Mark Law Firm Blog

Using Social Media Wisely in NJ Personal Injury Claims

Posted by Jamison Mark on Sep 24, 2017 11:00:00 AM

If you are pursuing claims in the New Jersey courts for personal injuries you’ve suffered as a result of someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior, you must be careful to control your presence on social media. Social media allows you to connect and interact with friends, express your creativity and feelings, solve problems, and find resources—all things you may need even more when you’re recovering from injuries.

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Topics: Personal Injury

Telecommuting & the ADA

Posted by Jamison Mark on Sep 21, 2017 3:41:00 PM

More and more employers are allowing employees to work from home (sometimes known as “telecommuting” or “teleworking”). Implementing systems and programs that allow employees to telecommute can help retain employees, recruit more geographically diverse talent, and accommodate workers with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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How Do Employee Benefits Affect Prevailing Wage Requirements?

Posted by Jamison Mark on Sep 13, 2017 4:30:00 PM

If you work in construction, maintenance, or other building trades and services for public works in New Jersey, you have likely heard of the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act (PWA). This law establishes prevailing wage levels for NJ workers engaged in these trades, which vary depending on a workers’ experience, specialty, and location.[1] Besides setting wage rates, however, the PWA also sets out rules for providing “fringe benefits” to New Jersey trades workers.

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Topics: Wage & Hour, Employment Law

What Should I Do If My Employer Fails to Compensate My Work-Related Injury?

Posted by Jamison Mark on Sep 4, 2017 9:05:00 AM

If you’ve been injured on the job in New Jersey, the NJ workers’ compensation system is designed to help replace your lost wages and compensate you for your injuries. State law requires that private employers operating in New Jersey provide workers’ compensation benefits to all qualified employees through an insurance policy or an approved plan of self-insurance.[1] But what happens if you are hurt at work and your employer refuses to compensate you?

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Topics: Employment Law, Workers' Compensation

Am I Entitled to the Prevailing Wage in New Jersey?

Posted by Jamison Mark on Aug 30, 2017 4:47:00 PM

If you are a contractor, subcontractor, or tradesperson in New Jersey, some of your contracts may be subject to “prevailing wage” laws. Whether you’re paying workers or ensuring that your pay is correct, it’s vital that you understand when the NJ prevailing wage laws apply and what they mean to you.

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Topics: Wage & Hour, Employment Law

August 26th Is Women's Equality Day

Posted by Jamison Mark on Aug 22, 2017 4:39:00 PM

On August 26th, New Jersey residents and Americans across the country will celebrate Women's Equality Day, commemorating the certification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in the U.S. A great deal of progress has been made since the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, but there is still a lot of work to do in the U.S. before we achieve true equality between the genders. So, while we have many reasons to celebrate on Women's Equality Day, it's also important to keep in mind the gender disparities that persist today.

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NJ Bill Would Implement Portable Benefits Ideal for “Gig Economy”

Posted by Jamison Mark on Aug 17, 2017 3:42:00 PM

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.[1]

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Topics: Employment Law

What Is a "Permanent Partial Disability" in New Jersey Workers' Compensation?

Posted by Jamison Mark on Aug 10, 2017 4:21:00 PM

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.[1]

 

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.[2] 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.[3]

 

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.[4]

 

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).[5]

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.

 

Injured on the job?  Free Guide: 5 Things You Must Know 

 

[1] N.J.S.A. 34:15-36. See Saunderlin v. E.I. Du Pont Co., 102 N.J. 402 (N.J. 1986).

[2] N.J.S.A. 34:15-17. See http://www.nj.gov/treasury/riskmgt/workers-comp.shtml for more information.

[3] N.J.S.A. 34:15-14. See http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/workers/benefits/benefit_index.html for more information.

[4] 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.

[5] Perez v. Pantasote, Inc., 95 N.J. 105 (1984).

Image by Army Medicine via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/8447985068Some rights reserved.

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Topics: Employment Law, Workers' Compensation

Is Mental Illness a Protected Disability Under the NJLAD?

Posted by Jamison Mark on Aug 2, 2017 12:10:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Employment Law, Discrimination & Harassment

Can I Get a DUI on My Bicycle in New Jersey?

Posted by Jamison Mark on Jul 24, 2017 10:49:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Personal Injury, Criminal Defense