burden of paying for his own medical care and to replace his lost wages on a temporary basis, as well as permanently when necessary. It is a system based upon expeditious administration so that compensation is awarded with a minimum of delay, and without a requirement for proof of fault. The Workers' Compensation Act also provides employers with a defined liability which is limited and determinate. In general, the administrative system which was established by the Act was created both to provide a direct remedy to the employee and to limit litigation against the employer.

The New Jersey Legislature had many goals in mind when it formulated a workers' compensation system for the state. In general, the goal was to relieve the injured employee of the burden of paying for his own medical care and to replace his lost wages on a temporary basis, as well as permanently when necessary. It is a system based upon expeditious administration so that compensation is awarded with a minimum of delay, and without a requirement for proof of fault. The Workers' Compensation Act also provides employers with a defined liability which is limited and determinate. In general, the administrative system which was established by the Act was created both to provide a direct remedy to the employee and to limit litigation against the employer.

The system was formulated to insure a dependable method of providing benefits to an injured employee during the period of his disability. The social purpose of workers' compensation legislation is to make sure that employees are not reduced to poverty because of an occupational or traumatic injury. The system has shifted the burden of industrial exposure into the cost of production and has established a means of guaranteed compensation for legitimate injury and disability. The purpose of the Workers' Compensation system is to provide security for all employees who are injured in the course of their employment. Speed, dependability and financial assistance were the main criteria in the formulation of the Workers' Compensation system. Procedures were established to provide a remedy to the employee irrespective of fault on the part of the employer or contributory negligence and assumption of risk on the part of the employee.

The system is remedial social legislation. It is based upon the premise that the cost of industrial accidents and exposures should be passed on to the consumer of the product or service. The legislative intent of the Workers' Compensation Act in New Jersey was to be generous to the employee who had lost a valuable portion of his body. It has been said that the primary purposes of a Workers' Compensation Act are to assure the injured worker prompt benefit payments, adequate and competent medical services and prompt and adequate rehabilitation, and to take measures for the prevention of accidents in the workplace.

 

Medical Information

Summary of Benefits

  1. Temporary Disability
    • When out of work and under authorized medical care for more than 7 days (retroactive), you are entitled to receive temporary disability benefits not to exceed 70% of the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW).
    • Authorization to return to “light duty” is interpreted by the Courts as a return to full time employment and temporary disability benefits will stop. If you remain under medical care and if your employer does not have “light duty” work available you may be entitled to continued temporary disability benefits.
  2. Medical Benefits
    • The employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for all authorized medical treatment.
  3. Permanent Disability
    • After all medical treatment has been completed, an evaluation of your disability will be made by our medical experts and the insurance company’s medical experts.
    • The petitioner must prove, by demonstrable, objective medical evidence:
      1. There is a disability restricting the functions of the body or its members or organs
      2. The disability appreciably impairs the ability to work or substantially interferes with other aspects of life

Fees and Expenses

  1. Attorney’s Fee - The Court sets the attorney’s fee at the conclusion of the matter. It is contingent upon recovery. If there is no recovery, then no fee is payable. By NJ law the fee cannot exceed 20% of the award.
  2. Treating Medical Reports and Records If the reports or records are required for the adequate preparation of your claim, we will request them. It will be the client’s responsibility to pay for the actual cost of the document(s). The providers of medical services are usually reasonable in their charges for reports and records. These charges are regulated by the State of NJ.
  3. Medical Expert Evaluations - Unless otherwise indicated, there is no advance charge for these evaluations. If sophisticated examinations are requested, i.e. pulmonary, cardiovascular, blood gas, or hearing, then a charge will be payable prior to the examination. The Court may allow credits or require additional payments at the time an award is entered in your favor.
  4. Insurance Company Expert Examinations - These are conducted at no cost to you and are the sole obligation of the insurance company.

Office Hours

  1. By Appointment Only
    • Our office hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Monday through Friday)
    • We are closed on legal holidays.
    • We request that you telephone to arrange for an appointment that is convenient.
  2. Telephone Calls
  3. Please call if you have any questions, messages or information. After office hours our telephone is monitored on a regular basis. Please feel free to leave a message on our voice mail system
Please Notify Us When
  1. You are instructed by a doctor to return to work
  2. You are discharged from medical treatment
  3. You have a new address or telephone number.

