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What is the general timeline for workers’ compensation claims?

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Many people who are injured on the job in New Jersey often wonder how long it will take before they can return to work. This issue is crucial, but so is how long processing of the related workers’ compensation claim will take.

Carefully follow all filing steps

All workers’ compensation claims are unique, but they follow a similar process. The timeline begins when the injury occurs. Get medical help as soon as possible. Victims will proceed immediately to the hospital for severe injuries, but if you suspect a repetitive injury, consult a doctor, and file a claim as soon as you receive a definitive diagnosis. In most cases, you do not have to wait until your claim is approved to receive compensation for medical costs from your employer’s insurance company.

Other essential steps involve:

  • Immediately notify your employer about the injury.
  • Thoroughly fill out the claim form, and file it.
  • Keep copies of all forms and medical records.

Company and insurer requirements

Your employer should immediately file the claim form, notify the insurance company, and arrange for medical care and compensation. They may also have to file a wage verification form. When the insurance company receives the form, it has 30 days to accept or deny your claim and notify you of the decision.

What happens if my claim is denied?

More than half of all workers’ compensation claims are initially denied, but you can appeal the decision. You can do this by requesting a hearing. You must file your hearing request within a specific time limit, usually within 60 days. The hearing must occur within 30 days, after which the hearing officer has 15 days to issue a final decision.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, your claim will still be denied. The insurer may try to blame you for the injury or find another reason for the denial. Keeping thorough medical records can increase your chances of success. However, if you cannot work because of your injuries and have considerable medical bills, you might be able to file a lawsuit requesting compensation.