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.
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.