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I tripped over a ladder at work and broke my ankle. What should I do?

Philip Ciprietti, NJ Car & Truck Accident Lawyer

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If you were injured at work in New Jersey and sustained injuries, you may file a workers’ compensation claim. An injured employee who files a workers’ compensation may receive the following benefits:

  • medical benefits,
  • temporary total benefits,
  • permanent partial benefits, and
  • permanent total benefits.

Therefore, your medical bills are covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. However, you can only seek treatment from medical providers approved by the workers’ compensation carrier.

If an orthopedic doctor you are treating with tells you that you need to see a pain management specialist for the pain you have in your ankle, you cannot just go to a pain management specialist of your choice. The workers’ compensation carrier needs to approve your treatment with a pain management specialist and will tell you what doctor you can see.

Typically, a nurse case manager is assigned to your case and will set up your appointments with medical providers.

If you missed work because of your trip and fall accident, you can also receive wage loss benefits. However, you will not receive 100% of your weekly salary; you will receive 70% of your weekly salary within minimum and maximum limits set by NJ workers’ compensation law. See Injured at Work? Benefits You May Receive Under NJ’s Workers’ Compensation Act

In general, an employee may recover workers’ compensation benefits for a work related injury, regardless of who caused the accident. Therefore, if you caused your own trip and fall accident because you weren’t paying attention to where you were walking, you will still receive workers’ compensation benefits. If your trip and fall accident at work was caused by your employer’s negligence, you will also receive workers’ compensation benefits. The only caveat is that you will not be able to sue your employer in a negligence lawsuit.

However, you may have other legal options beyond filing a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if the ladder was negligently placed there by a lighting contractor fixing light fixtures in the office, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the lighting contractor. This is called a third-party claim.

In this situation, you may recover damages not recoverable in a workers’ compensation claim from the lighting contractor, such as pain and suffering.

Sometimes, it may be difficult to get the medical treatment you need because the workers’ compensation carrier may not approve the treatment.

Unfortunately, some carriers are always looking for ways to stop benefits. In such cases, the injured employee needs to consult with a NJ workers’ compensation lawyer to help fight the workers’ comp carrier.

If you would like to discuss your trip and fall accident at work, call my office to schedule a free consultation. We can explore all of your legal options beyond a workers’ compensation claim and help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. 800-281-8695

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