The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Process

Man in wheelchairIn New Jersey, when you have suffered injury or illness because of work conditions, you have the right to pursue benefits for medical expenses and lost wages. The process, however, can be confusing and intimidating—many legitimate claims are initially denied.

The Steps Necessary to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New Jersey

The first thing you want to do when you have suffered a work-related injury is get medical treatment. Even if you think you can keep working, you are better off to notify your employer immediately of your injury, and seek medic al care as soon as possible. You can pursue initial treatment from your own doctor or at a hospital or clinic, but may also be required to submit to an examination from a company-chosen physician.

If you don’t leave work to seek medical treatment, and have not notified your employer of your injury, you must notify your employer before you can become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In New Jersey, you have up to two years from the date of your injury or the date of your last paycheck to notify your employer, whichever is later.

Once you have notified your employer, your employer will contact its workers’ compensation insurance provider. The workers’ compensation insurance company will then prepare and file a “First Report of Injury” with the state workers’ compensation office, which initiates, but does not authorize your claim. The insurance company will then conduct an investigation and make a determination as to whether you qualify for benefits. If so, you will be notified that your claim has been approved.

Just because your request for benefits is denied, however, does not mean that you won’t eventually be able to receive benefits. You can request an informal hearing with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation, asking for a review. Conversely, you can file a formal request, known as a Claim Petition. The denial of your claim by the Division of Workers’ Compensation can be appealed in the state courts in New Jersey.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-234-2233.