Can You Lose Your Job After A Work Accident?
Work environments can often pose dangers to workers in some occupations more than others. If you've experienced a work-related injury you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits in New Jersey. But can you be fired from your job after an accident has taken place? This can be a complicated scenario. In this article, we outline your rights as a worker in New Jersey and the steps to take to protect those rights if you've sustained a work injury.
Can You Get Fired If You're Injured?
If you've been injured while performing work-related activities it's likely you will qualify for workers' compensation benefits in New Jersey. If you do qualify you can file a claim for compensation. Your employer is forbidden under New Jersey law from retaliating against you for doing so. They are not permitted to reduce your hours, have you work a less desirable job duty or shift, or anything that can be deemed adverse employment action for exercising your legal rights to workers' compensation.
That does not mean, however, that you can't be fired from your position. Many companies rely on a stable set of employees to carry out their business and workers who not available for any period of time may need to be replaced. If the company has a legitimate reason for letting you go prior to your return to work they may choose to do so. For example, if the project you were working on has ended they may terminate your position prior to you even returning to work. As long as the reason for firing you can not be deemed retaliatory it is not against the law.
How Do I Protect My Rights?
Contacting a workers' compensation lawyer immediately after your work accident is the best course of action to protect your legal rights. A lawyer can help examine your case and help coordinate the required paperwork, negotiate with third parties, and ensure your claim is being paid.
There are some key elements to protecting yourself including:
Documenting Your Accident
Having the right documentation can be key to properly obtaining workers' compensation benefits. You must be able to prove that your injuries were a direct result of your job duties. You should retain copies of all and any paperwork including the initial accident report, any medical evaluations, prescriptions, and any other supporting documentation.
Filing Your Claim Promptly
Filing your workers' compensation claim promptly is highly recommended. Not only do you have limited time to file a workers' compensation claim but filing paperwork early can help protect your rights should your employer look to terminate your employment.
Seeking Maximum Compensation
Your attorney can help identify the right type of workers' compensation claim whether you're applying for temporary total disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability.
Getting Help With Your Workers' Compensation Claim
If you were injured on the job in New Jersey you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits to help cover medical costs and lost wages. Contact us today to review the facts of your case, see if you qualify for workers' compensation and get the process started.
We offer a free consultation and look forward to assisting you.