An Impairment Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Disability Benefits

An Impairment Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Disability Benefits

Social Security disability benefits are only granted if you can’t work for 12 months because of a condition. Therefore, simply having a medical condition may not be enough to qualify for payments.

How to Provide Proof of Impairment

Roughly 35 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cases are approved on the first application. This can be because there is a lack of information provided or because there is a chance that the condition could improve. What can do you do help yourself get the SSDI benefits that you may be entitled to?

Obtain Recent Medical Records

The person who examines your case generally cannot approve it unless there are recent medical records verifying that you are disabled. Generally speaking, recent means anything within 90 days of an application being sent in for review. If you haven’t seen your doctor or another treatment provider within that period of time, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment.

Otherwise, it may be necessary to undergo a consultative examination. While this has little bearing on whether an application is approved, avoiding this step could reduce the necessary processing time.

In some cases, an examiner may request additional information from your doctor or other treatment providers. However, if you know where these records are or how to get them, you can obtain them on your own. This can also work to reduce the amount of time it takes to process your application.

Don’t Minimize Your Pain

During an examination, you may be asked to describe the specific ways in which your condition impacts your life. If you experience constant pain while walking, it is important to mention that. If you can’t sleep because of neck or back pain, you shouldn’t hesitate to mention these issues as well. The more detail that you can provide to a doctor or your case examiner, the easier it will be for the application to be approved on your first try.

Get Statements From Friends or Colleagues

When the examiner is reviewing your case, he or she will be looking for specific details regarding how a condition may impact your ability to work or live a normal life. A statement from your boss saying that you get tired easily or can’t walk more than 50 feet without limping may help your cause. Statements from friends or family members saying that you can’t go outside or be near lights without complaining of blurred vision could also bolster your case.

Get a Letter From Your Doctor

A letter from your personal physician saying that you can’t walk or remember names because of your condition can be helpful. Your doctor should also include a full list of the medications that you take as well as anything that has been done to help improve your condition. If there is no evidence that you have taken medication or gotten surgery to improve your condition, the examiner may deny the application or delay approving it until such steps are taken.

File an Appeal in a Timely Manner

Typically, you get 60 days from the date that an application is denied to file an appeal. You may also get an extra five days to mail the application to the office where the case is being reviewed. It is important that you file an appeal as opposed to filing a new initial application.

If you have any questions about the case, you can consult with a Social Security disability lawyer. It is important to note that an appeal that arrives late may still be considered if you didn’t have access to medical records. Other valid reasons for filing an appeal late include having a mental impairment or losing records because of a natural disaster. However, it is always best to be as timely as possible with your filings.

Working with a Social Security disability lawyer could help you get the compensation that you need to make up for lost wages because of your physical or mental impairment. You can contact the Voorhees Law Office, LLC in Somerville, NJ, by phone at (908) 200-2297. Alternatively, you can send a fax to (908) 704-7329.

Self-Employed and Contract Workers’ Eligibility for Social Security Disability

Many people have been forced out of permanent employee positions and have had to find work as self-employed or contract workers. A contract worker’s eligibility for workers’ compensation and Social Security disability is not the same as they were when he or she was a full- or a part-time permanent employee of a company. It is important to understand the eligibility requirements and know how to take action if your claim is denied for any reason.

Job-Related Accidents and Injuries That Lead to Disability

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration tracks statistics related to injuries, accidents, and deaths that happen to workers on the job. In 2016, 5,120 people were killed on the job. An estimated 2,857,400 nonfatal injuries and illnesses caused by paid employment were also reported in 2016. Some of the most common injuries include slip and falls, trips, contusions, and concussions. The most common causes of the injuries include falling, getting struck by an object, getting caught between immense items, and electrocution. When an injury is so severe that a person cannot be expected to return to paid employment within six to 12 months, it is natural for him or her to file a claim for workers’ compensation or Social Security disability insurance. While the pathway is clear for permanent employees of a company, the situation is not as obvious for contract workers or people who are self-employed but doing paid work for a business. In these situations, it is important for you to contact a job accident lawyer for a consultation.

