Workers’ compensation can seem like a confusing, complex system to many workers. Employees who suffer injuries or illnesses on the job may have numerous questions about workers’ comp. Below are some workers’ compensation FAQs that we often receive. If you have more questions about your rights under the New Jersey workers’ compensation system, reach out to Camili & Capo, PA for a free consultation to speak with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.
Workers’ compensation is a system established by state law that entitles employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness to certain defined financial benefits from their employer. In New Jersey, employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees or be certified by the state to self-insure.
Workers’ compensation is considered a “no-fault” compensation system because a worker does not need to show that their employer bears any legal fault for causing the worker’s injury or illness. Regardless of whose negligence or legal fault caused the injury, the worker must be granted workers’ comp benefits.
All workers who receive compensation for their services are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. This includes probationary workers, part-time employees, seasonal employees, and teen workers. Workers’ compensation benefits may be paid whenever an eligible worker suffers an injury or illness in the course and scope of their employment. This means that work-related injuries and illnesses can occur outside an employer’s workplace.
While most industries are subject to the state’s workers’ compensation law, certain industries are instead covered by various federal workers’ compensation laws. This includes federal employees, railroad workers, seamen, and harbor and shipyard workers.
Depending on the type and severity of the injury or illness, a worker may receive various benefits from workers’ compensation, including:
Under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law, important duties that employers owe to their workers include:
Finally, employers must refrain from discriminating or retaliating against an employee because they have filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Partial disability is typically defined as a physical disability or impairment that does not prevent a worker from performing some type of gainful employment within the worker’s skill, experience, and training. Conversely, a worker will be deemed totally disabled if they cannot do any form of work due to an injury or illness.
A disability is considered temporary while the worker is undergoing medical treatment and rehabilitation for a work-related injury or illness. But the disability will become “permanent” once the worker’s injury or illness reaches maximum medical improvement, or the point where no further medical treatment is expected to improve the worker’s condition.
There are certain limited circumstances that might disqualify an injured employee from workers’ compensation benefits, including:
An injury or illness may be deemed work-related if it occurs or develops during the course and scope of a worker’s employment. Generally, a worker’s activities will be deemed work-related if those activities are for the employer’s benefit. This means that injuries and illnesses need not occur on the employer’s premises. Even recreational and social activities organized by an employer may be considered work-related if they directly benefit the employer. However, travel to and from work at the beginning and end of the workday is usually not considered as being within the scope of employment.
Although the purpose of the workers’ compensation system was to relieve injured workers from the need to pursue litigation to recover financial compensation from their employers, workers sometimes have difficulty securing benefits when employers or their workers’ comp insurers deny claims or seek to terminate benefits. Workers who are denied benefits they believe they are entitled to will benefit from having legal representation that can pursue a formal claim with the state on their behalf. In addition, the fees that a workers’ compensation attorney can charge a worker are limited by law and are usually only charged if the lawyer successfully recovers benefits for the worker.
At Camili & Capo, PA, we want to help you better understand your rights and options under New Jersey workers’ compensation law. Contact us today for a free claim review to discuss your case with us and to get answers to the questions that you may have.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Meet your team