Requests for Information

Kindly do not make any statements concerning your case to anyone unless advised by this office to do so.

Court Appearance

Your case may be listed many times for the discussion of preliminary issues. Your appearance at these hearings is usually not required and you will not be notified of these dates. When your case requires your participation in court, you will be notified by mail. We will also keep you advised of material progress in any settlement negotiations

 

 

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Who's at risk?
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The New Jersey Workers' Compensation Act includes an extensive variety of employment positions under its umbrella of coverage. All workers who can be considered "employees" are eligible for state workers' compensation benefits unless their specific job classification has been statutorily removed from the control of the state by the federal government. Every homeowners' policy is required to carry coverage for household employees.

Public Employees
Public employees have been given express coverage for workers' compensation benefits by statutory authority. Whether elected or appointed, the Act covers every employee of the state, county, municipality and any other governing board. The Act also expressly covers volunteer firemen doing public fire duty and every active volunteer of a first aid or rescue squad.

Corporate Officers and Shareholders
Corporate officers are expressly covered under the Workers' Compensation Act. The corporate officer must be an employee in order to fall within the scope of those who may receive benefits.
 
Partners
Partners are covered under workers compensation as well as sole (single) owners if an elections is made to adopt coverage.

Husbands and Wives
The Supreme Court gave validity and enforceability to interspousal contracts of a commercial nature. With the recognition of such a relationship, employment contracts were considered valid, and coverage was afforded to the employed spouse.

Minors--Double Indemnity
Minors under the Workers' Compensation Act are treated as a special class, and are provided with additional benefits and options not available to other workers. Minors are defined as those individuals under 14 years of age, who are employed in violation of the law, or between the ages of 14 and 18 who are employed without a certificate or special permit, or who are employed at any occupation prohibited by law.

Volunteers
In general, a volunteer is not an employee under the Workers' Compensation Act. A volunteer is one who has not entered into a contract for hire and is one who does not receive payment for services. A family member who substituted her services for those of her son who was ill by delivering his newspapers was deemed to be an employee. While the petitioner has the burden of proof of establishing employment, the respondent has an equal burden to establish the defense that the individual was merely a volunteer and not covered within the scope of the Workers' Compensation Act.

Palisades Interstate Park Commission
The Palisades Interstate Park Commission is governed under the provisions of the Palisades Interstate Park compact. By statutory mandate, they are deemed to be employees of the State of New Jersey and are subject to the New Jersey Workers' Compensation Act.

New Jersey Horse Racing Injury Compensation Board
On January 5, 1996 in recognition of the difficulties in attempting to insure adequate workers' compensation coverage for the horse racing industry, the New Jersey Legislature enacted legislation to establish the New Jersey Horse Racing Injury Compensation Board. Horse racing employees are deemed to include a jockey, jockey apprentice, exercise rider, driver, and driver-trainer who perform services for an owner in conjunction with the exercising or racing of a horse. Furthermore, a trainer is considered to be a horse racing industry employee.

The Work First New Jersey Program
The "Work First New Jersey" (WFNJ) program was established in the Department of Human Services (DHS) as the State's consolidated public assistance program. It replaced the former programs of aid to families with dependent children (AFDC), AFDC emergency assistance, general assistance (GA), GA emergency assistance, the GA employability program and the Development Initiative. Recipients of the WFNJ program are entitled to benefits if they suffer an injury, illness or death arising out of and in the course of a community or alternative work experience. The recipient will not receive workers' compensation benefits for any medical or hospital services provided by Medicaid.

Youth Transitions to Work Partnership Act
The New Jersey Legislature has recognized that there are intensively competitive conditions in the employment market, and that the economy of New Jersey requires the creation of a growing pool of highly trained, technologically sophisticated young workers who need greater opportunities and incentives to compete in the employment market. Any employer who has an individual working for the program established under a grant provided in accordance with the Youth Transitions to Work Partnership Act shall be responsible for providing workers' compensation insurance coverage for that individual.

 

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