Social Security Disability Eligibility for Contract and Self-Employed Individuals

As long as you have properly filed your federal taxes with a Schedule SE for the time that you have been self-employed or working as a contractor, you should be eligible for Social Security disability payments. Your payments of self-employment taxes (SECA) give you the same eligibility for all parts of Social Security just as if a traditional employer was paying FICA taxes on your behalf. The Social Security Administration processes the eligibility of self-employed workers using the “three tests.”

  • Significant services: If you are the only person in your self-employed business, what you do is automatically considered significant.
  • Substantial income: The level of substantial income is $1,180 per month. The Social Security Administration may accept a lower level if your salary is similar to what non-disabled people in your community make or if it is similar to what other individuals earn in your field
  • Countable income: If you can no longer earn $1,180 per month, this may make you eligible.

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility for Contract and Self-Employed Workers

Under New Jersey law, most individuals who perform paid work for a business are eligible for workers’ compensation. It would be paid out by the company’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Under the law, the term “employee” includes:

  • Day workers
  • Leased employees
  • Borrowed employees
  • Subcontractors
  • Part-time employees
  • Unpaid volunteers

A workers’ compensation judge would make the final determination as to whether a person is considered to be an employee of a company even if he or she gets injured performing work for the company.

Eligibility If You Have Left the Workforce for a While

Not all situations are clear when it comes to eligibility for Social Security disability or workers’ compensation. For example, if you have just returned to self-employment after being a stay-at-home parent for the previous 10 years, you may not be eligible even if you pass the three tests or are considered to be an employee through the above criteria. This is because the Social Security Administration requires that you have worked 20 out of the past 40 quarters in order to be eligible for disability benefits.

Appealing a Claim Denial

If your claim for Social Security disability or workers’ compensation has been denied, it may help to have an attorney working on your behalf. We know what to expect throughout the appeals process, and we can explain how these types of compensation cases usually work. Our workers’ compensation lawyer at the Voorhees Law Office is ready to listen to your situation. Call us at (908) 200-2297 to schedule a consultation. You may also visit our location in Somerville to make your appointment with our workers’ comp lawyer. We can also be reached via email at craig@voorheeslawnj.com.

5 Keys Things to Bring to Your First Consultation

5 Keys Things to Bring to Your First Consultation

In Pennsylvania, you have three years from the date of a workplace injury to file a claim and just 90 days to visit a medical provider your employer approves. You’ll likely want to get the process moving as fast as possible, but it’s important to document as much of it as reasonable in order to give a workers’ compensation lawyer a good starting point. Let’s take a look at five things you’ll want to have at your initial consultation.

1. Names

As with telling any story, it’s critical to fill in the names of who was involved. This can be a little disconcerting for some clients because they often see co-workers and bosses as friends. The important thing, however, is to assemble an honest list of who was present when an accident occurred and anyone who had power over decisions leading up to it. Your list should include:

  • Workers who were there
  • Anyone with specific knowledge, such as maintenance personnel
  • Individuals in supervisory positions
  • Customers who were present

The list you generate should be as exhaustive as possible. Given that people move on from workplaces, it’s prudent to write the names down as quickly as possible. Refrain from discussing what happened with the individuals listed since that can be seen as legally problematic, but be sure to get contact information. Your lawyer can narrow down the list to who seems relevant to the case at a later time.

2. Details and Dates

Producing as much detail about the incident as possible is important. If at all practicable, try to get the details written down as quickly as you can following a workplace accident. The less fuzzy you are about what happened, the better your case will look if you need to present it to a workers’ compensation board or jury.

You want to be sure the information you provide can paint a picture, so try to include points like the:

  • Time of day when the incident occurred
  • Location where it happened
  • Moment when you noticed that something seemed wrong
  • Time and date you first sought medical attention
  • Date and time the accident was reported to your employer
  • Date you visited an employer-approved medical provider to be examined

3. Work History

How long you’ve worked for a company and what you did both matter. If the training you or someone involved in an incident received was relevant to the nature of what happened, make a note of it. Should there be concerns about the nature of your employment, such as being classified as an independent contractor, try to include as much detail as possible about your direct relationship with the company and the site where the accident happened.

A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you decide whether you might have the basis for pursuing a claim. Don’t be intimidated by questions regarding your status with a company. Allow the attorney to focus on what may or may not be allowed.

