Employers Behaving Badly: Part Three
Taking Action After a Workplace Injury:
A NJ Worker's Guide to Rights and Claims
Table of Contents
Ever play a game without knowing the rules? It’s tough, right? Now, imagine your workplace as a playing field. Just like any game, it has rules. The type of rules that protect you if you get hurt on the job. Welcome to the world of New Jersey workers’ compensation law. In this article, we’ll navigate the tricky maze of New Jersey’s work injury law, using real-world examples like Mia and Joe, your everyday workers. We’ll cover how and when to report an injury, what happens if the insurance company plays slow, how to find your employer’s insurer, and even what to do if you’re not happy with the doctor.
The Notification Requirements to Report a Work Accident
Imagine this: You slip and fall at your workplace in Trenton, New Jersey, getting hurt. You must tell your employer about your injury quickly, ideally within 14 days. If you’re a bit late and report within 30 days, your employer can’t dodge paying for your injury unless they can prove that your delay hurt them in some way.
Suppose you’re even later and report within 90 days. If you have a good excuse like a mistake or inability, your boss must still pay unless they can show they were affected by your delay resulting in prejudice to the employer.
Let’s imagine this: Mia, a cook at a New Jersey diner, accidentally spills boiling water on her hand. She should tell her employer right away. She doesn’t have to write it down. She can tell her supervisor, someone from HR, or anyone with some authority at the employer’s business which in this case is the diner. In order to avoid a dispute later on, however, placing the notice in writing and giving it to the employer (with some proof of delivery) would provide the injured employee greater protection that the notice was, in fact, timely given.
Next, Mia needs to see a doctor. She should ask her supervisor right away to arrange this. Here’s the thing – according to New Jersey law, the company’s insurance can pick the doctor who’ll treat her for her work-related injury.
So, what if Mia is unhappy with the doctor her boss chose? Well, Mia can see her own doctor for a second opinion, but she may need to pay for it out of her own pocket. If her own doctor disagrees with the company’s doctor, she can consult with a work injury lawyer to discuss her best options.
In Mia’s situation, it’s essential to act fast and know her rights under the New Jersey workers’ compensation law.
After Timely Notice, What's Required Next?
Now, what if the company’s injury insurance folks get your injury report but, they’re either slow to pay or deny your claim? They can’t just get away with that. In fact, they would owe you 25% extra money on top of what they should’ve paid you, plus your attorney’s fees caused by their delay or refusal.
According to New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Law, if they delay for 30 days or more, it’s assumed that the insurance carrier’s delay is unreasonable. They then have to prove that they weren’t being unfair, which is pretty hard to do.
In this world of work injury law, it’s all about following the rules and the clock.
How an Injured Employee Can Locate the
Insurance Carrier Online?
Picture this: Joe, a warehouse worker in Trenton, New Jersey, gets injured on the job. His boss, however, refuses to report Joe’s injury to the company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, even though he’s supposed to.
What can Joe do? He can reach out to the insurance company himself. But first, he needs to find their contact information. Usually, this info is found on a document known as proof of insurance. This document should be visibly posted in the workplace, in the break room, locker room, near the employee entrance, or in the employee lounge. This requirement is for transparency. The employer should not be concealing the insurance carrier information in an effort to prevent proper reporting of a work accident.
Suppose Joe can’t find this information at his workplace. He can then take an additional step: look up the details on the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau website. This website keeps a record of all employers’ coverage info.
NJCRIB policy coverage search is one of the most critical services provided by the NJCRIB website. The tool is the Employer’s Coverage Search tool. This tool allows individuals to verify if an employer has workers’ compensation insurance coverage and, if so, with which insurer. This service is particularly important for verification of coverage: An employee who has been injured at work can use this tool to confirm that their employer has the required workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The tool also facilitates the claims process. If an employer is uncooperative or unavailable, an injured employee can find the necessary insurance information to file a claim directly.
Remember, the law is there to protect workers like Joe. So if you’re ever in his shoes, don’t hesitate to take action. You have rights and tools at your disposal in the field of New Jersey work injury law.
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Get The Right Attorney on Your Side to
Navigate the Claim Process
If you or your loved one have experienced a work injury, having to deal with New Jersey’s workers’ compensation by yourself is another burden for you and your family. Negotiating with insurance companies and ensuring you have all the evidence you need can eat a lot of your time. That’s time you could have better spent on recovery. Working on all these alone often only results in getting compensation below what you rightfully deserve.
But you don’t have to go through this alone. Getting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make the process easier. Work with someone that only has your interests in mind.
Mr. John F. Renner has over 25 years of workers’ compensation experience in New Jersey. His experience helps him understand the best strategies for each client. You don’t have to dedicate hours of research to make the best decision for you or your loved one. With Mr. Renner, you can trust that the decision you make will be an informed one. Call his office now at (856) 596-8000 to discuss your options. We have your back.