Jersey City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers depend upon their health and safety to perform their duties and support themselves and their families. When workplace accidents jeopardize employees' abilities to work and earn wages, it can feel as if everything is at stake. Under these circumstances, the worker may be able to bring a claim for workers' compensation.

However, many workers may not know what their legal options are after suffering a work injury. They may see their workers' compensation claim refuted or denied, or find that despite receiving benefits, these are not enough to recompensate the lost earnings, medical expenses, and other burdens that come as a consequence of workplace injuries.

The Reinartz Law Firm is an experienced personal injury law firm with offices in Jersey City and Hackensack. Our New Jersey workers' compensation lawyers routinely help injured workers navigate the complex process of filing workers' compensation claims and seeking maximum value for their losses.

Jersey City Workers' Compensation Lawyer

Hurt at Work Lawyer in New Jersey

On-the-job injuries are, unfortunately, all too common in New Jersey. This is especially true with the increased number of hotels, condominiums, and high-rises that are growing and require individuals to work atop large buildings, equipment, ladders, and scaffolding. Moreover, the large number of commercial vehicles on area roadways, including Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1, lead to numerous work-related accidents.

For this purpose, New Jersey developed its workers' compensation system back in 1911. Under that system, workers' compensation coverage became a requirement for all employers in the state.

If an individual sustains an injury or illness while working at their job and while working within the scope of their employment, they may recover benefits, depending on the accident circumstances and their injuries.

If you suffered an illness or injury at your job, the knowledgeable New Jersey workers' compensation attorneys at Reinartz Law Firm are ready to assist you. Our lawyers have a successful history of settling and litigating workers' compensation claims on behalf of injured workers throughout the state.

In fact, we have recovered millions of dollars in monetary compensation for our clients through personal injury settlements, workers' compensation benefit awards, and courtroom jury verdicts.

Our skilled legal team will work hard to ensure you recover the full benefits and compensation you deserve for your work-related injury or illness. If your employer's insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, we aggressively pursue a full and fair benefits award. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with our experienced New Jersey hurt-at-work attorneys, please contact our office directly.

Dedicated Legal Representation from an Experienced Work Injury Attorney

richard reinartz

When you hire the Reinartz Law Firm, you get experience, resources, and commitment. Richard Reinartz, the managing member of the firm, is a highly recognized and respected attorney who is proud to represent injured clients.

Some of Richard's recognitions include:

  • Best Lawyers
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Super Lawyers
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers in New Jersey

In addition to receiving accolades, Reinartz Law Firm gets results for our clients. We have obtained many six and seven-figure settlements and awards, and these are only some examples of successful outcomes we have achieved.

New Jersey Workplace Injury Statistics

The average person spends about one-third of their waking hours earning a living. Over your lifetime, that amounts to about 90,000 hours at your job. Considering how much time you spend at the workplace, the expectation is that it’s a safe environment.

And in fact, governmental oversight works to help encourage safe work environments. Employers are responsible for following mandatory safety guidelines and doing their best to minimize hazards that can lead to workplace accidents and work-related injuries.Despite these efforts, U.S. workers suffer an injury at work every 7 seconds, on average. This amounts to 4.5 million workplace injuries each year. In New Jersey, the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported there were 92,200 non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses across all industries in the private sector, and local and state government in 2017. With those types of numbers, it’s important that you understand your rights and options if you suffer a workplace injury.

What Incidents Lead to New Jersey Workers' Compensation Claims?

Workers' Compensation Lawyer in Jersey City

The Workers' Compensation System in New Jersey provides no-fault insurance. Therefore, an injured worker may receive benefits regardless of how the accident occurred or who caused it.

Many injured workers suffer severe complications after sustaining an injury or illness at work. For example, they may be unable to work for a significant period of time, losing income. Moreover, they may have to obtain ongoing medical treatment and undergo painful procedures, including surgeries that prevent them from working.

Some injured employees suffer such serious injuries that they must switch jobs—or even entire careers—due to the permanent injuries they suffered in their workplace accidents.

