Red Bank New Jersey Workers Compensation Attorneys
Incorporated in 1984, Miller and Gaudio, P.C., offers the unique faculties of four talented injury attorneys. Workers compensation claims can be a complicated matter. Contact our Red Bank New Jersey workers compensation lawyers today for assistance with your workmans comp claim.
New Jersey Workers' Compensation is a statutory scheme designed to protect the worker who is injured while on the job. Generally, the issue in Workers' Compensation is not liability or in other words, whose fault the accident arises from, but rather the damages that are incurred. In exchange for the essential waiving of this burden of proof, the Statutes have mandated that there is no recovery for pain and suffering in Workers' Compensation. The awards that are made are based on a schedule of disability, which is printed for the specific year in which the injury occurs.
There are three essential elements that one is entitled to as a result of suffering an injury while working.
- The Petitioner or person injured is entitled to medical treatment for the injury as long as the treatment is connected to the work injury.
- The second element that the injured worker is entitled to is temporary disability from the Workers' Compensation carrier for the time that an individual is out of work as a result of the work related injury. The treating physician in Workers' Compensation must authorize all the time out of work. In other words, if the authorized treating physician in their opinion feels that the Petitioner can go back to work, temporary disability will cease at that point.
- The third element that a Petitioner is entitled to is a permanency award. This permanency-rating award is based on a Disability Fee Schedule. The amount is arrived at as a result of Petitioner's expert doctor giving an estimation as to disability and the Respondent or carrier's doctor giving an estimation as to disability. Elements one and two can generally be obtained without the need to file a Petition in the Workers' Compensation Court. However, element three, which is the permanency award is only available by filing a Petition in the Workers' Compensation Court through an attorney. This Petition must be filed within two years of the date of the accident.
Workmans Compensation Petitions
There are several types of Workers' Compensation Petitions that can be filed. They generally refer to either an occupational injury or a specific injury occurring on a specific date or with a specific incident. The occupational injury arises as a result of repetitive activity or as a result of the work environment which are mandated in the person's job and therefore, as a result of the same the injury occurs. The other type of injury is one in which the incident happens on a specific date.
It is imperative to note that authorized treatment must be obtained for any treatment under Workers' Compensation. If not authorized, the insurance carrier will not pay for the treatment. Once treatment is finished, both the Petitioner's attorney and the Respondent's attorney or insurance carrier's attorney, obtain permanency exams through doctors of their choosing. Based on those permanency exams, settlement can be reached and/or the Judge will determine after a Trial what the individual will be entitled to.
Workers Compensation Trials
A Workers' Compensation matter can be settled or concluded in several different ways. If no settlement can be reached, a Trial must be held where the Petitioner's attorney will prove the case through the use of witnesses including the Petitioner as well as the treating doctor or the doctor that has been obtained to render an opinion with regard to permanency. The Respondent has the same opportunity to present contrary witnesses. Unlike Superior Court, the Trial in Workers' Compensation would be held not on consecutive days, but on days arising under what is known as the list. For example, a date would be scheduled for the Trial and the Petitioner would testify on that date and several witnesses may testify on that date. Then on the next cycle or three weeks later, the doctor would testify. After the Judge receives the testimony and the evidence, the Judge will then render a decision. The decision will determine what the degree of permanency is and the value of the same.
Another method of disposing of a Workers' Compensation matter is to settle the case under what is known as a partial total settlement. Under a partial total settlement, the matter is not a final settlement, but can be reopened within two years of the last date of payment by the insurance company. This provision is specifically intended for cases where the injuries may get worse or will require further treatment.
In a situation where there is a dispute as to whether or not the claim falls under the Workers' Compensation Statute or where it is disputed that there is any permanency at all, parties may enter into what is known as a Section 20 Settlement. A Section 20 Settlement is a full and final settlement. The matter cannot be reopened if the injury should get worse or require further treatment.
It is imperative that an injured worker contact an attorney immediately. That attorney will marshal the evidence that is needed to file a Petition in the Workers' Compensation Court to successfully pursue the claim. The Statute of Limitations is two-years for a Workers' Compensation claim. That is, a Petition must be filed within two-years of the date of the incident, accident or knowledge of occupational claim.
As with any type of litigation the most important factors in selecting an attorney to handle your claim is experience and a complete understanding of all issues which may arise in the Workers' Compensation context. Frank S. Gaudio, Esq. Of Miller and Gaudio, P.C. has over twenty years experience in the field of Workers' Compensation. He has handled cases involving orthopaedic injuries, psychiatric injuries, as well as sexual assault on the job.
A Worker's Guide to Workers' Compensation in New Jersey
Social Security Offset Calculation
Employee's Claims Petition
Notice of Motion for Temporary and/or Medical Benefits
Task Force on Medical and Temporary Benefits - New Jersey Department of Labor