If you were injured while working, you should contact a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer fromRispoli & Borneo, P.C. Getting an injury at work may seem like a hopeless situation, especially if your financial situation is tight. Luckily, in the United States, almost all employees are protected by the workers’ comp system. If you were injured as a result of doing your job, then chances are incredibly high that you will have your medical bills compensated in full. Learn more about the protection that comes from this system from a workers’ compensation lawyer New Jersey employees trust.
What Is Covered?
Workers’ comp can cover all financial losses that result from the injury if it happened while you were working. This includes:
- Lost wages
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Loss of earning ability
Essentially, if you had an expense because of the injury, then it will be compensated. The system is quite generous with what is considered connected to the injury. The goal is to return you to the financial state you were in prior to the injury.
However, workers’ comp does not cover non-financial damages. For instance, a personal injury lawsuit usually compensates a victim for emotional trauma and physical suffering. This is not something that workers’ comp covers.
Who Is Covered?
There are two requirements for your injury to be covered by workers’ comp:
- You must be an employee.
- The injury must have happened while working.
The term “employee” refers to a specific kind of worker. The definition is complicated, but there is an easy way to know for sure whether or not you are an employee. If your employer withholds a portion of your paycheck for taxes, then you are an employee. Unpaid volunteers, contractors, and freelance workers are not covered by workers’ comp.
The second requirement is that the injury must have happened while working. Essentially, if the injury was the direct result of actions you or a co-worker took to benefit the company, then it qualifies. Injuries that result from inaction are also covered, as are injuries resulting from simply being in a dangerous environment for work. It does not matter who is “at fault” for the injury. You can be compensated by workers’ comp even if the injury was your own fault. To see if you would be covered, you can go over the details of the accident with your NJ workers’ compensation lawyer.
Non-Traditional Workplace Accident Scenarios
Most of the time, we think of workplace accidents occurring on company property during the workday. This is the most common scenario, but not the only type of accident/injury that is compensable. Many work-related accidents can and do occur outside of the traditional workspace and an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can help you secure any benefits you may be entitled to as a result of such an accident. Here are some lesser-known scenarios to be aware of:
Car accidents: If you are a commercial driver or otherwise traveling for work, you are likely eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits after being involved in a car accident. In most cases, injuries sustained while commuting to and from work are not covered because they occur off the clock. But even this rule has exceptions.
Some commuting accidents: Let’s say your boss asks you to pick up coffee for her before you come in tomorrow morning. If you get into an accident while performing a task requested by your employer, that is usually compensable. Also, if you must travel between several work sites in one day, injuries sustained between work sites are typically compensable. Finally, if you are on a business trip, you are essentially considered “on the clock” the entire time, and therefore, covered for any injuries that occur.
Working from home: Remote work has become very popular for workers whose jobs are primarily online or who can otherwise do their work from anywhere. If you suffer an accident or injury while working from home, it may be considered compensable. However, these cases tend to receive much more scrutiny, so you should work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney when filing your claim.
Why Hire an Attorney?
You are not legally required to hire an attorney when filing or appealing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, the system was originally designed to protect employers from litigation while making it easier for injured employees to receive compensation. Unfortunately, the system tends to be biased in favor or employers and workers’ compensation insurers. Therefore, many workers find it very helpful to have an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer advocating on their behalf.
A New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer from Rispoli & Borneo P.C. can help you:
- Understand your legal rights and obligations
- Ensure that you comply with reporting and filing requirements
- Help you file a strong claim documented by evidence
- Represent you throughout the appeals process if your initial claim is denied
- Ensure that you do not face retaliation or wrongful termination because you filed a workers’ compensation claim (this is illegal)
It is important to note that if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, New Jersey law considers this to be the “exclusive remedy” after a workplace accident. That means you are barred from suing your employer over your injuries. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that you receive the worker’s compensation benefits you need and deserve. Working with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer is often the best way to achieve that aim.
In nearly all cases, it is very clear whether an injury is work-related or not, but there are rare instances where this can be disputed. If you think you qualify for workers’ comp but you have been denied or your employer refuses to file for it, then you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in NJ immediately. If you cannot receive workers’ comp, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible individual. For more information, speak with a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer in New Jersey from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.!