4. Medical Reports

When you talk with a doctor about your injuries, ask them to make sure they can provide paperwork. Detailed medical reports should be used to document the initial medical response to your injuries and any subsequent issues. Not every issue pops up right away, so make a point to record the dates when you go to the doctor after an accident, even if the problem you spoke with the doctor about seems only tangentially related.

You should also try to produce as thorough a pre-incident medical history as possible. This should include details such as:

  • Any pre-existing injuries in the affected area
  • Long-term medical conditions
  • Medical issues that were present at the time of the accident

5. Communications

Try to keep track of all communications between you and your employer in the weeks and months following an incident. A lawyer will work through this information to establish what an employer knew about an accident. You should be able to present an attorney with:

  • Copies of any emails you received
  • All mailed correspondence
  • A list of phone call times and who they involved
  • Any company-required filings, such as incident reports

Anyone who has been hurt in a workplace accident may benefit from consulting with a workers’ compensation lawyer at the Voorhees Law Office. We’re licensed to represent clients from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, and you can call our Somerville, NJ, office at (908) 200-2297.

Top Causes of Injuries and Accidents at Construction Sites

Top Causes of Injuries and Accidents at Construction Sites

In 2016, 4,693 workers died while on the job working for private employers, and of those deaths, 21.1 percent were construction workers. Excluding collisions on the highway, most construction deaths and injuries were related to four causes, including falls, getting struck by an object, electrocution, or getting caught between two immobile surfaces. If you were injured anywhere in the region while on the job as a construction worker, our construction accident lawyer is ready to listen to your situation and determine if you have a case against your employer.

Falls

Falls are a common hazard at construction sites. This category of construction accidents includes slip and falls. A slip-and-fall accident could result from uneven surfaces, wet surfaces, or spills of slippery materials such as oil. Falls also include falling off an elevated surface or platform, such as falling off a ladder or scaffolding. You may have fallen because of improperly constructed scaffolding. A lack of fall protection, such as harnesses and ropes to secure you to the structure, is another cause of falls at construction sites. Lack of barriers or warnings may also cause a fall. A fall could cause serious injuries, such as contusions, broken bones, and concussions, causing you to miss work for an extended period of time.

Struck By Objects

Getting struck by an object is another hazard of working in construction. At many construction sites, heavy machinery is present for lifting massive loads. Human error while moving those loads could cause you to be struck either by the machine or by the load. Improperly secured loads are another cause of this type of accident. If a worker failed to secure the load to the machinery, it may have gotten loose, causing it to hit you. Objects falling off an elevated surface are also a risk factor. For construction workers on highways, there’s a risk of getting struck by improperly secured objects falling off cars and trucks that are passing on the road. Getting struck by an object could cause you to have a serious injury such as broken bones, a concussion, or even the loss of fingers or toes.

Electrical Accidents

Construction workers who are on building sites may also be harmed by electrical accidents. Electrocution is one of the top four causes of death for construction workers who are killed on the job. It’s also one of the leading cause of injuries in construction workers. Electrical accidents could be due to poorly maintained equipment, such as generators. Improper wiring methods could also cause an electrical accident. Loose connections could allow sparks to come out of an outlet, and they could also cause overheating of wires. If live wires aren’t properly labeled, this presents a considerable hazard. Flammable objects left near live wires are another source of construction site injuries. Electrical accidents may cause first- to third-degree burns, vision damage, and other types of injuries.

Caught In or Compressed By Objects

While on the job site, construction workers face a risk of getting caught in or compressed by objects. Getting between a moving object and an immobile structure could cause a worker to get pinned. A swinging load from a crane affected by unexpected wind gusts is a risk for injury. Cranes and heavy equipment could injure a worker, too. The compression and caught-in accidents of this type are often related to human error and miscommunication. Materials handling can be another problem. Improperly digging a trench and dropping the soil where a worker is standing could lead to a caught-in accident. Some construction workers use heavy tools or machinery with moving parts. Improper maintenance or misuse of these tools could lead to an injury while on the job. The purposeful removing or disabling of barricades or guards on equipment may also cause you to get hurt. Caught-in and compression accidents may cause serious injuries, such as the loss of a limb, broken bones, concussion, and severe wounds.

