If you are injured while at work, New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Act allows you to receive certain benefits for your injuries. So long as you were injured on the job, you are eligible to receive these benefits regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
Some of the benefits that you are eligible to receive if you are injured in a work-related accident include:
- Medical benefits
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
Medical Benefits through Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
If you are injured while at work, you are eligible to receive medical benefits. These benefits will be paid for by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Medical benefits that are considered necessary and reasonable will be covered. This could include office visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, chiropractic care, hospitalization, or surgery.
In order for your medical benefits to be covered, it is important to note that you must be treated by a doctor or other health care professional designated by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
In the event that you are injured while at work, you might not be able to work for a period of time due to your injuries. If this is the case, you are considered to be temporarily disabled and you will be eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits, or lost wage benefits. If you are disabled and unable to work for more than seven days, you will become eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits. The benefits you receive will be retroactive to your first lost day of work.
You will not be paid at full salary, however. Instead, you will receive 70% of your average weekly wages. Moreover, the benefits you are eligible for will be paid at a rate not to exceed the maximum or fall below the minimum rate provided for by law.
You will continue to receive these benefits until such time as you are able to return to work, you have reach maximum medical improvement, or until you have reached the statutory maximum of 400 weeks. The employer’s physicians will determine whether the employee has reached maximum medical recovery. The injured worker may also be sent to an independent medical evaluation (“IME”), designated by the workers’ compensation carrier, in order to determine whether or not you have reached “maximum medical recovery.”
Based on the medical reports received after your IME, the workers’ compensation carrier may stop paying temporary total benefits if the physicians indicate that you reach maximum medical improvement. If you feel as though you have not reached maximum medical recovery, however, it is important to have a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney review your case to contest this determination.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If your job-related injury causes a permanent impairment, you are eligible for permanent disability benefits, which are based on your functional loss. If eligible, these benefits will be paid on a weekly basis and are due when your temporary disability is terminated.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If your injury prohibits you from being able to return to any type of employment, you may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits. If eligible, these benefits will also be paid on a weekly basis and will be provided initially for a period of 450 weeks. So long as you can demonstrate that remain totally disabled, benefits will continue to be provided beyond the initial 450-week period. These benefits will be paid at a rate of 70% of your average weekly wages, at a rate not to exceed the maximum or fall below the minimum rate provided for by law.
A New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
If you were involved in a work-related injury, it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you in obtaining the maximum amount of benefits you are entitled to. If the insurance company refuses to pay or wants you to return to work before you are able to, contact our firm. Moreover, if you suffer from any type of permanent injury, you are entitled to a permanency award. Do not accept the insurance company’s low-ball offer. Instead, call the NJ workers’ compensation lawyers at Harrell, Smith and Williams today at (908) 264-7288.