Workers’ compensation

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Among the foremost union victories in the 20th century, access to workers’ compensation is the right of every worker injured in a work-related event. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, worker injuries happen every single day.

Workers’ compensation benefits both the worker and the worker’s employer. In many cases, seeking workers’ compensation requires the injured worker to waive their right to personal injury claims while still giving them access to wage reimbursement benefits and medical assistance. Because many workers’ compensation cases require the worker to waive their right to file lawsuits, workers’ compensation works as no-fault insurance for employers.

Because workers’ compensation circumvents the tedious nature of litigation, it allows injured workers to maintain an income, access medical treatment, and collect disability events in a timely manner.

Common injuries covered by workers’ compensation

Legally, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. This coverage protects the employer from being sued, and it aids in getting the injured party back to work in good faith as quickly as possible.

Common injuries covered by workers’ compensation include:

  • Overexertion injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Injuries from fallen objects
  • Slip and fall or tripping injuries
  • On-the-job vehicle accidents
  • Injuries caused by machinery

While these injuries may seem to be easy, straightforward cases to prove, there are a few exceptions to a worker’s entitlement to compensation. These can include:

  • Injury as a result of drugs or alcohol use on the job
  • Failure to comply with safety regulations for equipment, such as wearing personal protective gear
  • Failure to obey clearly posted safety rules

What to do if you suspect you are entitled to workers’ compensation

If you suspect that your injury at work entitles you to Workers’ Compensation, there are a few things you can do to ensure the process proceeds as smoothly and as quickly as possible:

  1. First, you must notify your employer immediately after the injury.
  2. Seek immediate emergency medical treatment for your injury.
  3. If the injury is not life-threatening and does not risk the loss of a limb or appendage, it is important that the worker sees a medical professional approved by the employer unless otherwise specified.

If you are conscious and physically capable, it is your responsibility to notify your employer of your injury and necessary recovering time within four days of the injury.

To what benefits am I entitled?

If you were injured while on the job, your first priority is likely medical treatment. However, if you require any time off or have incurred serious or permanent personal injury, you may be entitled to additional benefits. These may include:

  • Temporary total disability (TTD) – this form of disability allows the injured worker to collect their full wage on a temporary basis until they are able to return to work.
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD) – this form of disability supplements any income gap if the injured worker is still able to work but cannot perform the full functions of their usual job.
  • Permanent partial disability (PPD) – this form of disability provides a supplemental income to injured workers with a permanent loss of bodily function, according to the treating physician.
  • Permanent total disability (TPD) – this form of disability provides an income to an injured worker who will never be able to return to work in any capacity.

Though it may sound like it is in both the employer’s and the injured worker’s best interest to quickly and efficiently work out the details of a workers’ compensation claim, these cases can drag on for years with ongoing litigation. Because of the complexity of workers’ compensation cases, injured workers should retain representation as quickly as possible.

If you live in the greater New Jersey area or the New York metropolitan area, our partners at DAME Legal can help you overcome this difficult part of your life with relative ease. Give us a call at 201-968-5800 or fill out our contact form on our site to begin the process.

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