When you’ve experienced an injury while working at a construction site, it’s important to seek legal counsel. If you believe that your company failed to implement proper safety procedures, didn’t provide you with proper safety equipment, or in some other way contributed to your injury, then you may have a course for legal action. Our construction accident lawyer may be able to represent your case. Call us at the Voorhees Law Office in Somerville today at (908) 200-2297.

Can I Handle My Workers’ Compensation Claim Without a Lawyer?

While there’s no legal requirement to be represented by a job accident lawyer in a workers’ compensation claim, self-representation is often insufficient and can have a negative impact when an attorney is eventually engaged. About the only time it’s likely your claim won’t be denied without legal representation is if your case is not complex, you’ve missed little to no work, or your employer agrees that you suffered a workplace injury. Otherwise, you should at least schedule a free consultation with a legal professional to determine if you have a viable claim.

Are All Pennsylvania Employers Required to Carry WC Coverage?

Workers’ compensation programs vary from state to state, and so it’s important to understand the laws and statutes in the state where you reside or where the injury occurred. According to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, an employer may be excluded from the requirement to insure its workers’ compensation liability only if ALL employed workers fall into one or more 11 identified categories.

Situations Where You Probably Need an Attorney

  • If your claim has been denied, it’s best to have your attorney work to get it accepted. Unfortunately, many injured workers accept denied claims that should have been approved. Don’t let an initial denial stop you.
  • If your claim has been approved, but you’re not receiving your benefits in a timely fashion and having difficulty paying your bills, a lawyer can represent your interests.
  • If you’ve suffered a permanent or partial disability as a result of a work-related injury, an attorney can help you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.
  • If your employer retaliates against you for making a claim, speak to a lawyer.

How Can an Attorney Help?

  • If you plan on applying for Social Security disability benefits, your attorney will make sure your settlement is property structured so your workers’ comp benefits don’t negatively impact your SSDI payments.
  • An experienced WC attorney or construction accident lawyer will ensure that all the necessary forms are filed and deadlines are met.
  • Legal representatives, including nursing accident lawyers, know how to gather the evidence to support your case.
  • Attorneys are experienced negotiators.
  • They can carefully craft an agreement that can prevent unintended consequences.

How Much Will a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Charge?

Workers’ comp lawyers usually only charge if they win, which is their incentive to work hard for you. There are other benefits to this contingency fee arrangement.

  • Injured workers have the opportunity to receive quality legal representation without having to pay substantial up-front costs.
  • Your limited financial resources won’t reduce your chances of winning your case.
  • Your attorney will receive a percentage of your total workers’ comp settlement.

Is It Possible to Collect Both Workers’ Compensation and SSDI Benefits?

Injured workers often collect both types of compensation, but it’s not a given. There are several factors that impact the decision.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration.
  • Workers’ compensation programs vary from state to state.
  • Since they’re completely separate programs, you may qualify for one but not the other. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to tip the scales in your favor.
  • Since the total income you receive from both programs combined cannot be more than 80% of your previous income, the SSA will deduct enough money from your SSDI to ensure that you don’t receive a higher amount of money to which you’re entitled.
  • The requirements for qualifying for workers’ compensation may be very different from those for qualifying for disability through SSDI.

Applicants’ SSDI claims are often denied because they:

  • Have not been disabled for the 12-month minimum amount of time
  • Are still working during the application period and earning more than the Substantial Gainful Activity allowance
  • Didn’t provide adequate medical advice
  • Didn’t follow recommended treatment

If you or a family member has been injured at work, don’t try to go it alone when you can schedule a free consultation with workers’ compensation lawyer Attorney Crag Voorhees. His office is located in Sommerville, NJ, but he is also licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Check out his web page, follow him on Facebook, call him at (908 200-2297), or email him at craig@voorheeslawnj.com. He’ll assess your situation, and if you have a viable claim, he’ll be your advocate.

Four Most Common Workplace Office Injuries

If you have been catastrophically injured in an accident on the job or in the office, you need to talk with an experienced New Jersey workers compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your decision to get legal help from a lawyer who can walk you through all the phases of the process and help tell you more whether or not you are eligible for workers compensation can get you the benefits that you need.

While offices are typically secure and safe places to be employed, unlike industrial warehouses and construction sites, there is still the cause for serious injuries in the office. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in the insurance and finance industry, one out of every employee was injured at work every single year. When you are knowledgeable about the steps you need to take immediately after being injured and get help from a talented New Jersey workers compensation attorney, you will be much more likely to be successful with your workers compensation claim.

