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Can Your Employer Retaliate against You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?


When you’ve been injured on the job, you want to file an application for Workers’ Compensation benefits in a timely manner. If you are among the fortunate few, your claim will be approved without delay. For most people, though, it’s necessary to request a hearing to appeal the initial denial of a claim.

When you go to the hearing, your first impression will have a significant impact with the judge. Here are some tips to help you make the best first impression.

  • Don’t be late!—Plan on arriving at least a half an hour before your scheduled hearing. You never know when unexpected contingencies arise. If you are not in the courtroom when your case is called, your appeal may be dismissed, even if you show up just a couple minutes late. Don’t give the court the idea that you don’t care about your appeal. Be there on time.
  • Watch your wardrobe—A Workers’ Compensation hearing is a serious matter. Don’t come to court in yesterday’s clothes, or in cutoffs and tee shirt. You don’t have to wear a suit or a dress, but dress as if you have some respect for the court—comfortably, but not too casually. And leave the bling at home!! Gaudy jewelry and fancy watches send the wrong message.
  • Be honest, responsive and humble—The judge will pay attention to what you say and how you say it. Don’t overstate your case in an attempt to win favor with the judge. The workers’ compensation insurance company will have counsel there…if you make misrepresentations, they may easily be refuted and you will lose credibility.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

We represent clients in Workers’ Compensation proceedings on a contingent fee basis. We won’t charge you attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

How Do I Help My Attorney Prepare for a Workers’ Compensation Hearing?


In the aftermath of a work-related injury, your first course of action will typically be to seek benefits through the state’s Workers’ Compensation system. It’s not uncommon for an initial claim to be denied, requiring that you attend to hearing with a Workers’ Compensationjudge to appeal your petition. Here are some ways that you can help your lawyer prepare for that hearing.

A critical component of your case will be your medical records. Your attorney will want to clearly show the judge the extent of your injury, the treatment required and any tests or procedures necessary to diagnose your condition. In most instances, you will be examined by a doctor chosen by the Workers’ Compensation insurance company, but you can also be treated by your own physician. Make certain you tell the same thing to all medical professionals. Be certain that you address anything that is out of the ordinary, and ask that the doctor document everything in writing.

Because the amount of your benefits will depend, in part, on your earnings before the accident, you will need to provide evidence of your average weekly wage for the last 52 weeks. This can come from pay stubs or from a W-2.

In addition, your attorney will want to meet with anyone who was a witness to your injury. Be sure to get names and contact information for anyone at your place of employment who saw what happened.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to men and women throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

We handle all Workers’ Compensation claims on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.


One of the fundamental rules for eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits is that your injury must be “work-related,” either caused by or occurring on the job. With traumatic injuries, it’s often obvious whether or not the injury happened on the job. But other types of injuries may not be as clear cut. What about joint or tendon pain caused by repetitive stress or motion? What if you suffer a heart attack or a stroke, and you were under intense stress at work? What if you suffer a work-related injury that’s relatively minor, but it causes you to develop a more serious problem?

The bottom line—you need to convince the workers’ compensation judge that something about your work caused or contributed to your accident. Here are some examples:

  • Suppose you have a debilitating stroke, either while at work or during your off hours. How can you get workers’ compensation benefits for that? The first thing you’ll want to do is document the full extent of any stress you experienced at work. If you have co-workers who can testify to your stress level, that can help. In addition, you’ll want expert medical testimony linking your stress level to the likelihood of a stroke, or at least to an increase in your blood pressure.
  • Suppose you’re on the job and you get cut by a piece of metal. The wound may be minor and may not even prevent you from coming to work at all. But what if you seek medical treatment and have an allergic reaction to drugs the doctor prescribes, or what if you develop an infection because of the cut. These are known as "consequential injuries" and can be compensable in a workers’ compensation claim.

Contact Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we have more than 70 years of combined experience representing injured workers across New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call us at 856-200-8989.


