If you get hurt at work, no need to worry – you’re covered by workers comp. Right? While there’s some truth to this notion, the reality can be more complicated. New Jersey employs a no-fault workers compensation system in which injured employees are covered for their medical expenses, lost wages, and any disability rating; but in exchange for these benefits, employees cannot bring personal-injury claims against their employers. There are very few exceptions to this balance-of-power structure, which is intended to be fair to both sides – employees and employers.
What’s Actually Covered?
Workers comp will usually pay for all of the reasonably necessary and causally related medical expenses that you incurred when you were injured on the job. It’s not quite as simple as that, however. If you’re an employee who’s been injured at work, you’ll need to be able to connect the medical treatment that you receive to the injury that you incurred at work. If this crucial connection or causal relation cannot be proven, workers compensation won’t pay your benefits.
This is where medical evidence comes into play. Each medically related appointment that you attend will supply written evidence of the medical treatment you receive as well as evidence of what caused you to receive that treatment. In addition, your workers compensation provider will likely require you to have an Independent Medical Examination – be examined by a doctor of their choosing. The resultant totality of information represents your medical evidence. Once this medical evidence no longer indicates that it’s related to your work injury, the workers comp insurance company will issue a compensation denial.
Elements of Your Claim
Whatever your injury – be it traumatic or repetitive stress – your employer and their workers compensation insurance company will be concerned with several elements regarding your claim:
- Your medical diagnosis as supported by objective medical diagnostics (medical tests and reports);
- Your prognosis and how quickly you’ll be able to return to work;
- The nature of your injury and what its treatment will cost; and
- The length of time your symptoms will need to completely heal and, thus, put a halt to the insurance company’s responsibility.
These all represent important questions for you personally, but they are also important elements of your workers comp claim; and they can all be answered by the medical evidence in your case.
If You Have a Workers Comp Problem, Contact an Experienced Workers Comp Attorney
If you’ve been injured at work and workers compensation won’t fully cover you, don’t leave your recovery to chance. Contact a skilled New Jersey workers compensation lawyer who will help guide your claim. At John L. Schettino law, we’ll provide you with a free phone consultation and will work with you to obtain the benefits that you’re entitled to. Contact or call me at (201) 498-9768 for a free consultation regarding your worker’s compensation rights and how I can best represent you.