The injuries included in the study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that these workplace injuries expand a broad range of severity and type. While certain industries are prone to have particular types of injuries, such as falls on construction sites and back and neck injuries for nurses, particular workplace conditions and accidents are more common than others when it comes to offices. Upper management, office managers, and human resources can all cause accidents and improve the safety of the work environment by managing the most frequent office injuries and developing a plan for prevention.

The first category of most common office injuries in New Jersey has to do with slips, trips, and falls. This accounts for more workplace injuries and more workers compensation claims than any other cause. In many cases, employees have to take a long time off work and file a workers compensation claim. Office workers are 2.5 times more likely to slip and trip at work than anyone in other businesses or environment.

The second most common category for workers compensation injuries in the office is back, neck, and shoulder strains. While it might seem unlikely that an office employee would strain their shoulders, back, or neck at work, it happens quite often. This is because employees have to sit for long periods of time, and when an action is required, the body is tense, unprepared, and tight. Other materials kept in store rooms may cause office workers to have to bend over or reach high.

The third most common cause of workplace injuries are accumulative trauma and repetitive motion injuries often caused after a person has to do the same thing over a long period of time. The aggravated effect such as repeated motion is acute or general pain, soreness in a specific location of the body, or reduced range of motion. In many of the workers compensation claims associated with repetitive stress injuries has to do with sitting and typing. Office employees spend many hours of their day, if not all, doing this.

The fourth most common category of workers compensation claims associated with offices in New Jersey has to do with injuries in an office that do not involve work duties. Many workplace injuries happen when employees are at the office but not at their desk. Someone could get injured in the kitchen or near the elevator, for example. Proper training and organization are critical for avoiding these accidents and the resulting injuries. Office managers must be aware of the risks and as well as any appliances or equipment that could malfunction and any spill should also be managed in a timely fashion.

Many of the injuries associated with such accidents still fall under the umbrella of workers compensation but it can be harder to file for appropriate benefits. Consulting with a New Jersey workers compensation attorney as soon as you have suffered an accident like this can help you figure out whether or not you are within your rights to file a claim and can help you if your claim has already been delayed or denied by the workers compensation insurance company. Many people find the process of workers compensation overwhelming but having a lawyer in your corner can help.

Contact Us

Craig Voorhees is Certified by The New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.  Call to arrange a private meeting.  Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process

What You Need to Know About The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process

If you were recently hurt on the job, you probably thought you were doing the right thing by filing a report as soon as possible, getting medical attention, and making a timely claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the road for many people who have been seriously hurt in a workplace accident or those who have developed an occupational illness.

If your claim is denied or otherwise delayed, you may not be familiar enough with the process involved to get your benefits as soon as possible. In the meantime, you’re dealing with the enhanced stress of trying to figure out how you’re going to make things work as you pay your bills and remain focused on your medical treatments. The New Jersey workers’ compensation appeals process can be especially difficult if you don’t have an experienced attorney to help you navigate it. While New Jersey workers’ compensation is designed to provide eligible employees with the benefits they need to support themselves, it is not always easy to get these benefits right away. If your claim is accepted, you’ll be able to get benefits for time off work, medical coverage, and benefits for any permanent impairment. However, you may have to appeal your workers’ compensation denial.

If you’ve already been denied, having an attorney in your corner is one of the best ways to avoid problems. You have the right to appeal a workers’ compensation claim denial. You can go through an informal hearing with the request for the informal hearing or the formal hearing through a claim petition. It’s also important to know that a more informal and expedited route can be provided through the informal hearing which is submitted directly to the division of workers’ compensation.
You will get written notice about the time and date of the first hearing and multiple hearings may be required. You may also ask for the formal hearing by submitting a claim petition through the division of workers’ compensation. This has to be started no later than two years from the date of the incident or the most recent date on which you received funds from the insurance carrier.

Your case is then given to a judge in the workers’ compensation district office. A formal hearing is extremely difficult to understand if you do not have a workers’ compensation attorney at your side. Both parties are responsible for presenting witnesses and evidence to testify.