For a worker to receive various workers' compensation benefits, they must typically suffer their injury or illness while performing a job duty.

You may not know for sure if workers' compensation insurance covers your injury or illness, so call us today to find out.

We represent clients who were injured in various accidents on the job, including:

What Injuries and Illnesses Do Workers Suffer While on the Job?

When workers drive vehicles and work around dangerous machinery and equipment, they are prone to suffering on-the-job injuries. However, individuals who work in an office environment are equally as likely to suffer illnesses and injuries when exposed to harmful chemicals or if they become involved in a workplace accident, such as by slipping or tripping and falling at work.

The specific injuries and illnesses that workers suffer while performing job duties depend significantly upon the circumstances.

Some of the most common include:

  • Traumatic head and brain injuries
  • Soft tissue contusions
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Burns
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Crush injuries from heavy equipment
  • Asthma
  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin reactions
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Irreparable lung and sinus damage

Seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible after a workplace accident. In New Jersey, an injured worker's employer has the legal right to assign a treating physician to employees who suffered an occupational disease or injury while on the job.

However, in some situations, workers can select their medical provider. First, workers can choose their own doctor if they are experiencing a medical emergency. Similarly, workers can choose a doctor if their employer refuses to provide them with the medical treatment they need.

If you suffered an injury or illness in a recent work accident or over time, the knowledgeable New Jersey workers' compensation lawyers at Reinartz Law Firm can discuss your circumstances and determine if you're eligible to file a work injury claim to seek various benefits. If you are, we can start working on the claim right away and pursuing the maximum benefits you deserve.

High-Risk and Accident-Prone Employment

Jersey City workers compensation attorney

Workplace accidents may occur in any environment, but some industries and worksites experience a higher incidence of accidents and injuries due to the high-risk nature of the work. The following trades are examples of these industries.

  • Manufacturing
  • Oil & Gas Industry
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Maritime Industry
  • Transportation, Shipping & Warehousing
  • Installation, Maintenance and Repair
  • Healthcare Industry – Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Service Professionals – Includes couriers, messengers, and fire fighters
  • Utilities
  • Mining
  • Retail and Wholesale Trade
  • Hospitality
  • Sports and Recreation

Motor Vehicle Accidents and Workers' Compensation in New Jersey

First, workers who operate motor vehicles as part of their job may pursue a workers' compensation claim against their employer's insurer if they suffer injuries in an accident. In the context of a workers' compensation claim, it does not matter how the accident occurred or who caused it—only that the accident victim sustains their injury while working during their employment.

In most on-the-job motor vehicle crashes, however, workers usually cannot recover benefits if their accident occurs while going to or coming from work. If they pursue a claim with their employer's insurer under those circumstances, the insurance company will likely deny the claim.

In addition to on-the-job motor vehicle accidents, some workers suffer serious injuries when they work in the construction and building industries. These workers are around heavy and dangerous machinery and equipment daily. Sometimes, workers suffer injuries while physically working on the machines, while at other times, they may sustain a fall injury if they slip on a high ladder or scaffolding.

These are just some examples of situations where a worker may be eligible to file a claim in the New Jersey Workers' Compensation System. However, this is by no means an exhaustive list.

If you sustained injuries or illnesses in one of these occurrences while you were working, the knowledgeable New Jersey workers' compensation attorneys at Reinartz Law Firm can help you handle every aspect of your claim, beginning with the claims-filing process.

Once we file a claim for you, we can pursue the benefits you deserve. Finally, if the insurance company refuses to offer you favorable benefits, we can represent you at a workers' compensation hearing and advocate for you before a workers' compensation judge to help get the best possible result in your case.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes, however, employers erroneously classify workers as "independent contractors" if those people would be considered employees for purposes of workers' compensation benefits. Thus, when an independent contractor is injured on a job site, it is important for them to consult with an experienced work injury lawyer. A lawyer can analyze the facts of the case and explain their rights and options. Our attorneys understand the legal distinctions between these classifications and can review your situation to determine whether you are entitled to benefits.