In many states, an injured worker has the right to choose who will be his or her treating physician. That’s not the case in New Jersey, though. Instead, your employer can choose who will examine you and often who will treat you. That begs the obvious question—if the doctor is handpicked by your employer, can you trust that you’ll get a fair shake? The good news—most often the answer is “yes.”

The Doctor’s Professional Obligations

Your treating physician, as a medical professional, has certain ethical obligations. One of the most fundamental is the priority of the doctor-patient relationship. What does this mean? First of all, it means that the doctor’s primary duty is to you, the injured party—not to your employer. If your physician violates that trust in any way, by failing to acknowledge the severity of your injury, or by providing any false information that benefits your employer, he or she can be subject to professional discipline, including the loss of the right to practice. Because of the potential for sanctions, most medical professionals take their responsibilities seriously.

So what can you do if you suspect that your company-selected doctor is wrongfully dismissing your injury claims? You do have the right to seek a second opinion. However, unless you choose a doctor who is approved by your employer, the costs of that visit will probably not be covered and your employer may ignore any finding. If you do choose an approved physician, who makes a different diagnosis than the first doctor, you’ll likely have to go to a third doctor to have the matter resolved. The matter can get complicated in a hurry. That’s why it’s really in your best interests to hire competent legal counsel early in the workers’ compensation process.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.


If you have been in a work-related motor vehicle accident and you file a third party claim for injuries suffered in the crash, your company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may be entitled to a portion of any recovery you receive in the personal injury lawsuit, if you also received workers’ compensation benefits. A New Jersey appellate court came to that conclusion in August, 2016.

In an appeal that consolidated claims from three different insurers, the court was asked to reconcile competing provisions of two New Jersey statutes: the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act. All three cases involved public workers who were hurt on the job and who had recovered damages in personal injury actions for medical expenses.

At the trial level, all three courts held that workers’ compensation insurance companies could not seek reimbursement of medical expenses in such occasions, as the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act prohibits reimbursement of medical expenses collected or paid under personal injury protection (PIP) policies. The trial judge concluded that, because an injured employee in a work-related accident is treated as a “no-fault” insured, the worker can’t recover medical expenses from the defendant if those medical expenses have been paid by an insurance company—that would be a double recovery. The judge concluded that, because the injured party could not recover medical expenses, the damage award could not and did not include compensation for medical expenses, so that workers’ compensation insurance company had no basis for reimbursement.

The appellate court disagreed, finding that the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act seeks to minimize insurance costs by guaranteeing medical expense coverage. Since the recovery could include reimbursement of medical expenses, and since the Workers’ Compensation Act allows a workers’ compensation insurance provider to seek reimbursement of any medical expenses paid, the requests of the insurance companies were permissible.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to men and women throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

When you have been hurt in a work accident in New Jersey, you have a right to file a claim for benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system. As a general rule, if your claim is approved, you will be awarded benefits based on your average weekly wage and the extent of your injury. However, if you suffer an injury to one of your extremities, such as an arm, leg, finger or toe, you can also receive a cash payment if the injury is deemed permanent. These payments are referred to as scheduled loss of use, or SLU, awards.

As defined in the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, “extremities” include all body parts other than your head, neck or back. Accordingly, you can pursue a scheduled loss of use award if you sustain a permanent injury to your arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet or toes.

Here’s how to seek a scheduled loss of use award. You’ll have to wait until your case is finalized (usually around a year after your accident). Once you have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement,” you can see your doctor and request a report to document the degree to which your injury is permanent. Once your doctor has determined the percentage of permanent injury, you look at the statutory schedule for your type of loss and apply the percentage to determine the amount to which you are entitled.

