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Category: Workers’ Compensation

permanency award lawyers nj

What is a Permanency Award?

Injuries at work or while taking part in a work-related activity can seriously impede the way a person can perform their job for the rest of their lives. In most cases, workers’ compensation and permanency awards can start to ease the healing process.

Here’s an overview of permanency awards and how they help should you become ill or injured.

The Basics of Workers Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a monetary payment that comes from your employer if you are injured while performing your job. This compensation is meant to make up for lost wages and medical expenses.

Permanency Awards

A permanency award is a form of workers’ compensation. These are granted when an employee loses permanent use of a body part, such as a limb or organ. In New Jersey, however, loss of use doesn’t need to factor into the person’s job. If the injury impedes daily activities or hobbies, an award can still be granted.

Permanency awards are separate from other payment awards, including medical, rehabilitation, and retraining compensation.

How a Permanency Awards are Granted

The amount of compensation of a permanency award is measured by weeks, percentage of body part lost, and the employee’s weekly wage.

Level of compensation: New Jersey has two types of awards: scheduled and unscheduled. Both are defined by percentage of impairment, and

When assessment occurs: Evaluation of impairment occurs after the individual reaches maximum medical improvement (as determined by a doctor). Then it will be judged whether the injury has a permanent impact on daily life.

Questions About Permanency Awards

Have any questions about whether you or someone you know deserves a permanency award? Give us a call. We’ll walk you through the worker’s compensation process and determine just how much you should receive.

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Am I Covered by Worker’s Compensation?

Injuries can happen anywhere and at any time. Luckily, if your injury arises from your workplace, your medical bills and lost wages may be compensated by your employer. The rules can be unclear, however, so here’s a quick rundown of who can be covered by workers’ compensation.

What It Is

Workers’ compensation (sometimes called workmans’ comp) is a payment from your employer in the event that you are injured or become ill while doing your job. The payment is used to cover lost wages (during time when you are unable to perform your job), hospital and medical expenses, rehabilitation, retraining, or permanency awards.

Workers’ compensation is different than a lawsuit against your employer, and if desired or advised to by a lawyer, you can file a lawsuit instead of accepting compensation.

Who Can Receive Compensation

Coverage can vary from job to job, and some employers aren’t required to provide worker’s compensation at all. Most of the time, compensation is applicable, even if you were at fault, when:

  1. you are a hired employee of the company, and
  2. your injury is the result of your employment.

Your injury or illness doesn’t need to take place inside your physical place of work, either. If you have an accident while running work-related errands, on a business trip, or at a business-related event, you may be covered.

Injuries also don’t have to be a one-time accident. Gradual damages can be covered, such as repetitive back strain from lifting without appropriate equipment, or lung disease from years of breathing unhealthy air.

When Workers’ Compensation is Not Applicable

Not every accident or employee is covered. Compensation benefits depend on:

  • The state
  • Type of work being performed
  • Type of business
  • Type of worker (seasonal, casual, agricultural, etc.)

Employees will also likely not be covered if they are intoxicated, committing a crime, purposefully injuring themselves, or violating company policy.

Receiving Compensation

If you are accidentally injured or become ill while at work, it’s your right to continue to receive income while you can’t work and receive payment for your medical bills. Call us today if you or someone you know has been injured at work to see if you can receive workers’ compensation.

Worker’s Compensation After Employee’s Death

Worker’s compensation is granted to a worker that has been injured at work and is unable to perform their duties as they did previously because of the accident. This helps to pay all of the medical bills that occur, as well as help with bringing in income, even though the person is unable to work. It’s a safety net that there’s to help the breadwinners of the family in case something goes wrong. However, you may wonder what happens after the employee passes away while receiving worker’s compensation benefits. In many cases, the dependents of the employee continue to receive benefits through this program, including the approved medical and funeral expenses.

There are some requirements that must be met under the New Jersey Workers Compensation law. Dependents include children under the age of 18, spouse, and civil union partner who are living in the home at the time that the employee receiving the benefits passes away. Children who are over 18 or don’t live at home cannot be considered for benefits. The same is true if the partner has a different residence with another household.

Workers who do not have any dependents may have an award granted to their estate that covers the time period of when they were injured to the day that they passed away.

Your dependents are able to receive a portion of your wages. Children receive benefits until they reach the age of 18. Full-time students will have this age extended further to allow them to receive benefits while in school. Children that have a disability can also have the potential for an extension on how long they receive benefits. A spouse receives benefits until they remarry.