How Do I File a Workers' Compensation Claim?

In short, call us.

We can tell injured workers how to inform their employer immediately after their accident. If you sustained injuries, you should report the incident to your human resources contact person as soon as possible. Your employer can submit a First Injury Report to the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation.

Assuming the Division accepts your claim, the insurance company will send you to a medical provider whom they authorize. Moreover, a seven-day waiting period applies before you can begin receiving your workers' compensation benefits. However, there is no waiting period for permanent disability benefits or medical benefits.

What Types of New Jersey Workers' Compensation Benefits Can I Receive?

The first step to pursuing workers' compensation benefits is to file a claim with the appropriate insurance company. If the insurance company accepts your claim, you can recover various benefits depending upon the incident circumstances and the specifics of your injury or illness.

Medical Benefits

First, workers who suffer injuries or illnesses while on the job may be eligible to recover benefits to cover their medical treatment costs. For you to be eligible to receive monetary benefits for your medical expenses, the expenses must be related to your work-related accident and injuries. Some workers sustain such serious injuries that they must undergo ongoing medical care, such as surgery or physical therapy. Those expenses may also be reimbursable as part of your workers' compensation claim.

Workers' compensation insurance benefits include paid medical treatment up to the point that the injured employee reaches maximum medical improvement. This may include emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, and other treatment costs. Additionally, the medical benefits cover the cost of prescriptions and other therapy costs deemed medically necessary by treating doctors. It is important to note that the employer retains the right to choose which doctor or physician will treat the injured worker.

Disability Benefits

Moreover, if your injuries prevent you from returning to work while you spend time recovering from your injuries, you may be eligible to recover benefits for your lost wages.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

When an employee cannot work for more than seven days due to their injury or illness, they will be eligible for temporary total disability ("TTD") benefits. This means that they are eligible to receive pay that typically equals approximately 70% of their weekly wage. TTD benefits received may not fall below or exceed certain minimum and maximum levels set by the State. Once the employee returns to work, TTD benefits will cease.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

Similarly, they can recover benefits for permanent partial disability, depending on their severity and type of injury. When someone's injury or illness renders them permanently partially disabled, they may receive permanent partial disability benefits that are paid out on a weekly basis after TTD benefits cease.

The two types of permanent partial benefits are based on whether a disability or loss is scheduled or non-scheduled.

A scheduled loss includes any disability that hinders the use of arms, hands, feet, legs, fingers, toes, ears, teeth, or eyes. Non-scheduled losses involve any area that isn't defined or included in “scheduled” losses. These typically manifest as back injuries or problems with the heart or lungs.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If the illness or injury is so severe that the employee is unable to return to any type of gainful employment, then he or she may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total benefits are paid out on a ratio based on the employee's former level of pay. They are entitled to receive approximately 70 percent of their former weekly average pay. Like TTD benefits, their weekly compensation may be subject to certain minimum and maximum amounts.

Workers may receive these permanent total benefits for a period of up to 450 consecutive weeks. After those first 450 weeks, they must again prove that they are unable to return to work in order to continue receiving these benefits.

Death Benefits

Death benefits are paid to the dependents of a worker who was killed on the job or whose work-related injuries or illness led to their untimely death. These benefits are divided among the individual dependents based on a judge's determination after hearing the case. Only spouses and children who were living with the deceased worker at the time of death are eligible dependents.

Any additional family members who were not living with the decedent at the time of death must prove actual dependency to the court before being able to collect a portion of death benefits. This may include parents, grandparents, siblings, or half or stepchildren.

Additionally, state-mandated death benefits include up to $3,500 to be paid to cover funeral expenses. These funeral expenses are paid to whoever is responsible for paying the funeral bill, whether it is an individual or the estate of the deceased.

If your employer's insurance company fails to award you the benefits you feel you deserve, you may pursue a hearing through the Workers' Compensation System. The skilled New Jersey workers' compensation attorneys at Reinartz Law Firm can help you pursue and recover the full benefits you deserve for your work-related illness or injury.

