Jun 072014

Many people in the work force are injured every day in New Jersey. Per workers’ compensation law, injured workers may file workers’ compensation claims with their employers.

NJ Workers’ Compensation Basics

In general, workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers who are injured while at work. Typically, workers are injured while carrying out their job responsibilities. For example, a stock room worker may hurt his back while trying to lift a box, or a construction worker may fall from a ladder at a construction site. However, workers’ comp is not limited to accidents and injuries which occur during the course and scope of employment, or while carrying out work related duties.

General injuries that occur at work are also compensable. For example, an administrative assistant is walking to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and slips on a puddle of liquid on the floor. Though the assistant wasn’t injured while performing a job responsibility, she was injured at work. Therefore, she is eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim.

In general, regardless of who caused the accident, i.e., the employer or employee, the injured employee can file a claim. If an employee caused his own accident, he can still file a workers’ comp claim. However, if the employee’s accident was caused by the employer’s negligence, the employee cannot sue the employer in a NJ personal injury negligence lawsuit.

After a Work Accident in NJ

An injured employee should report his accident/injury to the employer as soon as possible, and no later than 90 days from the date of the accident. The notice does not have to be in writing, but if the worker needs medical treatment, the employee should notify the employer as soon as possible in order to get medical treatment. N.J.S.A 34:15-17

If notice is not given within 90 days, the injured worker will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, unless there was an extenuating circumstance per the statute.

Though medical benefits will be provided right away, there is a waiting period before an injured employee can collect temporary disability payments or lost wages. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34:15-14, an employee must be disabled for 7 days before payment is disbursed. The temporary disability payment will be retroactive. Therefore, if the first temporary disability payment is received a month from the date of the accident, the 1st payment will cover the first 30 days of lost wages from work. However, it is important to note that an injured employee does not recover 100% of his lost wages; rather, he can only recover 70% of lost wages within minimum and maximum limits specified under NJ’s workers’ compensation law.

Related: Injured at Work? Benefits You May Receive Under NJ’s Workers’ Compensation Act

Help After Getting Injured At Work in NJ

If you were injured while at work and need help filing a workers’ compensation claim in NJ, call Philip T. Ciprietti, an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation. 800-281-8695