The Fear of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Many workers who suffer work-related injuries refuse to file workers’ compensation claims. Why? Fear. Fear of losing their jobs. Fear of retaliation. Fear of being stigmatized. Ironically, workers’ compensation laws were enacted to protect the worker and prevent this from happening. Employers maintain insurance coverage that provides for workers who have been injured on the job, providing compensation and medical care so the employee can return to work.
Understanding workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides benefits to employees who experience job-related injuries and illnesses. In New Jersey, all private employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. The federal government offers a separate workers’ compensation program that is primarily for federal employees.
Workers’ compensation provides benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses. The injury does not have to occur at the workplace itself in order to receive compensation – but the injury must be sustained while the employee is performing a work-related task. Worker’s compensation benefits are available regardless of who was at fault for the injury – this is called a “no-fault” system — with a few exceptions, such as an injury that occurs due to horseplay in the workplace. Most employers want to provide employees with the proper care and compensation so that the employee returns to work in a timely manner.
Statute of limitations in New Jersey
Failure to file a legitimate workers’ compensation claim — or delaying for too long — due to fear of retaliation has serious consequences. In New Jersey, there is a time limit of two years for filing a workers’ compensation claim, known as the statute of limitations. The formal workers’ compensation claim must be filed within two years of the date the injury occurred or, in the case of an occupational illness, the claim must be filed within two years from the time the employee first became aware of the condition and its connection to employment. When a worker does not file a claim in this timeframe, they may not receive wage replacement benefits or coverage for their medical bills.
Workers’ compensation benefits
If you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey, you may receive medical treatment, replacement of lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. Compensation for wage replacement is dependent upon the extent of your disability as well as the duration.
Don’t let fear stand in your way from receiving the workers’ compensation you deserve
Don’t let fear prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve for a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers and ensure a timely return to productive work. If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury or work-related illness, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible, before the statute of limitations runs out and you are facing a mounting pile of medical bills on your own. At Lomurro Law, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys have helped New Jersey workers file workers’ compensation claims for more than 130 years combined. Skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated to fighting on your behalf, we are available to meet with you for a complimentary consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim. Contact our office today at 732-482-9285 or online.