Employee Notice Obligations 101
If you’re an employee in New Jersey it’s important to know how to cover yourself legally if you get injured on the job. If you don’t, you could inadvertently forfeit your right to workers’ compensation. Here’s our guide to notice obligations for employees in work-related accidents from a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney from Rossetti & DeVoto, PC.
“No-fault” insurance programs (including workers’ compensation) provide the following benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses:
- Medical Benefits
- Temporary Total Benefits
- Permanent Partial Benefits
- Permanent Total Benefits
- Death Benefits for those whose death was the cause or result of their work
A “no-fault” insurance program means that an injured employee will receive benefits regardless of who was at fault. Employees who receive workers’ compensation cannot bring a civil suit against their employer in the case of injury. That’s the basic exchange: Workers’ comp benefits for employees and no-civil-suits for employers.
In New Jersey, all employers are required to have either workers’ compensation insurance or an alternative plan to take care of employees in the case of a medical emergency.
What To Do If You Get Injured On The Job
An employee in New Jersey has two legal requirements when an accident occurs at work. First, a work accident, no matter how small, must be reported to the employer. Some believe that the obligation to report an accident occurs only after the employee decides that medical treatment is necessary.
This is not true. When an accident or injury occurs at work, the law requires that an employee notify a “supervisor” of the accident. This notice must be given within 90 days of the happening of the incident or accident. If a notice of the incident or accident is not given, all workers’ compensation rights of the employee will be lost.
It’s in your best interest to provide notice as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the 90-day period to near an end as you might not have a strong recollection of the incident or how it occurred. The sooner you provide notice, the better you will be able to explain what happened. Be sure to write down as much information about the incident as possible so you can reference the notes at a later date.
In addition, an employee has an obligation to request medical care from the employer. This is a separate requirement and does not always occur immediately after the accident. Because New Jersey law makes the employer responsible for the payment of 100 percent of an employee’s accident-related medical care, the employer gets to coordinate and control medical treatment. Failing to properly notify the employer of a request for medical care could result in the employee being held responsible for the payment of the medical bills associated with that unauthorized treatment. In the event that an employee provides timely notice of a work accident and the employee’s request for medical treatment is denied, then that employee has up to two years to file a Claim Petition within the Division of Workers’ Compensation to seek medical treatment, wage replacement and compensation for permanent injuries.
What About Disputes?
In cases of dispute between an injured worker and the employer and/or insurance carrier over entitlement to benefits, the worker may file either a formal Claim Petition or apply to be heard at, or by, the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Disputes regarding workers’ compensation do not have to ruin your life or ability to pay your bills. Working with a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney can help you file a claim correctly the first time or help you resolve a dispute.
Contact a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you suffered a work-related injury in New Jersey and need help filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact the New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys from Rossetti & Devoto, PC today at (856) 354-0900 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our workers’ compensation attorneys will help you gather all of the required information for the claim and represent you should a dispute arise with your employer.