Injured workers and medical care in New Jersey

October 7, 2014

Most individuals cannot afford to miss time from work. Being absent for work due to injury or illness means that many workers will see a reduction in the amount of money in their take home pay. This can lead many employees to return to work before injuries and illnesses have completely healed, placing others at risk.

Construction workers, warehouse personnel, as well as medical professionals know that injuries are a routine part of the job. Workers that follow all safety procedures may still find themselves involved in an accident that causes a serious injury. Any worker could wind up suffering an injury while working, leading to a workers’ compensation claim.

The workers’ compensation system was created to help ensure that injured workers receive the benefits they need while they are recovering from their injuries and illnesses sustained while they were on-the-job. It eliminates fault from the process, which means that anyone injured while working could be eligible for these benefits, even if their actions may have lead to the accident.

When an employee is injured on-the-job, there are certain procedures that he or she must follow in order to ensure that he or she remains eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. As soon as the injury occurs, the worker should report the injury to a supervisor. This allows the accident to be documented, which can be important if issues arise later in the process.

The employee is not allowed to pick the physician that will be providing treatment. Under New Jersey law, the employer will appoint the medical professional that will initially be caring for the patient. In many instances, the employer or employer’s insurer will have a previous arrangement with the doctor or physician, to help control costs. This could make employees feel as though they were receiving inadequate care, and request a different medical professional to administer treatment.

Employers have the opportunity to then appoint someone else to examine the individual. If the employee seeks an outside doctor or physician without the employer’s permission, the employee could be forced to pay for this treatment. Disputes may arise over what sort of care the employee needs before he or she will be able to return to work, so it is important that employees know their rights at this time.

Even the safest occupations can experience a workplace accident at any time. While you may be uncertain about the process, you need to know that you have options. If you have questions about what will happen during your case, speak to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to learn what you should do next. Failing to protect yourself after a workplace injury can leave you in a very delicate financial position.