In the immediate aftermath of an on-the-job injury, workers may be worried about their rights and, especially, how they will pay their bills if they are unable to work due to the injury.
Fortunately, most employees who suffer on-the-job injuries in New Jersey can take advantage of the workers’ compensation system.
Getting to know the basics about the workers’ compensation system might help alleviate some of the worrying for injured employees.
Workers’ comp basics
Workers’ compensation – or “workers’ comp,” as it is commonly called – refers to a system that is in place as a balancing act between employers and employees.
In short, the system exists for two reasons: first, so that injured workers can get medical care and a portion of their wages if they suffer an on-the-job injury; and second, so that those injured employees do not file a lawsuit against their employer because of the on-the-job injury.
After the on-the-job injury occurs, it must be reported to the employer as soon as possible. Any request for required medical treatment must also be submitted to the employer as soon as possible.
Eventually, the injured worker must submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
This is where things can get tricky. In the best-case scenario, the claim is approved and the injured worker gets compensation for medical treatment and lost wages. However, if the claim is disputed by the employer, the worker may need to fight for those benefits.
Injured workers in New Jersey need to make sure they are getting the right legal information about their own situation as they look at trying to take advantage of their workers’ compensation rights.