Getting injured at work is distressing, but something that many people in New Jersey go through at some point in their lives. It is hoped that by filing for workers’ compensation you will receive the benefits you need to recover from your injury without suffering financially while doing so. However, sometimes disputes arise regarding the award of benefits. If you or your employer dispute a decision to award or not award benefits you can contest the decision through an informal claim or a formal claim.
Filing an informal claim
The goal of an informal claim is to resolve the dispute without having to go through the more complicated, expensive and time-consuming litigation process. Some issues that a person might file an informal claim over would be whether benefits should be temporary or permanent and what type of medical treatment should be compensated. A judge assigned to the claim will make some suggestions on how the parties to the dispute can resolve it. This decision is non-binding, meaning either party still has the option to pursue a formal claim if it is within the statutory time period. You can be represented by an attorney during the informal claim process if you want.
Filing a formal claim
If you or your employer have a dispute regarding workers’ compensation benefits, you or your employer can pursue a formal claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. You have two years from the date you were injured or the date you last received benefits to file a formal claim, whichever is more recent. Attempts may be made to resolve the issue during the pretrial stage. If this is not possible a trial will occur. You may testify at the trial. Medical professionals and lay witnesses may also testify. At the end of the trial the judge assigned to the case will make a binding decision. The only way to appeal such a decision is to appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. You can be represented by an attorney throughout the formal claim process.
Learn more about your rights as an injured worker
Injured workers in New Jersey need to understand their rights. They may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. And, if they disagree with a decision made in the award of benefits, they can appeal it. It is hoped that by exercising their rights they receive the benefits they need to make ends meet while they are injured.