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New Jersey workers’ compensation process

All forms of employment carry some degree of risk. Of course, individuals working in certain industries, such as construction and other labor-intensive fields, may face a higher risk of injury.

No matter the industry, however, all New Jersey workers should be aware of their right to workers' compensation benefits in case they experience a job-related injury. New Jersey's law prohibiting such individuals from litigating their claims makes it even more essential for all workers to carefully file their claims.

New Jersey's workers' compensation

Like many other states, New Jersey law requires that employers provide their employees with insurance coverage relating to injuries sustained as a result of their job duties.

The state's "no fault" system provides several different types of workers' compensation benefits, the availability of which depends on the injury sustained. The types of benefits available to New Jersey employees include:

  • Medical benefits
  • Temporary total benefits
  • Permanent partial benefits
  • Permanent total benefits
  • Death benefits

Under the state's allotment of medical benefits, all necessary and reasonable medical treatments and medicines required and authorized as a result of the injury will be paid by the employer's insurance carrier.

If an employee is disabled for a period of more than seven days, he or she may be eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits, the amount of which is not to exceed 70 percent of the employee's average weekly rate. However, such benefits will no longer be provided when the worker is able to return to work in some capacity.

Permanent partial benefits and permanent total benefits are both types of compensation available to a worker whose injury resulted in disability. When an individual has a partial permanent disability, he or she may not be able to return to their full course of employment, and can receive benefits based on the percentage of work lost. Whereas, an individual who is unable to return to any gainful employment will receive permanent total benefits for a period of 450 weeks.

Lastly, death benefits are available to the dependents of a worker who dies as a result of a work-related injury. The maximum benefit allotted to such dependents is 70 percent of the weekly wages of the deceased worker. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the dependents must meet one of many requirements, such as being a surviving spouse with natural children, or being the deceased worker's child who is currently under the age of 18.

New Jersey law forbids, which limited exceptions, employees from engaging in traditional personal injury lawsuits as a remedy for injury and losses against an employer. With the possibility of adjudication eliminated, unless a third-party is involved, it is important that an injured worker be adequately covered via the state's workers' compensation system.

Given the complex nature of the New Jersey workers' compensation program, it is essential that an injured worker take all the steps necessary in order to receive the benefits he or she deserves. Given the system's complexity, coupled with the injured individual's need for financial assistance, the injured worker should contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney. An experienced attorney will help ensure that the individual receives the benefits he or she needs.

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