When you are hurt or injured while performing your duties as an employee, there is a specialized area of the law that allows workers to recover money damages including lost wages, medical bills and a permanency award for pain and suffering. Under New Jersey and Pennsylvania law, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in order to pay these benefits. Workers’ compensation covers all physical injuries including neck, back and shoulder injuries, broken bones, damage to discs, foot, leg, knee, and ankle injuries, amputations, brain injuries, burns, hearing damage, and any other occupational-related disease or death.
In fact, even if your condition was aggravated by working at your job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These work-related benefits are payable regardless of whether you are at fault or not. If you are hurt on the job call Rossetti & Devoto, P.C. to learn more about how to file a workers’ compensation claim petition to recover damages for your injuries and losses.
Workers’ Compensation is a No-Fault System
One of the benefits of workers’ compensation is that it’s a no-fault system, which means you can file for and receive benefits no matter who was at-fault for the accident that left you injured. You will not be required to prove in court that the workplace accident was caused by the negligence of your employer, a co-worker, a vendor, or a contractor. You also cannot be denied benefits because your employer claims you were at-fault for the accident that led to your injuries. Despite it being a no-fault system, you can still be denied workers’ compensation benefits for a myriad of reasons.
Filing a Claim
You are not automatically paid workers’ compensation benefits when injured or sickened on the job. You must first file a claim with your employer. Be sure to notify a supervisor immediately after you suffer the injury so he or she can get the process rolling. Always receive medical care as you will need to provide medical records and proof of treatment as part of the workers’ compensation process.
Try to write down as much as possible soon after the accident so you do not forget important details a workers’ comp lawyer will be able to use in building your case. It can be very difficult to remember the details of the incident that caused your injuries months from the date it happened. That’s why putting everything in writing can benefit you and your attorney.
Be sure to complete any and all paperwork sent to you by your employer as soon as possible and return it to your employer. Your employer will then be required to complete the remainder of the paperwork and forward it to their insurance company. The final version of the paperwork will then be sent to you for your records. You will be asked to provide medical records and contact information for your doctor if your employer didn’t ask that you visit a doctor of their choosing, which they are legally allowed to do.
What if My Claim is Denied?
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that your workers’ compensation claim is denied. Most claims will begin issuing payments as soon as you notify your employer of your injuries. However, if the claim is denied, the payments will stop. If your claim is denied, it is important that you seek the legal advice of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer from Rossetti & DeVoto, PC immediately. You are permitted to appeal if your claim is denied and it is best if you do so with the help of an attorney. You can reduce the chances your claim is denied when it is initially filed by working with an attorney from the beginning steps of the claims process.
Can I Sue My Employer?
A workers’ compensation attorney from Rossetti & DeVoto, PC will be able to answer this question for you and explain whether or not you have this legal option. If you accept workers’ compensation benefit payments from your employer, you effectively lose the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, if you do not file a claim for workers’ compensation, you are well within your rights to file a lawsuit. Our attorneys will be able to examine your case and determine if filing a lawsuit will help you obtain a higher payout than what you might receive from workers’ compensation.
Can I Seek Alternate Employment while Receiving Workers’ Compensation?
Many clients who speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer often ask if they can find alternate employment while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. For the most part, this is not the smartest of moves, especially if you wind up doing employment that is similar to what you performed when injured. You could risk having your benefits canceled by your employer’s insurance company. There could very well be a part-time job you work while receiving workers’ comp benefits, but it should not be related at all to your full-time employment or require any physical work.
Injured on the Job? Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you have been injured or sickened on the job, it is in your best interest to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. Filing a claim can be challenging, especially if you aren’t sure how to complete the forms provided by your employer. The slightest mistake or omission could lead to your claim being denied by the employer’s insurance company. The team at Rossetti & DeVoto, PC will be able to examine your case, answer your questions, and provide you with guidance as to how you can move forward for compensation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS
Still have questions about workers’ compensation and workplace accidents? The answers to all of your questions are waiting for you on our Workers’ Compensation FAQ page.