The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers with a no-fault insurance program that delivers benefits to anyone who suffers from an illness or injury while at work or while performing job-related duties. These benefits include medical expenses, lost wages and death benefits to family members. In exchange for these benefits, workers agree that they will not file a civil lawsuit against their employers for damages unless the injury or illness was intentional.
History of New Jersey Workers’ Compensation
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act first went into effect in 1911. Before this, the only means of compensation was through the courts, which took several years and created undue hardship for many injured workers. The original law establishing workers compensation insurance was reformed in 1979 after the completion of a long-term study. At this time, benefits were increased for those who were rendered disabled by their injuries, but permanent disability benefits also became more difficult to obtain.
New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation
Workers' compensation claims and benefits are handled by the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The goal of this agency is to create an equitable balance between employees, employers and the state government. The advantage of the program to employees is affordable insurance coverage that pays benefits in a timely manner. The advantage of the program to employers is affordable employee coverage and protection from litigation.
How to file a claim
Your employer should be notified immediately after the occurrence of a work-related injury or illness, and a request should be made for medical treatment. The employer’s insurance carrier will evaluate your case if the injury causes you to miss more than seven days of work. However, workers compensation benefits should never be accepted without first consulting a reliable and experienced NJ workers' comp attorney. Disputes over the entitlement to benefits or the amount of benefits awarded may be filed with the DWC.