For readers of this blog, we post about workplace injuries and workers’ compensation regularly. However, for someone that was just injured, they want to know what they can do now.
Immediately after the injury
First, notify the employer immediately, or as soon as medically possible. This notice can be given to a supervisor, foreman, HR or any authority figure at the employer. This notice can be over the phone as well. It does not have to be in writing. Since New Jersey workers’ compensation law allows the insurance carrier and employer to select approved healthcare providers, the employee should figure out who that provider is before seeking medical attention. Of course, there are generally emergency allowances, so if that is not possible, call 9-1-1, if needed.
What if the employer refuses to contact their insurance?
Employees can contact the workers’ compensation insurance carrier directly. The insurance company’s information should be displayed in a prominent location at the business. It is also located at the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau at www.njcrib.com. Though, an employee can elect to file a claim directly with the state, which can be done with or without an attorney. Filing a claim should also be done if one’s claim is denied by the employer.
What if the employer fires the injured worker?
If an injured worker is fired for filing a workers compensation claim, the employer likely broke the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation statute (NJSA 34:15-39.1). This is a separate legal action that can be filed through the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Alternatively, if the employer is claiming that they fired the injured worker because of their injury itself, then the employee can ask for a reasonable accommodation, or make a discrimination complaint. This can be done through an attorney, or by contacting the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
For our Trenton, New Jersey, readers, and those in the surrounding area that have been injured on the job, getting help is okay. Though, being injured on the job and recovering from those injuries can be a tricky legal, physical and emotional challenge. This is why help is always available through both state agencies and hiring a personal attorney.