The Aftermath Of A Workplace Injury: Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation

Some lines of work are more dangerous than others. If you routinely perform manual labor or work with heavy machinery, you may be more prone to sustaining an injury in the workplace. This is not to say that those who work in offices are precluded from accidents at work — in truth, these incidents can happen to anyone, and when they do, workers' compensation benefits may be available.

At Hobbie, Corrigan & DeCarlo, P.C., our attorneys help clients in the Monmouth County area as they take measures to obtain workers' compensation benefits. We assist a high volume of individuals with their claims, and what follows are some frequently asked questions about workers' comp that our lawyers are asked:

When Does An Injury Or Accident Qualify For Workers' Compensation?

In the event that you suffer an injury or illness while at work, you can typically obtain workers' compensation benefits. With few exceptions, all employers in New Jersey are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. To qualify for these benefits, you must report your injury to your employer as soon as possible and let them know that you need medical attention. In New Jersey, your employer can choose the physician who will treat your injuries.

What Will Workers' Compensation Benefits Cover?

Workers' compensation benefits can help you offset a number of expenses that result from an injury or illness. These funds will cover all reasonable medical costs, your mileage accrued from doctor's appointments and if necessary, vocational training for a new profession. If you are unable to work due to your condition, you can also receive up to 70 percent of your weekly gross wages via temporary disability benefits. If a doctor finds you to be permanently disabled, those payments can continue in perpetuity.

Should I Always Trust My Employer's Doctor?

Under state law, your employer does get to dictate which health care providers you can access. However, if you feel that your doctor has unfairly determined that you can return to work, or if you feel that you are receiving inadequate care, there are legal options available. In such a situation, it is often prudent to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

How Can A Lawyer Help With A Workers' Compensation Claim?

There are several reasons why you should hire a lawyer to represent you after a workplace injury.

First, the claims process will be easier having a lawyer on your side. A lawyer's job is to protect your interests and help you obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive. A legal professional can help ensure that your documents are submitted on time and that you have ample evidence to support your claim.

Second, a lawyer will look out for your interests and fight to make sure you are not shortchanged. Your compensation will depend on where you were injured and how it affects you. Your lawyer can help you obtain another medical opinion in the event you need to challenge your injury rating. Your lawyer will be able to advise you about the full value of your claim and will pursue the full and fair compensation for your injury.

Third, a lawyer will be your advocate if your employer is denying your claim or is unreasonably slow in disbursing your benefits.

Fourth, if you are unable to return to work and plan on filing for Social Security Disability benefits, your lawyer will be able to assist with your application.

What If My Workers' Compensation Claim Is Denied?

Unfortunately, denied workers' compensation claims are not unusual. A workers' compensation claim may be denied for several reasons. An employer may allege that there was no injury, that the injury did not happen at work or was not work-related (as in the case of horseplay, roughhousing, drug use, etc.).

If your claim is denied, you do have the right to appeal, but there is a short timeline to do so. If your claim has been denied, contact our firm right away for guidance on filing an appeal.

Call Us Today To Get Started On Your Claim

While a workers' compensation FAQ guide can be helpful, it may not answer every question that you have. For an initial consultation to discuss your claim, please call 732-982-4178 or toll free at 877-565-5853. For your convenience, you can also contact our firm via email.