New Jersey Work Injury Attorneys
LEGAL REPRESENTATION AFTER ON-THE-JOB INJURY IN NJ
A work injury can bring more than your career to a screeching halt.
One moment, everything was going great. Suddenly, you’re in pain and overwhelmed, with your professional and financial futures shaken to the core. A single on-the-job safety hazard or communication failure was all it took to put your entire life at risk.
The law firm of Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari understands how strongly a work injury can affect families. Our team of 15 work-related injury lawyers and 45+ support personnel has helped countless workers and their families over the eight decades we have been in business. Why not choose us to help you, too?
WORK INJURY: WHAT TO DO
If you’ve just been hurt in a work injury, time is of the essence. Here’s what you have to do right now to protect your rights as a wounded worker.
- Report the incident. Winning a lawsuit becomes so much harder when it involves a work injury not reported promptly. The defendant, insurance company, or defense attorney can easily argue that there’s no proof the injury even happened.
- Seek work injury treatment right away. In emergency situations, going to the hospital or an urgent care facility may seem obvious. Even non-emergency injuries should be checked out promptly, or you could risk aggravating the damage.
- Speak to an attorney early on, before you have to provide official statements or sign a bunch of paperwork. In the case of a work injury, the insurance company and even your own employer may not have your best interests at heart. A work injury attorney representing you will.
WHAT IS A WORK INJURY?
The term work injury generally refers to an injury – which can include illness, repetitive stress injuries, and accident injuries – sustained at or due to work. There’s a lot of gray area here. When is an injury work-related? What about a work injury off the clock?
The precise answers to these questions depend on the factors at play in your individual situation. Often, work injury compensation insurance must cover injuries sustained during any work-related tasks, whether or not you were actually clocked into work at the time. In certain instances, you may qualify for benefits even if you were traveling in the course of your work or on an employer’s property outside of your scheduled work times. How insurers, defense lawyers, and other entities are likely to apply these factors to your work injury claim is a question only an experienced lawyer who is familiar with your situation can answer.
CAN I SUE FOR A WORK INJURY?
Likewise, whether you have a lawsuit as a result of a work injury can also depend on a number of different factors.
Generally, you aren’t allowed to sue your own employer when you sustain an injury as a result of the company’s negligence. This is a tradeoff – you can’t sue when the employer is at fault, but you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits no matter who is at fault.
Do I Still Need a Lawyer for a Workers’ Comp Claim?
A work injury claim through workers’ compensation insurance may still require the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney.
Although you are eligible for benefits as an injured worker, the company that must provide coverage for these benefits may not be eager to shell out the money for your medical care or lost income. It’s the unfortunate reality that, just because you’re entitled to compensation, it doesn’t mean that you will receive it without a considerable amount of hassle and hard work.
Work Injury Laws and Third-Party Claims
There are some work injury scenarios in which you can pursue a lawsuit. The most common of these situations is what’s called a third-party work injury claim. You may have the right to sue a third party – rather than your employer, who would be the second party involved in your claim – if that party’s negligence contributed to your injury. Examples of potential third-party work injury claims include:
- Claims on behalf of subcontractors who are not official employees of a company
- Lawsuits against the manufacturers of defective products or dangerous substances that you are exposed to on the job.
- Cases against careless drivers who cause accidents while you are on the road for a work assignment.
- Premises liability claims against a property owner or manager other than your employer – if, for example, you slip and fall while delivering merchandise to a client or customer’s location that is poorly maintained.
If you think that you may have a case involving a work injury due to the negligence of a third party, you need professional legal representation. The potential overlap between workers’ compensation claims for benefits through your own employer and the compensation you are seeking through this third-party lawsuit makes situations like this highly complex.
HOW TO CLAIM WORK INJURY COMPENSATION
Getting benefits for a work injury requires you to follow your company’s protocol and procedures, but that doesn’t mean you should waive all of your legal rights. It’s essential to make sure that you are protected by having a work injury lawyer who can advocate for you.
If your work injury claim is denied, your payments delayed or given in smaller amounts than you are entitled to, or your medical care sub-par, you may need to fight for more. That’s not something you want to have to do all on your own.
Reporting a Work Accident
The work injury claims process starts with documenting the injury. Many workers are reluctant to report a work injury, but doing so – and doing it promptly – is crucial to accessing workers’ compensation benefits. If you aren’t sure who to report the work injury to, a supervisor or human resources specialist should be able to help.
Medical treatment is essential for any serious injury, but in the case of a workers’ compensation claim, you aren’t seeing a doctor solely to get better. Your physician’s diagnosis of and prognosis for your condition will determine how much time you will be allowed off of work and what medical treatments you will receive.
Work Injury Treatment
What’s particularly concerning is that you won’t get to choose your doctor. Work injury NJ regulations give the right to choose the physician for the treatment of work injuries to employers and their insurance carriers rather than to injured workers. It’s particularly important to have an attorney handling your claim if you find that your treating doctor doesn’t seem to listen to or address your health concerns pertaining to the accident.
What Is Work Injury Compensation Insurance?
In a work-related injury, who pays? In most cases involving a work injury in NJ, businesses – even small businesses – have some sort of workers’ compensation insurance in place to cover the costs of an injury to an employee. Unless your company is self-insured – having met state requirements by having applied for this status to the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance and been approved as such – your employer is not the one paying for your benefits. Instead, an insurance company is.
What Workers’ Comp Covers in NJ
Workers’ compensation insurance in New Jersey covers an injured worker’s medical benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. However, this coverage is limited.
- Although medical benefits through workers’ compensation insurance cover all costs of hospitalization, prescription medications, and other medical treatments, you are limited to seeing the doctor chosen for you.
