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.