Injured while on the job in New Jersey
If you are injured while on the job in New Jersey, you may file a claim with your employer for workers’ compensation benefits. New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law is codified at N.J.S.A. 34:15-1, et seq, the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. Although most workplace accidents are caused while an employee is carrying out a function of their job, for example, a construction worker who injures his back while lifting materials, New Jersey’s workers’ compensation benefits are provided to injured workers regardless of who is at fault for the accident and regardless of whether or not the employee was carrying out their job responsibility at the time of the accident.
So, for example, if a secretary who walks into the break room to get a cup of coffee slips and falls on a puddle of water that she herself spilled, she is still eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim – even though she was at fault for the accident and even though she and was not carrying out a job responsibility at the time of the accident.
Likewise, the same secretary would be covered by workers’ compensation benefits if the puddle was caused not by the negligence of the employee herself, but, instead, was due to the negligence of the employer, for example, by forgetting to fix a leak or otherwise warn of the dangerous condition. It is important to note that, while the secretary here would likewise be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even though the employer was negligent in this incident, she would not be able to bring file suit against her employer for the accident. Thus, she would only be eligible to receive the benefits that are available under New Jersey workers’ compensation law.
Reporting Workplace Accidents in New Jersey
If you are injured while at work, you should report your accident and/or injury to your employer as soon as possible, but absolutely no later than 90 days after the incident. The notice you provide to your employer need not be in writing, but if you do require medical treatment, you should notify your employer immediately. You should note that, if you fail to provide notice within 90 days, you would not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits unless you are able to prove extenuating circumstances.
Although medical benefits will be provided by your employer immediately, before you are eligible for temporary disability of lost wage payments, you must be disabled for seven days before these benefits are disbursed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-14. With respect to lost wages, you should be aware that you would not be able to recover 100% of your lost wages. Instead, you can only recover 70% of your lost wages, within the minimum and maximum limits specified under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys serving New Jersey
If you were injured on the job and need help filing a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Harrell, Smith and Williams today at (908)264-7288 for a free consultation.