New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers provides capable representation for appeals of denied claims and disability settlements
If you are an employee of a business and you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to a range of workers’ compensation benefits, including medical treatment and partial wage replacement. Worker’s compensation is a no-fault insurance program, so you don’t have to prove someone else was responsible, and you are covered even if your own negligence caused the accident. Generally, the system works smoothly, providing a safety net for workers and protecting employers from lawsuits. But too often, workers have claims denied, or face unreasonable obstacles in accessing benefits. If this happens to you, our workers’ comp attorneys at Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers are ready to help. With determination and close attention to every detail, we manage workers’ comp appeals and resolve disputes over benefits, so you can enjoy financial security and peace of mind.
Do I Need A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
The no-fault aspect of workers’ compensation leads many employees to believe that they need no help completing an initial application, Various issues can arise, however, when workers attempt to file claims on their own. Stubborn workers’ compensation insurance carriers or self-insured employers often seize upon superficial reasons to deny payment of benefits; hard-working New Jersey employees can often be penalized for inadvertently failing to include necessary evidence proving the true nature of their impairment.
An experienced attorney assisting you in filing a workers’ compensation claim knows how to avoid the most common errors that lead to denied applications and can otherwise navigate through an often-complicated process. Beyond workers’ compensation benefits, a lawyer can determine through a follow-up investigation if a non-employer third party bears liability for your accident, thus potentially entitling you to additional money damages.
Unlike employers and co-workers who are shielded from lawsuits because workers’ compensation is considered an exclusive or sole remedy, negligent third parties can face personal injury lawsuits in civil court.
A lawyer will be able to determine the actual value of your claim and submit a formal demand letter to an insurance company as a prelude to negotiating a possible settlement. If an insurer is unwilling to agree to fair terms, the attorney can file a lawsuit to take your case to trial.
Why Choose Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers To Handle My Workers’ Compensation Case?
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers has a record of success that includes over $227 million recovered for our clients. We were ranked a Top 40 Law Firm by the New Jersey Law Journal.
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers has also been recognized as a best law firm in New Jersey with a tier-1 ranking for personal injury litigation. Our workers’ comp attorneys combine experience and expertise, along with attention to detail, to deliver quality results, while excelling at client care during an exceptionally trying time in your life.
Our firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis; there are no upfront legal fees. We only get paid if you receive a workers’ comp award.
Benefits available through NJ workers’ compensation
New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits fall into five main categories:
Medical benefits — Employers must cover all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospitalization services related to a work injury. An employer can designate an authorized treating physician for all work-related injuries. An injured worker can choose the treating physician only when an employer refuses to provide medical treatment or an emergency exists. In the event of an emergency, an injured worker still needs to notify an employer as soon as possible concerning the treatment being received.
Temporary disability benefits — An injured worker disabled for a period of more than seven days is eligible for temporary total benefits at a rate of 70 percent of their average weekly wage. The benefits cannot exceed 75 percent of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) or be less than the minimum rate of 20 percent of the SAWW. Temporary benefits are provided during the period when a worker is unable to work and is under active medical care; the minimum rate in 2020 is $252 while the maximum is $945. Benefits are terminated when a worker is released to return to work in some capacity or they have reached the state of maximum medical improvement (MMI), which describes the point when additional treatment will no longer improve the medical condition of an injured worker.
Permanent partial benefits — A work-related injury or illness that causes a partial permanent disability will result in benefits based upon a percentage of certain “scheduled” or “non-scheduled” losses. Scheduled losses involve arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, eyes, ears, or teeth, but non-scheduled losses are any areas or systems of the body not specifically identified in the schedule (such as the back, heart, or lungs). Permanent partial benefits are paid weekly and are due after the date temporary disability ends. In 2020, the minimum permanent partial award is $35 and the maximum is $945. You can review the complete schedule of disabilities for maximum benefits.
Permanent total benefits — An employee may be entitled to receive permanent total disability benefits if a work injury or illness prevents them from returning to any type of gainful employment. Permanent total benefits are weekly benefits initially provided for 450 weeks. The benefits can continue past the initial 450 weeks when the injured worker can prove they remain unable to earn wages. Wages earned after 450 weeks offset the weekly computation in proportion to the income at the time of the injury. Like temporary disability benefits, permanent total benefits are based upon 70 percent of the average weekly wage and cannot exceed 75 percent of the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) or be less than the minimum rate of 20 percent of the SAWW. Permanent Total Disability is presumed when a worker loses two major members or a combination of members of the body but can also result from a combination of injuries rendering the worker unemployable. The Second Injury Fund (SIF) administered by the state Division of Workers’ Compensation makes benefit payments to injured workers who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of their last work-related injury combined with the workers’ pre-existing disabilities. The minimum rate for permanent total benefits in 2020 is $252, while the maximum is $945.
Death benefits — Dependents of workers killed by work-related injuries or illnesses can be eligible for death benefits, consisting of weekly benefits payments of 70 percent of the weekly wage of the deceased worker. The benefit amount will be divided by the surviving dependents as determined by a judge after a hearing on extent of dependency. Surviving spouses and natural children in a decedent’s household at the time of death are conclusively presumed to be dependents, but surviving spouses and natural children who were not a part of a decedent’s household at the time of death as well as any other alleged dependents are required to prove actual dependency. Children who are deemed to be dependents will remain so until they turn 18 or when they are full-time students, until age 23. Physically or mentally disabled children can be eligible for additional benefits. Employers or their insurance carriers are also responsible for paying as much as $3,500 in funeral expenses for job-related deaths; such funds must be paid to whomever is liable for the funeral bill. The maximum death benefit in 2020 is $945.
New Jersey workers’ compensation requirements
In New Jersey, an injured worker may be eligible to bring a workers’ compensation claim if an employee/employer relationship exists and the accident arises out of, and in the course of employment:
An accident arises “in the course of employment” when it occurs: within the period of employment, at a place where the employee may reasonably be, and while employee is reasonably fulfilling the duties of the employment, or doing something incidental thereto. “Arising out of employment” refers to the causal origin of the accident in relation to the employment. It requires an analysis of the risk which gave rise to the injury and whether such risk is contemplated as an incident of the employment.
Types of workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey
In New Jersey, two types of workers’ compensation claims are compensable: traumatic injury claims and occupational disease claims.
Traumatic injury claims are claims that involve a one-time trauma that is physical or psychological in nature. Common traumatic events include:
- Slip or trip and fall
- Hit by object
- Burn or electric shock
- Vehicle accident
Frequent causes of accidents include:
- Poor instructions
- Heavy lifting
- Failure to maintain work area
- Falling objects
- Repetitive motions
- Poor lighting
- Caught in-between incidents
- Struck by incidents
- Assaults or other acts of violence by co-workers or third parties
- Trip or slip and fall accidents
- Falls from heights
Occupational disease claims are claims that involve injuries caused by repetitive activity or exposures over a period of days, months, or years. Occupational diseases may include, but are not limited to:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Hearing loss
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Silicosis white lung
Our attorneys have broad experience with worker’s comp claims arising from traumatic events and occupational diseases. If you claim has been denied, we can help you prove the necessary elements required for approval on appeal.
Contact our aggressive New Jersey workers comp lawyers to access your benefits
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers provides determined representation for injured workers throughout New Jersey. Our team is especially skilled at dealing with insurance companies and medical providers in the handling of workers’ comp claims which allows you to focus on what is truly important: regaining your health and getting back to work. Call (973) 364-8300 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We have offices in Roseland, Paramus, Jackson, and New Brunswick.