No worker plans on getting injured in the workplace; however, many workers in New Jersey and elsewhere suffer this unfortunate fate. A workplace injury can truly shake ones world. It not only results in a worker suffering pain and requiring medical treatment, it is also likely to cause the injured worker to miss work for an extended period of time in order to heal and receive treatment. Thus, a workplace injury is likely to cause physical and financial harms.
Applying for workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation is considered a non-fault benefit. This means that regardless of who was at fault, an injured employee can apply fro these benefits. However, if a worker applies for and receives these benefits, the worker cannot bring an action against his or her employer for the incident and harms that resulted. Even if the employer is to blame, the only way an employee could file a civil action against an employer is if it was an intentional act by the employer that led to the incident.
Steps to take following a workplace injury
As soon as possible, an injured worker should give notification of the injury. This could include giving notice to a supervisor, personnel office or anyone that has a position of authority at one’s place of business. One should note that notice does not need to be in writing. If medical treatment is necessary, an employee should put in a request to their employer as soon as possible. New Jersey workers’ compensation law states that the employer or their insurance carrier can select the physicians used to treat an injured worker for a work related injury.
Once an employer is informed of an injury, they need to immediately inform their insurance carrier. This will then establish the first report of injury for the worker. Then a claim could be filed with the state. The claim will then be evaluated, determining if it is compensable. If approved, the worker will receive the benefits that they are eligible for. If it is not approved, an employee could take action against a denial of benefits.
The benefits of a workers’ compensation insurance program can be very valuable for an injured worker. Whether one suffers an injury that results in temporary disability or permanent disability, these benefits can help offset the financial harms caused by medical bills and lost wages. Therefore, those seeking to apply for these benefits or are appealing a denial should understand the process and what rights they have when securing these benefits.