Workers Compensation FAQs
Your Right to File a Lawsuit
While you have a right to file a workers’ compensation case, in most instances, you cannot sue your employer even if they did something wrong that contributed your injury because they are protected by the workers’ compensation laws.
However, you may be able to sue someone other than your employer. In fact, a single incident will frequently result in both a workers’ compensation claim, and a personal injury case.
This is important because personal injury cases allow the injured worker to obtain money for damages not otherwise payable under the workers compensation laws. For example, workers’ compensation will only pay for an injured worker’s pre-approved medical expenses,disability, and approximately two-thirds of the worker’s average wages. It does not compensate an injured worker for pain and suffering, 100% of lost wages, employer contributions to retirement plans, or future anticipated medical care. Rather, these damages can only be recovered in a third party personal injury lawsuit.
Accordingly, if someone other than your employer is responsible, or only partially responsible, for causing your injury or disease, you may be able to sue that third party and recover money in addition to your workers compensation payments. The third party can vary depending on the circumstances of your accident. It may be driver of the car that struck you, the manufacturer of unsafe equipment, the distributor of unsafe chemicals, the contractor/vendor working on your employer’s premises who created the dangerous condition, or the contractor at the job-site whose conduct resulted in an injury. The key to finding a third party, and recovering money in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, is to understand that in the United States all workers are entitled to perform their job in a safe environment that is free from dangerous equipment, and careless workers.
What am I entitled to under the Family and Medical Leave Act?
FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:
- For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth
- To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
- To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition
- For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.
If I am injured at work – When do I report the accident?
If you are injured or suffer an occupational disease, you should immediately file an Occupational Injury Form IOA 26-S (See attachment A). We can help you with that form. You should also call (201) 585-9111 to report a new accident or occupational illness even if you do not plan to miss work, even if the accident was your fault, and even if you do not immediately need medical treatment.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
If you sustain an injury while on the job, you have numerous rights designed to protect you medically and financially. The New Jersey State Legislature created a system that provides people who sustain work related injuries to collect specific statutory benefits. These benefits include full payment for all work related injury medical bills, temporary disability payments while the worker is unable to return to their job, and compensation in the form of a monetary award that is set by statute based on the percentage is disability caused by the work related injury
The system is complicated and requires the legal expertise of an experienced attorney trained to fight for your legal rights. As an injured worker, you immediately face multiple issues, and dealing with these issues can be difficult, frustrating, exhausting and time consuming.
MDL provides the legal know how and dedication to protecting your rights that you deserve. Let us fight to assure you that you will get all the benefits you are entitled to receive under the law.
Who is responsible for providing Workers’ Compensation benefits?
Your employer is, by law, 100% responsible for providing benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The employer provides benefits either directly (self-insured) or indirectly through a Workers’ Compensation insurance company.
What if I re-injured a previous injury or aggravated a pre-existing condition? Do I have a claim?
You are still entitled to all the rights and benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act, regardless of whether you re-injured yourself or aggravated a pre-existing condition.
What kind of benefits may I be eligible for?
Your attorney will be able to advise you on the benefits you may be eligible for depending on the specifics of your case. Here are the kinds of compensation that can be covered as part of Workers’ Compensation: