Helping Injured Workers With The Workers’ Compensation Process
If you are injured while performing the duties of your job, notify your employer right away. You may tell anyone in authority, such as your supervisor or someone at the personnel office. Your notice does not have to be in writing. If you need medical treatment, make a request to your employer as soon as you can. Employers and their insurance carriers can select the physician to treat your work-related injuries. It is also a good idea to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Saying too much about your injuries can affect the benefits you receive.
At Rogan & Associates LLC, our firm helps clients with the process of filing the workers’ compensation paperwork and proving eligibility for benefits. We protect our clients’ rights to compensation if their claim is denied by appealing the denial. Call us at 201-342-6404 for a free consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.
What Happens Next?
Employers are supposed to notify their insurance company immediately to create a “First Report of Injury” to be filed with the state Workers’ Compensation Division. The insurance company then evaluates the claim and determines whether the injury is compensable under workers’ compensation guidelines. The insurance company contacts the injured worker, the employer and the medical provider to make this assessment.
If the claim is accepted, the insurance company will direct the injured worker to an approved medical provider for treatment. If the time out of work extends beyond seven days, they will also provide the injured worker with temporary disability benefits during the rehabilitation time. The amount is not to exceed 70 percent of the worker’s average weekly pay. These benefits are discontinued when the worker can return to work.
Within 26 weeks after the worker returns to work, or reaches “maximum medical improvement,” the insurance company submits the “Subsequent Report of Injury” to the state. A copy of this report is also given to the injured worker to review.
Filing A Formal Claim Or An Informal Hearing
Disputes often arise between the worker, the employer and the insurance company. The worker has a right to file a formal claim petition or an application for an informal hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation for disputes or requests such as:
- Whether the injury was work-related
- The type and the extent of medical treatment
- Payment of temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Death benefits for dependents
If a worker’s injury results in disability, permanent partial benefits and permanent total benefits may be available. A partial permanent disability means that the worker may not be able to return to their full course of employment and can receive benefits based on the percentage of work lost. If a worker is unable to return to any type of work, he or she may be eligible for permanent total benefits for a period of 450 weeks.
Dependents, such as a surviving spouse or child under the age of 18, of a worker who died due to a work-related injury may be eligible for up to 70 percent of the weekly wages of the deceased worker.
A formal claim must be filed within two years of the injury occurring or the date of the last compensation payment. If the workers’ compensation claim is for occupational illness such as hearing loss, toxic chemical exposure, asbestos or repetitive back strain, the claim petition must be filed within two years from the date that the worker became aware the condition was caused by duties performed on the job.
Call For A Free Consultation As Soon As Possible After Your Injury
Rogan & Associates LLC provides comprehensive and compassionate legal help for workers injured on the job and struggling with the workers’ comp process. Call our firm in Hackensack at 201-342-6404 or email us to schedule your free consultation with a lawyer today.