What to Do If You Get Hurt at Work
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Americans spend a great deal of time at work. In fact, a 2017 report conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that — on average — private workers put in 34.5 hours per week, not accounting for overtime. With so much time spent in the workplace, it should come as no surprise that work injuries are relatively commonplace. Work injuries can vary in severity, of course, from minor fractures to catastrophic spinal injuries.
If you have been injured on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim and obtain benefits through your employer that can help minimize the financial burden placed on you by your injuries. Contact Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC to get in touch with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today.
In New Jersey, the law surrounding workers’ compensation can be a bit confusing for those who are unfamiliar with its terms. Let’s take a brief look:
In New Jersey, workers’ compensation is an insurance program that employers sign onto. It is a “no fault” program, which means that whether the employee, employer, or some third-party is negligent is irrelevant to the benefits payout. So long as a worker has been injured on the job, they may file a claim and potentially receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits include medical expenses, temporary and permanent benefits, wage repayment (for earnings lost during the recovery period), and potentially, retraining costs. These benefits do not include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages that are associated with a civil injury lawsuit.
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New Jersey law prohibits employees (taking advantage of workers’ compensation benefits) from bringing civil injury lawsuit against their employers. There are a few narrow exceptions, however. As an employee, you may be entitled to bring a civil injury claim against your employer if the injury you suffered was due to some intentional action on the employer’s part. For example, if your employer intentionally cuts your safety line on a construction site, and you suffer a falling injury as a result, then you will likely be entitled to bring a civil injury lawsuit against the employer.
It’s important to note, however, that as an injured employee you are not prevented from bringing legitimate civil injury claims against third-party defendants. For example, if your safety goggles break due to a manufacturing defect, resulting in injury, you may be entitled to sue the goggle manufacturer pursuant to New Jersey law.
Once you’ve been injured, it’s critical that you avoid delays. Notify your employer, either through your supervisor or some other employee who has the authority necessary to bring the notification to the “powers that be.” New Jersey provides that the employer (or the workers’ compensation insurer) can choose your medical care providers. As such, you should report your injuries as soon as you can, so that all your medical care is covered.
After the accident has been reported, your employer will notify their workers’ compensation insurer, and your claims will be assessed. Finally, they will determine whether to compensate you for your injuries and how much compensation will be provided through benefits.
If you’ve been injured in an accident on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits (and damages, depending on the circumstances). You’ll want to work with an experienced attorney who has a track record of success in helping clients obtain compensation for their injuries. Call (877) 423-4878 to connect with one of the New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys here at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC.
We look forward to hearing from you.