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New Jersey Lawyers Answer Workers' Compensation FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Comp in New Jersey

If you are being denied workers' compensation benefits, even though you have suffered an injury on the job, please contact our experienced New Jersey workers' comp lawyers now. We will help you dispute your claim denial. We are even willing to guide you through the whole appeals process if necessary. Don't delay; the sooner you start, the better.

Our firm has been sympathetic to workers for over 25 years. Please let us help you get the coverage you need to move on with your life. For a free, informative consultation, call (609) 240-0040.

If you or a loved one has been injured while on the job what should you do?

Your first course of action in any injury situation is to obtain fast and thorough medical attention. No matter how serious an injury appears to be you should always have every precaution undertaken. Even the most seemingly benign injury can turn into something lifelong.

After you or your loved one receives medical attention you should contact whoever is in charge at your company's human resources division to make an incident report. This is necessary especially if you are going to be filing for workers compensation but you don't have to have notification in writing and it doesn't necessarily have to be to your human resources office. You may also want to consider contacting our law office for free advice as to how you should proceed with your claim.

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What if the company I work for is not reporting my claim?

If your company is giving you some hassle regarding your claim then you have several options you can pursue. You should contact a lawyer at our office for a free consultation. Alternatively you can attempt to contact the company's insurance provider to make a claim on your own. Contacting anyone without legal representation is not generally a wise choice to make, however.

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What if my company is treating me badly because I filed a claim?

Workplace harassment is illegal, especially because of workers' compensation claims. In some instances people are even fired while out on disability. Because many people try to deal with the situation on their own they often lose legally entitled money and in some cases even their job. There are several government agencies that can help you if you are facing some discrimination or have been fired after filing a workers' compensation claim. You also have the right to retain an experienced attorney who can help you obtain your legally owed rights and funds.

Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. has had years of experience dealing with workers' compensation claims and problems between employees and their companies. Before you attempt to settle this matter on your own you should contact our office for a free evaluation. We will let you know what your rights are, what we can do for you and what you should do if you choose to solve your situation on your own.

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What is covered by workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation in New Jersey covers any type of injury or death sustained while working at any job, including occupational claims. Every company in the state is required by law to have workers' compensation coverage for each one of its employees. These jobs are not limited to any particular industry or profession, and include anyone whether they are construction workers, office workers, drivers, lawyers, waitresses, doctors, teachers, or even temporary employees. Both the public and the private sectors are completely covered by workers' compensation in NJ.

The amount of coverage for workers' compensation is the same regardless of the job or the company. This coverage extends to any injuries sustained while on the job or any injuries or problems sustained because of working conditions. An employee who is injured in a car accident while on the way to a client is covered. Another employee who sustains serious back injuries because of a workplace condition that was required of him for years is also covered under state law. This is considered an occupational claim.

New Jersey workers' compensation allows for the payment of 70% of the employee's salary while they are not able to work. In addition, other fees and payments are legally entitled to the injured party. These include medical expenses and money for physical therapy sessions, for example, but may include many other expenses as well. In order to understand exactly what you are owed after a workplace injury please contact our attorneys immediately. Most importantly, injured employees are entitled to a lump sum payment of any permanent injury sustained on the job. Also an additional benefit of legal representation is that we at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. can assure that your claim remains open for two years should you require additional medical care.

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What are workers' compensation negotiations?

Negotiation works for several reasons. A workers' comp attorney is a professional negotiator, a skill that injured workers and their families may not have, or may not be feeling up to using. Attorneys also understand the state's complex workers' compensation laws and how they affect the rights of an injured worker, and can use that knowledge to make sure you're compensated as fully as possible for your injuries. Perhaps most importantly, hiring a lawyer signals to the insurance company that you're serious about protecting yourself. Insurers know that going to court is even more expensive than paying your claim.