- Temporary disability benefits only apply if you are deemed disabled for longer than a week. You generally receive 70 percent of your average salary, although high earners may receive less, since the amount you can get is capped at 75 percent of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage.
- Permanent disability payments are also subject to caps, but they may differ based on the body part that was injured and whether the disability is deemed partial or total.
What Happens When You Hire a Work Injury Lawyer in New Jersey?
Trying to recuperate from a work injury can be one of the most frustrating and difficult times of your life. Add in the concerns of dealing with an insurance claim or a lawsuit, and it’s easy to see how the legal aspects of the accident can put additional burdens on you and your family. That extra stress is the last thing you need right now.
When you choose Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari to represent you, you’re freeing yourself of these unnecessary burdens. We do it all:
- Ensure that all necessary paperwork is accurately completed
- Contact the insurance adjusters as needed
- Obtain the appointments your claim requires
- Thoroughly investigate your case
- Utilize private investigators and qualified technical experts to help establish fault for the injury
Imagine not having to worry about the paperwork, the phone calls, the hassle – that’s what else we give you, beyond protecting your legal rights and fighting for the compensation you deserve.
COMMON WORK INJURY TYPES IN NJ
When it comes to serious work injuries, some of the most common causes of accidents and occupational illnesses include:
- Asbestos exposure
- Chemical exposure
- Construction accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
Often, the harm workers suffer in these sorts of accidents include:
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe illness resulting from toxic exposure
- Traumatic brain injury
There’s often overlap between different kinds of workplace accidents. For example, construction accidents and industrial accidents may involve burn injuries, chemical accidents and exposure, machinery accidents, crane accidents, or electrocution accidents. You may have the right to hold a contractor or other negligent party liable for the injuries you suffered while working on a construction site.
Complaints of neck, back, hip, hamstring, knee, and wrist pain are common after many types of injuries sustained in the workplace. While many workers’ comp claims involve totally new injuries, it’s also possible that a workplace accident could aggravate any pre-existing health conditions you may have, such as reinjuring a hip that had already undergone replacement or your back, when you have previously had a spinal surgery. Having a work injury attorney on your side can be particularly valuable if your case involves a pre-existing condition, which adds to the complexity of your claim.
Causes of Workplace Accidents
What’s particularly frustrating about work injuries is that they were often preventable. In most of the cases our attorneys have seen over the more than 80 years that our firm has been in business, factors like the following contributed to work injuries:
- Unsafe working environments
- Inadequate employee instruction and training
- Miscommunications in the work setting
- Pressure to ignore potential hazards to get the job done faster, even at the expense of safe working practices
- Carelessness or employee neglect – often on the part of other workers, rather than the victim
Whatever the reason for a workplace injury, workers’ compensation can usually help with covering expenses associated with the injury — but these funds may fall well short of helping with the long-term consequences of an injury.
WORK INJURY DAMAGES
As you’re considering seeking legal counsel, you might wonder what our attorneys can do for you that you won’t get from a workers’ compensation claim that you handle yourself. For our clients, we seek the maximum compensation available for damages such as the following:
- Medical costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Job retraining
Not all injured workers survive the accident or exposure. For the families of these hardworking employees who left for work one day and never made it back home, a claim is often as much about getting answers, justice, and some semblance of closure as it is about the financial compensation. We fight hard to assist families who have lost loved ones in work-related incidents through filing a wrongful death claim.
Workers’ compensation benefits are often not enough to cover the serious financial consequences and burdens created by the physical harm of a work or construction accident, especially when you don’t hire an attorney to represent you. Work accident injuries often require multimodal treatment through medications, physical therapy, and even surgery. Recovery can take months, and sometimes years, throughout which your family is struggling to scrape by financially and you feel like you are falling behind professionally.
THE IMPACT OF A WORK INJURY
Workplace accidents can have devastating effects on a person’s life. The disabilities they may cause can sometimes be severe enough to prevent you from ever being able to work at the same occupation again. In other instances, the injuries are temporary and treatable, but you will still need time off from work to seek medical attention – perhaps including time to recover from a surgery.
In the meantime, your family is missing out on the earnings it counted on you to provide, and you’re missing out on priceless career opportunities. It’s no wonder that the victims of work accidents have so many worries on their minds, including whether they could lose their job because of the accident.
GET THE LEGAL HELP YOU NEED FOR YOUR NJ WORKPLACE INJURY CLAIM – BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
Although injured workers have legal rights, they don’t have unlimited legal rights. One of the most important limits you should be aware of is the statute of limitations. If you don’t file a lawsuit before this deadline passes, you lose your right to pursue a case.
Generally, you have only two years to file a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit. You should be taking action long before that two-year mark approaches. It’s in your best interests to give the work injury law firm you choose to handle your case plenty of time to investigate the claim and find experts who can review the facts of your situation. When you wait too long to get an attorney involved, you’re not leaving your lawyer with enough time to fully prepare your case.
Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari offers an easy way to avoid running out of time: call and let us review your case as early as possible. Since we do this at no charge, there’s no reason to put off talking to an attorney any longer.
What sets our attorneys apart? Our New Jersey accident lawyers have recovered more personal injury million-dollar settlements and verdicts than any other firm in New Jersey. We regularly represent and counsel workers throughout the state who have been seriously injured in accidents on the job. For work injury advice you can trust, you need a law firm with extensive experience in workers’ compensation, personal injury, and wrongful death litigation. With more than 80 years of legal practice under our firm’s belt, we fit the bill.
Our proven track record is one that you can rely on, even during the trying time that follows a serious work injury. Although this might be one of the most challenging points of your life, but you don’t have to face it on your own. Contact us at today (973) 635-5400 for your free consultation, and find out more about how we can use our skills and experience to serve you.