You should ensure that you have the appropriate documentation and witnesses on your side to help you, including your medical records, your doctors, your family members and your coworkers. After all of the evidence has been presented in a formal hearing, the judge will give a decision. Your decision from this point is largely based on what the judge says you can do and need to do. However, you always have the right to talk through an appeal at the early stages of your case, and having a lawyer to do this with you is important.

The judge may award specific benefits or assess penalties. If the judge does not rule for you at this initial appeal stage, you may appeal that decision to the NJ state courts in the appellate division of the superior court. Given the high stakes associated with a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim appeal, it is imperative to have a lawyer who has extensive experience in this field to assist you with your next steps. The preparation and presentation of appropriate evidence can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case and should therefore be taken very seriously.

Contact Us

Craig Voorhees is Certified by The New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.  Call to arrange a private meeting.  Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

What Are the Two Paths for Workers Comp in NJ?

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New Jersey – 2 Paths.

No worker should have to be hurt on the job. This is the very premise behind workers’ comp claims in the state, allowing an injured employee to get help with medical bills and treatment when an on-the-job injury overtakes them. Your life could be changed in a big way following a workplace accident, making it vital to file a claim in a timely fashion.

An employee who is injured at work or believes they have contracted an illness tied directly to their job should tell an employer immediately about the incident, illness, or accident. Employers in New Jersey are responsible for maintaining workers compensation insurance that will payout benefits and reimburse you for your employee medical expenses following an injury. After an employer is aware of your injury, that company maintains a responsibility to initiate the claims procedures with an insurance provider.

In many cases, the employer will make phone contact with the insurance company and file the right paperwork. Some employees may encounter no problems in getting workers compensation benefits. But in other situations, you may experience delays or denials that should prompt you to hire an injury lawyer right away.
An employer that raises concerns about your New Jersey workers compensation claim might allege that the accident occurred outside of work or was due to recreational activities. Certain types of trauma, including repetitive stress injuries, can be more difficult to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for and this highlights why the right New Jersey workers compensation lawyer should be hired immediately.
The two options available to you as a hurt employee are an application for a formal claim and a filing for an informal hearing. An application for a formal claim is more like litigation or a court case. This requires filing an application within two years of the accident injury or two years from the date you had actual knowledge of the injury. The employer and employee can still reach agreement on workers comp benefit even after a formal claim is filed. Employers and insurance companies may have very different interest and have their own lawyers representing them.

Filing for an informal hearing happens with the New Jersey department of labor in the division of workers compensation. This is a legal process and one that should prompt you to hire a lawyer. If you are requesting complicated benefits such as determination of total or permanent disability, the advice of a New Jersey workers compensation lawyer is strongly recommended to support your interest.
After a workplace illness or injury, you do not want to leave your benefits unreceived or medical expenses unpaid. However, navigating in the complicated process of recovering benefits in New Jersey is not always easy. Many workers assume that the employer or the insurance company will be on their side because the facts of the accident seem relatively obvious. However, this is not often the case and if you don’t get help from an injury attorney immediately, you could expose yourself to numerous challenges in your claim.

Accepting a low settlement offer or giving up after your claim has been denied may make things much more difficult for you and your family members who are dependent on your paycheck that you have now lost because of a critical injury. Don’t wait too long to get help from an injury lawyer as this could be the only way to fight back and recover the compensation you will need to put your life back together and move on to a better future.

The right NJ workers’ comp lawyer can help you avoid challenges in your case so you feel more confident about next steps.

Contact Us

Craig Voorhees is Certified by The New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Call to arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

Is a Settlement Always Final in a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Case

Settlements in  New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Case | Somerville Workers Compensation Attorney

What happens if you already accepted a settlement for your case, but your injuries have suddenly gotten worse? If this has happened to you, you deserve to have a lawyer fighting for you.

There are numerous different phases to protecting you right to file a workers’ compensation claim and when you have an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer at your side, you are more likely to understand the various implications and to proceed in a knowledgeable fashion. However, there are some situations in which you need extensive legal assistance with your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim.

Can I Ever Fight Back After Settlement is Over?

If you submit a claim that you believe to be legitimate and do so under the necessary filing timelines but discover that it has been delayed or denied unfairly, you may have grounds to pursue the appeal process. You should never follow the appeals process without first consulting with an experienced lawyer. You may ultimately accept a settlement in your New Jersey workers’ compensation case but regardless, you need to understand your rights and responsibilities should you choose to do this.

