New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Workplace injuries are very common, especially in the construction, manufacturing, mining, and oil and gas industries. When workplace injuries occur, victims should know their rights as employees and understand how the workers’ compensation system and civil actions can help. Depending on how a workplace injury occurs, the injured employee may have several options for legal recourse and compensation. If you were in a workplace accident and suffered injuries, a consultation with a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, can help you understand your legal options.
Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
New Jersey requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance and the state follows a “no-fault” rule for workers’ compensation claims. An injured worker can still collect workers’ compensation benefits if he or she caused the injury. Any injured employee should immediately report any injury to his or her supervisor to start the workers’ compensation claims process. Any delay can interfere with the claim approval and may even lead to a denial.
After filing for workers’ compensation, the injured employee’s supervisor must refer the employee to a list of approved physicians in the employers’ insurance network. The employee may receive medical treatment from any available doctor in the event of an emergency, but once the emergency is over, he or she must go to one of the approved doctors on the insurer’s list.
It’s vital to remember that employers may not take punitive actions against an employee who files for workers’ compensation. Although some employers may feel tempted to discourage employees from filing for workers’ compensation to avoid increased insurance premiums, it is illegal to interfere with an employee’s workers’ compensation claim made in good faith. For additional information regarding workers’ compensation in the Garden State, reach out to a New Jersey personal injury lawyer experienced in workers’ compensation claims.
Other Avenues of Compensation
In some cases, workers’ compensation will not be enough to cover the full cost of a workplace injury. Injured employees who require additional compensation may have several options depending on how the injury occurred. If it happened because of employer negligence, the employee can file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. For example, an employee reports a safety issue with a piece of equipment to his employer, but the employer doesn’t address the issue. Several days later, the equipment seriously injures an employee. In this situation, the employer was negligent for knowing about the issue but failing to take appropriate action to correct it.
In the event a defective product or toxic substance injures an employee, the victim may have the opportunity to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer. The employee must prove that the product in question was defective and the defect caused the employee’s damages. Product liability claims do not rely on the concept of negligence as much as personal injury claims, but it may still come into play and result in punitive damages against the manufacturer for willful negligence.
Finally, some employees suffer workplace injuries due to third parties. For example, a speeding driver hits a construction worker near a roadside construction site. The victim can secure workers’ compensation benefits because the injury occurred during work and then file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To learn more about the specifics of your case and whether or not you can receive other forms of payment in addition to workers’ compensation, speak with a workers’ compensation attorney in New Jersey.
Do I Need a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
After reporting your injury to your employer, navigating the workers’ compensation claims process and discerning your other options for legal recourse can be daunting. An experienced attorney can help manage insurance claim issues, the workers’ compensation claims process, and any necessary appeals, and help his or her client build a lawsuit against a negligent employer or third party.
Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, offers more than 30 years of combined experience handling civil claims for our clients. If you have recently suffered a workplace injury in New Jersey, contact our team to schedule a consultation. We’ll review the details of your workers’ compensation claim and offer any additional options for legal action.