Many New Jersey workers are injured in accidents while at work. There are many types of accidents that cause injuries. Some are work related. For example, a worker suffers a crush injury to his hand due to improper guarding of a machine. Some accidents are not work related; a worker may slip and fall on the bathroom floor due to a leaky faucet. Employees and workers who are injured at work are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits under NJ workers’ compensation laws.
Benefits injured workers are eligible to receive include:
- medical benefits,
- temporary total benefits,
- permanent partial benefits, and
- permanent total benefits.
This article will discuss permanent total benefits. For a detailed discussion of other benefits, visit our NJ workers’ compensation legal library.
Permanent Total Benefits
Some injuries and illnesses sustained by workers are permanent and prevent workers from returning to any type of gainful employment. When this happens, injured workers may receive permanent total disability benefits.
In addition, when workers lose two major parts or a combination of parts of the body, such as eyes, arms, hand, legs, etc., workers are presumed to have a permanent total disability and are eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits.
Permanent total disability benefits are initially paid to injured employees for a period of 450 weeks; that’s roughly 8 years and 6 weeks. These benefits may continue beyond the initial 450 weeks and are available for life so long as the injured workers are able to show that they are still unable to return to any type of gainful employment.
For example, a factory worker falls from a ladder at work and sustains catastrophic orthopedic injuries. He has several fractures throughout his body, and he is paralyzed from the neck down. He also sustained a permanent traumatic brain injury because his head hit the floor. In addition to his physical limitations which prevent him from returning to work, he is impaired cognitively. He has short-term and long-term memory loss that prevents him from returning to any type of work. Therefore, he is permanently disabled and is eligible to receive permanent total benefits.
After receiving benefits for the initial period of 450 weeks, the workers’ comp carrier may require the injured worker to submit medical evidence to show that he is still permanently disabled and eligible to continue receiving benefits. The workers’ comp carrier may ask for medical records or ask the worker to see a designated medical physician to determine that he is still permanently disabled.
Injured at Work in NJ? You are Eligible to Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits
If you were injured while at work in NJ, you may receive workers’ comp benefits. Call Philip T. Ciprietti, Esq. to schedule a FREE case evaluation. Mr. Ciprietti is an experienced workers’ comp lawyer and has helped many injured workers in NJ. 800.281.8695