Do you have a question about your worker’s compensation benefits or going through the process of getting them? Contact the law office of Brenner, Brenner & Spiller to learn more about your rights under this program.

Picture of money and a gavel.

Why You Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in New Jersey

Many injured workers consider the pros and cons of managing a workers’ compensation case without an experienced attorney. The employer’s HR department makes it seem like a simple process but, unfortunately, a workers’ comp case can be frustrating and challenging.

When you’re trying to recover from an injury, you may benefit from workers’ compensation law firm. You need guidance now. Here are at least five reasons you need a workers’ comp attorney in New Jersey:

Interaction with the New Jersey Department of Labor

In order to receive a cash settlement to which you’re potentially entitled, you must fill out the Employee’s Claim Petition and submit it to the New Jersey Department of Labor. The petition must be correctly filled out. If you make an error, payment of your claim may be delayed. The Department of Labor might not inform you of an error or subsequent delay.

Realize that a large percentage of lawyers view the Claim Petition as a legal matter. Your employer is highly likely to involve legal resources in consideration of your claim.

In some rare instances, the workers’ comp insurer might offer to settle the workers’ compensation claim. However, you should expect that the insurer will make a low offer. You might receive only 25 percent of what your claim is worth without a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer at your side.

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Laws

Unless you have legal experience, you don’t know the law. You need a knowledgeable workers’ compensation law firm to do the heavy lifting. After a work-related injury, you want the highest weekly benefit possible. The law says that you’re entitled to 70 percent of the average weekly wage, up to a specific annual maximum, from the workers’ comp insurer.

You must see the employer’s authorized physician if your injury keeps you home for more than seven days. Unless you have a workers comp lawyer to deal with the workers’ compensation insurance company or its agent, you might receive less than the maximum amount to which you’re entitled. Your attorney works to ensure that the insurer includes overtime when it calculates your average weekly wages.

Help with Medical Care

You may need help accessing the medical care to which you’re legally entitled. The law says that the insurer has the right to direct your medical care. Unfortunately, this also means the insurer or agent takes the cheapest route possible. Although the workers’ comp insurer can select the “authorized” physician for your care, you have the right to a second opinion.

If the insurer says it won’t pay for medication prescribed by an authorized physician, the position is against the law. The insurer must pay for the prescriptions and items the authorized physician prescribes. If the insurer violates the law, your lawyer may file a motion to authorize payment for the treatment.

Workers’ Compensation Settlement

If your lawyer files the Employee’s Claim Petition and you receive a settlement, such as a percentage of partial disability, you have future rights. You have two years from your last settlement check to reopen the case if your health condition declines. If you don’t file the petition, the claim closes two years after the first date or treatment or the final weekly payment of benefits (the latter of these).

Prior Conditions

The employer’s workers’ comp insurer may tell the injured worker that he or she aggravated an existing condition at work. If the worker accepts this idea, the injury isn’t covered under New Jersey workers comp law. Get assistance from a knowledgeable workers compensation law firm to fight the denial of benefits. Get the benefits you deserve and to which you’re legally entitled.

Summing It Up

As you can see, successfully navigating a workers’ compensation claim involves a complex process. If you’re injured at work or suffering from a work-related chronic health condition, it’s difficult to manage these steps without guidance. Contact the lawyers at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP to get the maximum New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Factory Worker Severely Injured in Workplace Accident

Authorities say a factory worker in Carlstadt was severely injured in a workplace accident. The victim, who name and age have not been revealed, was working at the Knickerbocker Bed Frame Company at around 9:30 a.m. when a machine carrying over 4,000 pounds of steel lost hold of its contents, trapping the worker. An initial investigation suggests that the accident was caused due to equipment failure.

An emergency team worked hard to remove the victim from beneath the steel before finally freeing him at around 10 a.m. Police report that the victim was somehow awake and responsive even while trapped beneath the steel. The victim was ultimately rushed to a local hospital for further medical attention. Though the victim is still alive, sources say there is a high chance he will lose his legs as a result of the amount of time beneath the steel.

Nobody should have to worry about getting hurt in his or her own workplace, especially in cases like this where the incident could be avoided altogether. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) injuries in the workplace happen very often – with well over 2.9 report incidents every year.

While Workers’ Compensation will cover medical treatment, you may still feel like you want to hold someone responsible for the accident that caused your painful injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, contact Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP right away so we can examine the details of your accident and determine if you can recover funds through legal action. We will explain the complicated Third Party claim laws in New Jersey and answer all of your questions.

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