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Injured at Work? Your Three Rights

In New Jersey, employers are required to maintain workers compensation insurance for their employees. If you are injured while in the scope of your employment, then you are entitled to three things: medical benefits, temporary benefits, and a permanency award.

Your employer’s workers compensation insurance will provide medical aide to you with their authorized treating doctors. The insurance company should ensure that you are being treated with authorized doctors for injuries that you sustained while working. You should not be responsible for any medical bills arising out of medical care you received for injuries that you sustained while in the scope of employment. If you are in the unfortunate situation where your employer’s insurance refuses to either provide you with authorized medical care or refuses to pay the medical bills, a lawyer can file a motion with the Worker’s Compensation Court to compel those medical benefits.

Now suppose you are treating with the workers compensation doctor, and the doctor recommends that you discontinue working for a period of 6 weeks because of your injuries. In this type of situation, you are entitled to temporary benefits, which means your employer still has to pay you 70% of your paycheck during the time that an authorized treating doctor has put you out of work.

Finally, a permanency award is the monetary award you receive as compensation for the functional loss of a specific body part. This award is determined once you reach maximum medical improvement, or MMI, which means that your injury will not be improved by any more treatment. After physically examining you, an independent medical expert would then provide a percentage of your disability, which determines the amount of your award.

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