It’s important to understand that, once the award is determined, your workers’ compensation case is generally closed. If your injury becomes worse, though, you can always seek to reopen your claim. So, for example, you may have 50% use of your hand now and receive a scheduled loss of use award based on that percentage. If your injury progresses and you lose permanent use of the entire hand, you can reopen your case and seek an additional amount.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

When you have been injured at work in New Jersey, your exclusive remedy will typically be through a workers’ compensation claim. It’s often referred to as the “grand bargain,” as it is designed to benefit both employers and employees. Business owners (and workers’ compensation insurance companies) don’t have to worry about large damage claims from a judge or jury because the workers’ compensation laws establish specific payouts. Workers generally have access to compensation more quickly, as they don’t have to go through all the procedures involved in a lawsuit.

At its best, it’s a straightforward and simple system—you see a doctor, get a medical opinion that you’ve suffered an injury and can’t work. You file your claim, continue to see the doctor regularly, and receive temporary benefits until you can return to work, or permanent benefits if you can’t go back to your job.

Workers’ compensation insurance companies, though, take a completely different view of your claim. It’s all about their bottom line, and the way they maximize their bottom line is to minimize what they pay you. It’s how their business model works. They charge premiums, which represents the bulk of their income. In order to maximize their profits, they need to maximize income and minimize expenses. The more they pay out in claims, the less profit they’ll show at the end of the year.

So it’s really in the workers’ comp insurance company’s best interests to make the process difficult for you. They may refuse to pay for necessary testing, or they may allege that you can return to work, or that your injury is less serious that you know it is. That’s why you need an experienced and aggressive workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

If you’ve been hurt on the job and need to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, but you’ve heard from others that it can be a complicated process and that most claims are denied. It’s true—employers and insurance companies have a vested interest in not paying workers’ compensation benefits and will look for every opportunity to reject your claim. That’s why it’s so important to hire the right attorney to handle your case. Here’s what you should seek in counsel.

Make Certain Your Lawyer Focuses on Workers’ Compensation

The workers’ compensation process has its own set of rules and if you don’t follow them, your claim can be denied or delayed. Don’t hire a general practitioner who may not be familiar with all the inner workings of the workers’ compensation system. Verify that your attorney has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation cases.

Make Certain You Hire an Experienced Trial Lawyer

The skills required of a trial attorney are different than those of a transactional lawyer. You want a lawyer who has skill and experience at oral argument, who can think and respond at the spur of the moment, and who is well-versed in the rules of trial procedure.

Make Certain Your Attorney Be Available and Accessible on a Regular Basis

You’ll have questions throughout the process and you need to know that your lawyer will respond to your calls or e-mails in a timely manner. Confirm that you’ll have direct access to the attorney, and won’t be dealing with a paralegal, secretary or inexperienced associate.

Know What Approach Will Your Attorney Take in Court

Some lawyers will aggressively advocate for you in every proceeding, while others prefer to negotiate an outcome that meets your needs. Be sure that your lawyer will take whatever approach is necessary to get the benefits you need.

Contact Our Office

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

When you suffer an injury or illness that’s job-related in New Jersey, you have a right to seek benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation system. It may even be your exclusive remedy, which means that you can’t file a lawsuit in court to recover for your losses. But if you’ve never hired a lawyer before, or even if you have, you can have significant concerns about the costs of retaining counsel. Chances are pretty good that, because of your work injury, things are already pretty lean financially. That’s why it’s important to know just what it will cost you out-of-pocket to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.

As with most personal injury claims, workers’ compensation cases are typically handled on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that, instead of billing you on an hourly basis, your lawyer will usually take a percentage of any amount recovered on your behalf. There’s usually no requirement that you put any money down to initiate the process, either (known as a “retainer”). Because your attorney gets paid more if you get paid more, there’s the added incentive to maximize your recovery.

The final determination as to how much you will receive will be made by either the workers’ compensation judge or the Workers’ Compensation Board. As a general rule, the only out-of-pocket costs you’ll have will be filing fees or any costs associated with obtaining evidence, such as court reporter fees if depositions are required. But you won’t incur any fees for your attorney’s time.

Contact Our Office

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.