Month: January 2018

Workers Compensation

How an Attorney Can Assist an Injured Worker

You probably have given many years of hard work and loyalty to your employer. Yet when you suffer an injury on the job and seek workers compensation, your employer may not show you the same loyalty. Instead, some employers and their insurers try to avoid paying you the workers comp benefits you deserve. To ensure that you get the benefits you need and deserve, seek the advice of an experienced attorney to help you with your workers compensation claim. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can assist you:

Denial of claim

Once you file a workers compensation claim, your employer may contest the basis of your injury, contending either that you were not injured or that your injury was not job-related. An experienced attorney knows how to investigate the accident or injury and establish the connection to your work. In addition, it is important to report an injury within the legal time frame. Attorneys know that the New Jersey workers compensation laws give you only two years to report the injury or you may lose your right to benefits.

Problem with treating physician

New Jersey law requires that you get treatment from an employer-approved doctor. In some cases, these doctors may clear you to return to work before you have fully healed from your injury. Your attorney can help you find an alternative health provider who has your best interests in mind.

Delay or denial of certain benefits

If your benefits are delayed, your attorney can investigate the cause and accelerate the process. You should not accept a denial of any benefits without consulting with an experienced attorney. Your attorney may discover that the denial was unjustified, and can initiate an appeal on your behalf.

Retaliation

The law prohibits employers from firing or demoting an employee for filing a workers compensation claim. An attorney can uncover the true reasons for your dismissal or demotion and file a lawsuit against your employer, if necessary.

Third-party claim

If a defective product or someone other than your employer caused your workplace injury, a workers compensation attorney can help you recover damages in addition to your workers comp benefits.

Contact a New Jersey workers compensation attorney to file your claim or to appeal a denial so you receive all the benefits you deserve.

Workers Compensation

How to Obtain a Permanent Disability Settlement in New Jersey

Bergen County attorneys help disabled workers claim permanent benefits
One of the sad truths of life is that some injuries don’t heal. Even if you received excellent medical care, you may find that your work-related injury has not improved sufficiently for you to return to work. You may have to continue working at a less demanding job for lower wages, or you may be unable to return at all. Under these circumstances, you need experienced legal assistance to help you get the benefits you deserve. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg, our attorneys seek a disability settlement that reflects your true condition and compensates you for the full extent of your injury.

Preserving your right to claim permanent disability benefits
Once medical treatment for your work-related injury ends and you have achieved maximum medical improvement, you enter the permanent disability phase of your workers’ compensation claim. To assert your right to permanent disability benefits, you must submit a claim within two years of your last authorized medical visit or your last payment of workers’ comp benefits.

Managing the battle of the medical experts
After filing your claim, the Division of Workers’ Compensation schedules a hearing to decide your level of disability, which can be anywhere from 1 percent partial permanent disability to 100 percent or total permanent disability. The insurance company may schedule an independent medical examination prior to the hearing. Don’t be fooled by the word “independent.” The physician is paid by the insurance company, so you can expect to receive a low disability rating and a correspondingly low settlement offer from the insurer.

Your attorney must arrange an examination by another physician familiar with the disability rate schedule to seek a more favorable estimate. A hearing’s outcome usually hinges on the credibility of the victim’s medical experts versus those of the insurance company. Your final disability rating is likely to reflect a compromise between the two. Parties often settle before the hearing is complete, but if you don’t receive a satisfactory offer, you can take your case all the way to judgment.

Attorney fees for your workers’ compensation settlement
New Jersey workers’ compensation law does not allow attorneys to accept fees in advance. The Judge of Compensation sets attorney fees as a percentage of the settlement or judgment, up to a maximum of 20 percent. However, not all of that is taken from your award; the court may require the insurance company to pay more than half of your attorney’s fees.

Trust our Bergen County attorneys to get results in your disability settlement
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg fight aggressively to maximize permanent disability settlements.

BlogWorkers Compensation

Appealing a Workers Comp Denial in NJ

Experienced attorneys help injured workers fight insurance companies
At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg, we counsel injured workers throughout every step of the workers’ compensation process. When the system works as designed, workers simply report their accident to their employers and the employer begins its claim process with its insurance company. As soon as the insurer verifies the claim, it begins paying benefits. Unfortunately, the system does not always work smoothly; employers may negligently or deliberately fail to contact the insurer, or the insurer may deny a legitimate claim for numerous reasons. When workers hit obstacles in the workers’ comp process, our firm is here to help, with compassionate, knowledgeable and dedicated legal service.

Understanding your choices after an insurer denies your workers’ comp claim
Not every benefit dispute involves a complete denial of workers’ comp benefits. Disputed issues include:

Amounts of temporary benefits
Medical treatment options
Permanency of benefits
Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, a worker with a benefits dispute can appeal to the Division of Workers’ Compensation in two ways:

Application for an informal hearing
Formal claim petition
The informal claim process is similar to mediation, where a judge of compensation helps the parties resolve their differences without formal litigation. The judge makes suggestions for a resolution, but does not issue a binding ruling. Parties are free to file a formal claim petition if they are not happy with the informal results.

A formal claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation amounts to a trial on the merits, with a period of discovery during which attorneys depose witnesses and assemble evidence. Many claims settle during this pretrial stage. In cases that advance to trial, judges of compensation have the authority to:

Award benefits
Require medical examinations
Require treatment services for injured workers
Approve and fix attorneys’ fees
Assess penalties
The judge’s rulings are biding; parties can only appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

A two-year statute of limitations applies in workers’ compensation cases, starting from the date of the workplace accident or the day the worker becomes aware that a condition is work related. Workers must file a formal claim petition within that period or lose their right of appeal. It’s important to note that the two-year period is not suspended during the informal hearing.

Let our experienced workers’ comp attorneys manage your claims and appeals
If you’ve been denied benefits for your workplace injury, act now to protect your rights. The Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg manages claims and appeals for injured workers in Bergen County and throughout northern New Jersey.