If you have been injured on the job in New Jersey, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation insurance benefits. This insurance pays for medical treatment for your work injury or illness and provides temporary disability payments during the time missed from work due to the injury. In the event of a permanent disability, workers’ compensation may also pay a financial settlement to replace the wages you would have earned had you not been disabled. When an employee dies as the result of his job duties, his family members and dependents may also be eligible for certain death benefits through workers’ compensation insurance.
Determining whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation is often not as simple as you'd think. It is not uncommon for employers and workers’ compensation carriers to dispute whether an injury is compensable. However, if you are legitimately injured or have developed an illness while performing your job duties, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
The following are just a handful of the factors that may be considered in determining eligibility for workers' compensation benefits:
- An employer-employee relationship must exist in order to qualify for workers' compensation. This is typically determined through the application of a control test or the relative nature of the work test.
- If your employer has the right to supervise you, control your work and how it is performed, if you rely on the income from your employer and the work you do is an integral part of your employer’s business activities, then you may qualify as an employee.
- An injury or illness must occur as a result of work performed for the employer. In other words, it must arise within the scope of the employment.
- You must provide prompt notice of a work injury to your employer or you could lose the ability to make a claim for workers' compensation benefits or invite a challenge to an otherwise valid claim.
- In NJ, workers' compensation claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury or the last compensation payment, whichever is later.
Regardless of eligibility requirements, if you are in a work-related accident or injured while on the job, it is advisable to immediately report the incident to your employer and seek all necessary medical attention without delay. Document everything to the best of your ability and follow any recommended course of treatment in order to minimize damage to your health. These actions will further serve to support a formal workers’ compensation claim should one become necessary. For more information on New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law, please contact the Reinartz Law Firm.