David Lande of Gill & Chamas spoke about Workers Compensation laws at a seminar last week in Woodbridge, NJ. Mr. Lande is a partner at the law firm of Gill & Chamas and devotes 100% of his practice to Workers’ Compensation.
What to do if you are injured.
You should notify your employer as soon as possible. The notice may be given to your supervisor, personnel office, or anyone in authority at your place of business. Notice does not have to be in writing. If you need medical treatment, a request should be made to your employer as soon as possible. Under the NJ workers’ compensation law, the employer and/or their insurance carrier can select the physician(s) to treat injured workers for work related injuries.
Workers’ Compensation FAQs
What benefits am I entitled to under our Workers’ Compensation system?
An employee or worker injured or who suffers a condition in an accident or by occupational exposure arising out of and in the course of employment is entitled to three benefits1. These benefits are the following:
- Temporary Disability – these are money payments made to you while you are under medical treatment authorized by your employer or their insurance company and while you are temporarily but totally disabled from working. Specific information as to this benefit is discussed later in this brochure.
- Medical and Hospital Service and Treatment – the payment of all hospital and medical bills for treatment deemed reasonably necessary to treat your injury or occupational disease. There are no co-payment or deductible payments due from you.
- Permanent Disability – a monetary award paid over the course of a specific number weeks (which is set forth in a chart for the year of the injury or illness) for a functional restriction of a worker’s body part, body parts, or organ that has impaired the workers’ ability to perform his or her duties or to make money.
1 If a worker dies in an accident or by occupational exposure arising out of and in the course of employment, his/her dependent or dependents are entitled to dependency benefits as well as the payment of outstanding medical bills and a funeral allowance. For more information concerning these benefits, we recommend that you consult with an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney.
How long must I be employed before I am entitled to these benefits under Workers’ Compensation law?
You are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits from the moment you are hired so long as your injury or condition arises out of and occurred in the course of your employment. There is no waiting period for eligibility such as with personal health insurance. Employers are required under the law to maintain Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage regardless of the size of the company or an employee’s length of employment service.
What do I do if I am injured or suffer an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of my employment?
If you are injured or suffer an occupational disease, you should immediately notify your employer. You should do so regardless of the seriousness of the injury or occupational disease in order that a record of your complaints is established. This is especially important if the injury did not initially seem particularly serious but is progressing. Where possible, you should complete an accident or incident report in order to document an accident resulting in injury or occupational exposure.
You should also request of your employer the name of a company doctor or facility where you may seek medical treatment. The reason for this is explained later in this brochure but it is because the employer and their insurance company has the right to control your medical treatment.
You should also know that you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits even if you had a condition that pre-existed your accident or occupational exposure so long as your accident or occupational exposure contributed to your disability in a material degree.