What is an employer’s responsibility if an employee is injured on the job?
Injuries happen when you’re on the job, no matter how careful you are or what systems are in place.
When they do, and you are injured, there is a potential that you can collect workers’ compensation benefits for any medical expenses that come as a result of your injury. Workers’ compensation benefits also cover any leave you’re required to take because you can’t work, as well as temporary or permanent disability. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development confirms that workers’ comp benefits cover medical expenses, wages lost, and disability; it also provides death benefits for the family in the case that an employee is killed on the job. Every employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance but to receive your fair share of the benefits if you’re injured at work, and it is the fault of some workplace hazard, you must file a workers’ compensation claim to catalyze the potential of receiving financial support from your employer to cover your expenses and leave.
Why is it important to file a workers’ compensation claim?
If an employee has been injured on the job, they must file a claim to receive benefits, and they must do so in a prompt fashion. Once the accident is reported, the employer will notify their insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will immediately file a First Report of Injury with the state of New Jersey. They will then follow up with the employee to determine whether the injury falls under workers’ compensation law, seeking additional information about the claimant’s injury and the accident that caused it. Upon receiving that information and accepting the claim, the employer’s insurance carrier will follow up with the employee, providing specific medical providers accepted by their insurance. If the employee must be out of work for more than seven days, the insurance provider will also set the employee up with temporary disability payments.
Consider the timeline for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
According to N.J.S.A. 34:15-17, an employee must file a workers’ compensation claim for a workplace injury within 14 days. If the employee files the claim after the initial 14 days following the accident, but within a calendar month, they can still win a workers’ compensation claim. In this case, an employer has the opportunity to prove “prejudice,” or that by waiting to file the claim until later, the employer was placed at a disadvantage. The official expiration by which a workers’ compensation claim can be filed is 30 days, but even that has exceptions.
Employer Can Refute a Claim if not Filed Immediately.
If an employee is injured on the job but does not file a workers’ compensation claim immediately, this creates the opportunity that the employer can refute the claim when it is filed, noting that there is a distinct possibility that the employee was not in fact injured at work or that their waiting created prejudice that placed the employer at a disadvantage to defend itself. A workers’ compensation claim filed two months after the injury is likely to be rejected by the insurance carrier. Though New Jersey law leans toward the employee in workers’ compensation cases, the sooner an employee files a claim, the more likely they will be to receive the full extent of the benefits they are entitled to.
Proof of Prejudice to Win a Workers Comp Case
Even with the support of the prejudice aspect of an employer’s defense, an employer can’t always count on using proof of prejudice to win a workers’ compensation case. They can, however, rely more heavily on the 90-day notice rule, which, according to the state of New Jersey, is final. Employers are at a disadvantage because it is more difficult to investigate a claim week or even months after the initial injury was said to have taken place. However, the firm’s 90-day notice rule does help them in that if an employee files a workers’ compensation claim after this limit, the claim will all but certainly be denied.
If you have been injured on the job, it is your right to receive compensation for your medical expenses, wages lost, and permanent or temporary disability payments. Contact a personal injury lawyer to support you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim to ensure that you receive your fair share as you navigate the road to recovery.
Contact Our Worker’s Compensation Attorneys Today
At Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh, our team of personal injury attorneys supports employees who have been injured on the job in Red Bank, Freehold, Long Branch, and Monmouth County, ensuring they receive the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to.
To schedule a consultation with a team member today about your case, To schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team today regarding your injury or accident case, please give us a call at 732-440-3950.