From temporary injuries to debilitating accidents that require long-term care, worker’s compensation is an essential safety net for employees in a wide range of industries. In New Jersey, most employers must provide this type of insurance coverage to workers.
Unfortunately, not all employers are forthcoming when it comes to helping employees with the claims process. Additionally, while worker’s compensation is a no-fault benefit that does not require proof or disproof of negligence, there is always the risk that an insurance company will reject a claim. Making sure to start the process early may help you receive needed financial assistance in a timely fashion.
- Seek medical care immediately
If you experience a serious injury, you should seek emergency care immediately. However, you should also keep in mind that even a seemingly minor incident on the job could lead to a more serious condition later. If you get hurt at work, making an appointment with your doctor promptly may help to strengthen a compensation claim by providing a record of medical treatment.
- Notify your employer
Whether you speak with a supervisor, foreman or another person of authority, it is important to let your employer know about an injury as soon as possible. While you may initially report the incident verbally, make sure to follow up with a written explanation, as well as provide official documentation.
- File your claim quickly
Once you have reported the injury, your employer may give you an official claim form. If not, you may request one from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Making sure to file this form quickly helps to ensure that the details of the event are still fresh in your mind and that you do not run the risk of missing the 2-year deadline for bringing a claim.
- Be specific, be consistent
When it comes to workers’ injury claims, insurance companies are careful to check that claimants have provided an accurate and consistent account of the incident. From your initial report to your employer to conversations you have with your doctor, make sure that your descriptions of the incident and the resulting injury are specific and verifiable.