Many questions may emerge about whether or not the settlement is final in your case. For most people, these settlements have a sense of conclusion and finality. However, an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney may have represented numerous clients in which the settlement was not the true end of the case. There are some circumstances where settlement is not final but it helps to understand those in which it is final.

When all parties agree to a single lump sum payment as settlement of a workers’ compensation case, the amount paid is final. This is because the workers’ compensation act in New Jersey dictates these one-off payments to be conditional and final. The amount cannot be adjusted even if a medical condition gets worse.

When an employee is barred from reopening the claim as is the case on receiving a lump sum payment, there may be a risk to taking these settlement offers and many New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers will advise against it. However, there are also circumstances in which your New Jersey worker’s compensation claim is not final. Section 22 of the workers’ compensation act outlines this.

If an employee injured a particular body part, the amount attributed to such an injury is based on the severity and what percentage of the limb or body part is affected. This settlement, however, could be opened after documents are signed and the claim completed, for specific reasons such as an increase in disability associated with that original injury.

An employee in this case is responsible for submitting evidence of additional medical expenses or time he or she is unable to work. This means that the division of labor in New Jersey is responsible for revisiting the claim. It is important to realize that you can only reopen your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim that has gone through settlement up to two years after the receipt of your last workers’ compensation payment under your original settlement agreement.

Determining whether or not it is worthwhile or whether you are eligible to open your workers’ compensation payment should begin with a consultation with your New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer. Accepting a settlement in any case should always require you to carefully consider the pros and cons of doing so. The right lawyer can have a big impact on the outcome of your case and can also assist you when issues arise after the settlement has been completed.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

Recovering Benefits for Mental Injuries in a New Jersey Workers Comp Case

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney | Mental Injuries

If you are stressed at work, it is natural to wonder whether or not you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. There are a few critical questions that need to be answered early on in the management of your claim to figure out if you are entitled to pursue a claim under the New Jersey workers’ compensation system.

The first question is whether or not you experienced stress that has led to a permanent impairment. You must then ask, whether it can be proved that the cause of your stress was related to your work. Finally, the third critical question for the management of your workers’ compensation claim is whether the stress for your position was above normal at the time you suffered an injury.

Stress based claims are not the typical basis for a workplace related injury and yet they can still form the basis of a legitimate recovery of workers’ compensation benefits. Stress related claims are psychological and not physical in nature. Because of this, there is higher standard of proof that must be delivered by the petitioner in order to recover New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits. These stress related claims can be vague at best and also present your New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney with a challenging and unique case.

How Stress Can Contribute to a Serious Injury

No matter what job you currently work in, there are levels of stress that may fluctuate over time and each individual may handle these levels of stress differently. This natural reaction from being in situations that cause heightened levels of mental distress or anxiety can lead to, in some cases, physical manifestations. In certain situations, stress could even lead to permanent impairment and this is where a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim may become viable.

What You Must Prove with a Stress-Related NJ Workers’ Comp Claim

Petitioners in New Jersey who believe they have a stress related claim have to establish that the injury caused a permanent condition where they have lost part or all use of a body part.

In the case of a physical injury pursuing a New Jersey’s workers compensation claim like that, this is usually not that hard to prove; however, with a psychological injury, the permanency requirement and the cause of the injury present unique problems of proof that should always be evaluated by a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney directly.

Medical evidence has to be presented to illustrate a compelling case. In many New Jersey workers’ compensation cases that are not prepared properly, job related stress claims may fall short of the necessary burden of proof. However, it is likely that if you have a severe case of stress related problems associated with your job in New Jersey, you may also have physical limitations that have emerged as well.

As soon as this is noted, you need to report your concerns to your employer and schedule a consultation with a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer. This is so that you have a better understanding of what is involved in filing a claim and to determine whether or not such a claim is viable.

Without a lawyer at your side, it is easy to make mistakes in your case and to fail to meet the standard of proof required in these comprehensive and difficult cases. Don’t wait to get help from an attorney as there is a lot on the line for you and your future. Whether you have grounds for a mental or a physical workers’ comp claim, you need help from an attorney immediately.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

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