Intentional Harm

While workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, an exception may apply if the worker’s accident was caused by the intentional conduct of their employer. In New Jersey, it is not necessary to show that the employer set about to actually cause the injury – it is enough to demonstrate that the employer took actions that created a “substantial certainty” that their conduct would result in harm or injury to their employee.

Knowingly violating established safety measures and protocols that lead to accidents and injury may meet this requirement. In these cases, our attorneys can help you pursue and recover compensation that isn’t available under workers’ compensation law – such as compensation for pain and suffering.

Defective Products Claims

Dangerous or faulty work equipment and machinery are frequently the cause of workplace accidents. In product liability lawsuits, the party responsible for a worker’s accident may be the product designer, manufacturer, maintainer, or someone else in the supply chain, rather than the employer.

It may be appropriate to file a defective product claim if the equipment that caused injury failed due to a design flaw or an error in the fabrication process. Another example of a defective product claim is the failure to adequately warn or placing insufficient warnings on inherently dangerous equipment. In these situations, the responsible party may be liable for damages the worker suffered due to their defective product. This may include compensation for lost income, medical bills, pain, suffering, and more.

Third-Party Liability

In many industries, a typical job site involves work by a variety of different trades and entities. In construction work, for example, construction workers perform their work duties alongside a variety of different contractors, subcontractors, and trades. Delivery drivers and other workers in the transportation field perform most of their work on the road, alongside other motorists.

Installation, maintenance, and repair service providers often travel to remote locations to perform their services, and some healthcare professionals make home visits. When these workers suffer an injury within the scope of their employment, which is caused by someone other than their employer, the injured worker may be able to not only institute a workers’ compensation claim but also sue the negligent third party.

Toxic Tort Suits

Workers who handle chemicals and other hazardous substances in the course of their employment may be injured by these materials. Mishandling of these products can expose employees to dangerous toxic substances that cause illness, chemical burns, and other injuries. When a worker is sickened or otherwise harmed by this type of chemical exposure, a toxic tort suit against the parties responsible for the manufacture, storage and/or containment of the toxic substances may be a viable legal option for financial compensation.

What if a Dispute Arises About my Workers' Compensation Benefits?

Workers' Compensation lawyers

From time to time, disputes will arise regarding the types and amounts of benefits that an injured or ill worker deserves to recover. These disputes typically arise because insurance companies and their adjusters want to pay out as few benefits to injured workers as possible. After all, insurance companies are big businesses, and they want to save themselves as much money as they can.

Therefore, they may deny your claim for benefits, or they may point out that you suffered a pre-existing illness, injury, or medical condition that limits your benefits eligibility.

When a benefits dispute arises, a hearing may go forward before the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation. Most hearings resolve the dispute in favor of one party or another. The injured worker can also appeal the New Jersey Court System hearing result.

If your employer's insurance company has raised a dispute over your eligibility for benefits, the skilled New Jersey workers' compensation lawyers at Reinartz Law Firm can represent you at your hearing or, if necessary, file an appeal on your behalf to help you recover the benefits that you deserve.

Call a New Jersey Workers' Compensation Attorney About Your Work-related Injury or Illness

If you suffered a work-related illness or injury while performing a job duty, you should talk to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer in New Jersey as quickly as possible. If you wait too long to file a claim for benefits, you may forfeit your legal rights to receive workers' comp benefits.

The skilled legal team at Reinartz Law Firm can begin advocating for you right away and pursuing the full amount of workers' compensation benefits you deserve to recover. If workers comp insurance refuses to compensate you for certain benefits that you deserve, we can take your case to a hearing and advocate for your legal interests there. We can also help you negotiate a full and final workers' compensation settlement with your employer's insurer under certain circumstances.

Regardless of what happens, you can rest assured that the workers' comp lawyers at Reinartz Law Firm are looking out for you and fighting for your legal interests at all stages of the workers' compensation process.

For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced New Jersey hurt-at-work lawyer, please call us today at (201) 778-4878 or contact us online for more information.