NJ's workers' compensation system was designed to make it as easy as possible for injured workers to get the medical care and support they need, without the trouble and expense of a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the process does not always go as smoothly as its planners envisioned. Because workers' compensation claims can be expensive, some employers and their insurance companies find ways to avoid paying them, even when they're legitimate and clearly necessary. Their tactics can include:

  • Unreasonable delays of payment, paperwork or other actions necessary to secure your compensation
  • Claims that your injury was not work-related or not sustained at work
  • Claims that you are exaggerating your injury
  • Claims that your injury should be covered by another business or organization

Insurers raise these and other false defenses about workers' injuries because they're paid to protect your employer's interests -- not yours. You can fight back by hiring an experienced Princeton workers' comp lawyer to represent your interests at the negotiation table. In negotiation -- before or during any workers' compensation lawsuit -- the job of a workers' compensation attorney is to make sure your employer and its insurer respect all of your legal rights.

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Is New Jersey workers' compensation similar to medical insurance?

Absolutely not. New Jersey workers' compensation covers 70% of your income while you are unable to work. In addition, compensation laws cover all medical expenses and several other costs related to your injury. There are many expenses covered by workers' compensation laws in New Jersey that financially cover much more than medical bills.

Contact our office to learn more about workers' compensation and what you are legally entitled to.

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Why is a workers' compensation medical exam important?

The initial medical exam in a workers' compensation case in NJ is very important, because any payments are likely to depend on the doctor's diagnosis. Unfortunately, state law gives the employer the right to choose the doctor you'll see after an injury. In fact, medical care provided through the workers' compensation system is entirely under the control of the employer and its insurance company. This can cause serious problems in cases where the employer or insurance company -- and its doctor -- is willing to break the rules or bend the facts in order to avoid paying a legitimate claim.

Under state law, your employer must pay 100 percent of your medical costs for any work-related injury. But the law also gives your employer the right to choose the doctor you'll see to determine what that injury -- and its costs -- might be. In fact, unless there's an emergency, you must ask your employer or its insurance company in advance to authorize treatment by that doctor. And after the diagnosis, your employer is legally required to pay only for the treatments that its chosen doctor recommends.

Because you're most likely to see a doctor paid by your employer's insurance carrier, it's important to realize that he or she may not be completely objective. This could be the case if this doctor doesn't diagnose you with any injury or illness at all, or with an injury that's less serious than you expected. Your medical insurance may not cover a second opinion or other unauthorized treatment, or may seek payment from any workers' compensation insurance lawsuit you might later win.

If your claim is denied altogether and the doctor finds that you need no care at all, you and your attorney may appeal to the state workers' compensation court. That court has the power to order coverage reimbursements for wrongly denied claims, as long as the charges are reasonable and necessary. Workers can also sometimes appeal their employers' choices of doctor to the workers' compensation court, but only if you can show that the doctor's treatment was incompetent, inadequate or detrimental to your health. In some cases, you may also be able to file a New Jersey workers' compensation lawsuit. But in all cases, you and your workers' compensation attorney should be sure to negotiate hard with your employer from the beginning. Because insurance companies know going to court is expensive, just hiring an attorney is often enough to change their approach to your case.

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Should I report an OSHA violation?

Employees should not hesitate to report an OSHA violation in their workplace to a supervisor or otherwise seek recourse. An employer is not permitted to demote, harass, or fire an employee for filing a complaint of an OSHA violation. Even if an employer responds cordially to your complaint, you may want to consider contacting a New Jersey OSHA violation attorney to represent your claim and assist you in seeking compensation for your work-related injuries. Because the workers' compensation division in NJ varies from normal civil court, such cases require the skills and knowledge of an attorney who is familiar with both personal injury and the many complexities of workers' compensation.

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What can your office do for my NJ worker's comp claim?

Because we have had years of experience dealing with workers' compensation issues throughout the state, our lawyers can be of assistance to anyone facing a problem in obtaining their legally entitled funds.

Our office offers free consultations and we do not take payment until we successfully win your case. Our payment is only a pre-set percentage of the amount we settle for you and we always factor that amount into any negotiations. Contact us today at (609) 240-0040 and have aggressive, professional New Jersey workers' compensation lawyers on your side immediately.

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The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over twenty five years.

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