In the state of New Jersey, as in all other states, when you have been injured on the job, your first recourse is often to file a workers' compensation claim. In many situations, this will be your only recourse-what the law calls your "exclusive remedy." The New Jersey legislature specifically established workers' compensation as an exclusive remedy, ostensibly to benefit both workers and employers. Known as the "grand bargain," the workers' compensation process is designed to simplify and expedite the recovery of benefits by workers, who don't have to incur the costs and wait the time it takes to pursue a personal injury claim in court. The law benefits employers, who don't have to worry about exorbitant jury awards in workplace injury claims.
When you file a workers' compensation claim, one of the first things you can expect is that your claim will initially be rejected. Your employer and the workers' compensation insurance company both have a vested interest in minimizing or avoiding payouts, so many legitimate claims are initially denied.
Before a determination is made on your claim, though, you'll most likely have to submit a physical examination by a doctor chosen by your employer. Once you've notified your employer of your injury-you should do so as soon as possible, and must do so within 30 days of your injury-your employer will refer your claim to the workers' compensation insurance provider, who will then require you to see a company doctor. You can, though, also visit a doctor of your own choosing. If there's disagreement, a third examination may be required.
To learn what to expect next, see our blog on workers' compensation in New Jersey, Part Two.
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you if you have been injured on the job, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333(toll free at ). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.