Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, you are entitled to receive medical, temporary, and sometimes permanent disability benefits after suffering a workplace injury. But how do you access these benefits?
First off, it’s important to know that you don’t need to prove that your employer is at fault to collect benefits. Under the New Jersey law, any injury that occurs while you were working is generally compensable. Even if you trip over your own feet and twist your ankle, you are potentially eligible for benefits. If you are injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier must pay 100 percent of all related medical expenses, with no deductible or copayment from you. You are also entitled to receive up to 70 percent of your average weekly wages for the period you are medically unable to work and while under the care of a doctor.
While this system may sound pretty good on the surface, you may run into roadblocks set up by the insurance industry. All medical treatment must be preauthorized by the workers’ compensation carrier. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many cases in which the carrier fails to provide authorization in a timely manner, leaving injured workers stuck waiting for treatment. If this happens, we would file a motion with the court to obtain an order requiring the carrier to pay for any treatment, which was recommended by the authorized treating physician or forcing the carrier to assign a physician.
If a workers’ compensation carrier delays your medical treatment or temporary disability benefits, it’s time to take action. Contact the law offices of Pezzano, Mickey & Mickey to stop the insurance carrier from micromanaging your medical treatment and force them to pay your benefits on time.