What NJ Workers’ Compensation Means to an Injured Worker

Call center employee with neck painWorkers’ compensation provides medical treatment, wage replacement and permanent disability compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, and death benefits to dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment.  The law requires that all New Jersey employers, not covered by Federal programs, have workers’ compensation coverage or be approved for self-insurance.

What to do if you are injured.

You should notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. Under the NJ workers’ compensation law, the employer and/or their insurance carrier can select the physician(s) to treat injured workers for work related injuries.

Employer’s Responsibility after an Injury

Once an accident is reported to an employer, they should notify their insurance carrier immediately so that a First Report of Injury can be filed with the State.

The employer’s WC insurance carrier will evaluate the claim and determine if it’s compensable under the WC law. They will contact the injured worker, the employer and the medical provider to make this assessment. If the claim is accepted, they will direct the injured worker to an authorized medical provider for treatment. If time out of work extends beyond 7 days, they will also provide the injured worker temporary disability benefits during the period of rehabilitation.

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Working with your Physician(s)

It is important to make sure that you are aware of what medical care you are entitled to receive and how you are to receive it. The physician(s) who are treating your work related condition are central to your medical care and Workers’ Compensation Case, and provide the following: prescribe medications, make decisions regarding your level of disability, which effects your level of benefits, refer you to other specialists or physicians, take you out of work return you to work, and provide any other necessary medical treatment necessary.

Please be sure to provide each and every physician who treats you with an accurate history of your work related injury and/or accident at your initial visit.  In addition, be sure to provide a complete history of any prior related medical conditions.  These things are important, as the causality of the current injury needs to be clearly related to a work function.

It is important that you give each and every doctor you see an accurate history of your injury and the facts surrounding the accident or injury on your initial visit. Be sure to give a complete and accurate history of any prior related medical condition that the doctor asks about. You should do this if you suspect that the information may be used to show that your present medical problems are due to previous problems.

The treating physician(s) are required to send progress reports to your  insurance company to keep them obtain authorizations for your treatments, and keep them  apprised of your condition and prognosis.