As the landscape of the modern workforce shifts, many workers are missing out on traditional employment benefits like health insurance, workers’ compensation, and retirement plans. A new bill introduced in the New Jersey has been approved by reviewing committees and is expected to be put up for a vote in the state assembly in the fall.
Topics: Employment Law
If you’re injured at work or develop a work-related medical condition, the New Jersey workers’ compensation system can help pay your medical expenses and replace your lost wages for time off during your recovery. You may not realize that in addition to recovering your costs, you may also be entitled to compensation for any permanent impairment you sustain as a result of your injuries or occupational disease.
What Is a Compensable Illness or Disease?
New Jersey employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance on all employees working in the state. This insurance is designed to help you if you are injured in the course of your employment (like in an accident at work or while performing work-related duties) or if you suffer from an occupational disease (such as hearing loss or carpal tunnel syndrome). Some emotional illnesses may also qualify as industrial disabilities.
How Do You Receive Benefits?
You must notify your employer within certain time limits of your injury or illness; it will submit the claim to its workers’ comp insurer and determine whether your claim is covered. If the claim is accepted, the carrier and your employer will direct you to one or more appropriate medical providers and will pay for your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. If you are out of work for more than seven days, you may also receive temporary disability benefits to help replace your lost wages so you can focus on rehabilitation and recovery.
What Is Permanent Partial Disability?
Once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), or when you return to work, you will be evaluated to determine whether your injury or disease has left a permanent impact on your life. If so, you may be entitled to an award of “permanent partial disability” (PPD) benefits to compensate you for your permanent “loss of function.” Certain physical injuries automatically qualify for partial or total disability in amounts set by statute. These “scheduled” losses include the amputation of limbs (including fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, and toes) and losses of vision or hearing.
How Is the Amount of PPD Determined?
In many states, the amount of permanent disability compensation you receive depends only on whether you are impaired in the workplace—that is, whether you are restricted from or unable to work in your occupation. In New Jersey, however, a Judge of Compensation will evaluate permanency payments based on loss of function across all aspects of your life, including not only workplace impairment but also any loss of ability to engage in sports, hobbies, and other home activities. At this hearing, you must present:
- Medical proof of impairment (e.g., an MRI, surgical record, and/or other medical testimony) and
- Personal testimony (describing your limitations).
Once a claimant proves he or she has a permanent disability under these criteria, the Judge of Compensation decides whether the limitation is serious enough to merit compensation; if so, the Court determines a fair amount to award. Unlike in other states, PPD benefits can be awarded even if you are fully able to return to your regular employment, as long as you demonstrate a permanent disability that impairs your ability to carry out the “ordinary pursuits of life.”
How a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
New Jersey workers’ compensation laws can be complicated and confusing. In order to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your on-the-job injury or occupational disease, you must comply with all appropriate deadlines, requirements, and administrative procedures. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help evaluate, prepare, and present a case to the Judge of Compensation that fairly demonstrates your limitations so you can receive the benefits you deserve.
To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at the Basking Ridge, Oradell, or Newark, New Jersey, law offices of the Mark Law Firm, contact the firm online or call 973-440-2311, 908-626-1001, or 201-787-9406 today.
 N.J.S.A. 34:15-17. See http://www.nj.gov/treasury/riskmgt/workers-comp.shtml for more information.
 N.J.S.A. 34:15-14. See http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/workers/benefits/benefit_index.html for more information.
 N.J.S.A. 34:15-12. See http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/forms_pdfs/wc/pdf/2016_schedule.pdf for more information.
Image by Army Medicine via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/8447985068. Some rights reserved.
Mental illness is a disability affecting nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults, costing America $193.2 billion in lost earning per year. These shocking statistics are exacerbated by the fact that mental illness is often publicly stigmatized, preventing a genuine discussion about mental illness from ever occurring.
As such, it is little wonder that many New Jersey residents are left wondering whether mental illness is a protected disability under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). Here is what New Jersey law has to say regarding mental illness discrimination in the workplace.
As counterintuitive as it might seem, New Jersey law does not treat drinking and riding a bicycle as a DUI offense. NJ Rev Stat § 39:4-50 (2016) defines DWI and DUI offenses as being limited to persons who operate a motor vehicle.
If you have been injured on the job or have suffered an occupational illness in New Jersey, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Navigating the legal complexities in order to receive compensation, however, requires a full understanding of the steps to take after a workplace injury has occurred or an occupational illness has been contracted.
New Jersey has strict rules outlining how the workers' compensation process works, so keep the following tips in mind to collect the benefits you deserve.
Topics: Workers' Compensation
The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (ISBR) and the U.S. Justice Department both filed discrimination lawsuits in 2016 after the ISBR was denied its plan to build a mosque in the area. Nearly half a year after the Justice Department's lawsuit was filed in 2016, the Bernards Township Committee voted to accept proposed settlements in both the Justice Department lawsuit and the lawsuit filed by the ISBR.
Topics: Discrimination & Harassment
Have you been pulled over in New Jersey? If you are stopped by the police, you have both rights and responsibilities. If signaled or requested to stop by law enforcement, you are obligated to pull over; produce your license, registration, and proof of insurance; and if asked, you must step out of the car. You should speak and act courteously to police officers, and follow their instructions - as long as you are not violating your rights by doing so.
Topics: Criminal Defense
June is National Safety Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of 1 and 44 is injury.1 Distracted driving, slipping and falling, and the misuse of prescription drugs all contribute to injuries that ultimately lead to fatality. The main cause of disability for all Americans can also be attributed to injury. The truth is many of these injuries can be prevented; using common sense and following some basic safety tips can keep you from becoming disabled or even dying due to injury.
Safety Tips for Distracted Driving
- Put down the phone.2 Incidentally, earphones and headphones can be just as dangerous as physically picking up your cell phone. If you don't have a hands-free set-up in your car, put your phone in the glove compartment if you have to in order to resist temptation.
- Put your makeup on and comb your hair either at home or when you arrive at your destination, not while driving.
- Eat at the restaurant. If you don't have time for that, wait until you arrive at your destination to eat.
- It's never okay to watch a video when driving. Adjusting your music volume, playlist, or radio station can also be a deadly distraction.
- Avoid heated or overly lively debates with your passengers.
- Set your navigation device before you take off, and don't try to read a map while driving.
Topics: Personal Injury
These days, many people are making lifestyle changes to improve their health and wellness. Some are eliminating soft drinks from their diets, some are running marathons, and others are trading their car keys for bicycles. As commuting to and from work on a bicycle is becoming increasingly popular, it's important to remember the laws regarding the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists in New Jersey.
Topics: Personal Injury
In part 1 of this 2-part series, we looked at disputes involving trees, plants, and fences. Today, we'll take a brief look at some other common neighbor disputes.
Topics: Civil Disputes