If you have been hurt on the job in New Jersey, one of your first steps after an injury will be to seek medical care. You’ll also want to ensure that your workers’ compensation benefits pay for any treatment you need. But are there any limits to the medical care you can pursue? Will workers’ compensation cover any “alternative” forms of treatment, such as chiropractic care? What about any medications you might need?
Under New Jersey law, the workers’ compensation coverage provided by your employer must pay for all “necessary and reasonable” medical treatment, prescriptions and hospitalization required because of the injury (provided the injury was suffered at work or because of your work). Though the law does not specifically define “necessary and reasonable,” if a dispute arises, the workers’ compensation judge will likely gather testimony from medical professionals to determine whether the treatment, care or other medical services you requested meet the test.
It’s important to understand that, under the New Jersey workers’ compensation system, your employer has the discretion to determine who will be your authorized treating physician for all injuries suffered on the job. There are limited exceptions to this rule—for example, if you need emergency care and there’s no time to obtain authorization from your employer, or if your employer wrongfully refuses to authorize any medical treatment at all, you may choose your own caregiver. However, you must notify your employer as soon as practicable if you seek unauthorized medical treatment.
We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.