False Beliefs about Your Right to Compensation after a Workplace Injury
You’ve been hurt on the job and can’t work. You think that you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but you’ve heard a lot of stories from others about what you can collect, how you can qualify and what you need to do. Let’s dispel some of the most common myths that prevent people from rightfully pursuing benefits after a job-related injury.
Myth #1—You Can’t Collect Workers’ Compensation If You Contributed in Any Way to Causing the Accident
This is mostly false. You cannot recover for injuries that you intentionally caused to yourself, but you won’t be prevented from obtaining benefits simply because you were careless or negligent and caused an accident. To qualify for benefits, you need to show only two things—that you were hurt and that the injury was sustained in the course of your employment. You don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent and your employer cannot use your negligence to deny your claim.
Myth #2—Your Employer Will Handle the Paperwork for You
This would be great if it were true, but it’s not. You must notify your employer in a timely manner and your employer must submit a First Report of Injury form with the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation with 21 days of receiving your notice. Your employer has no other obligations, though. To ensure that your claim for benefits moves forward, you want an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to protect your rights.
Myth #3—You Can Recover for Pain and Suffering in a Work Comp Claim
The specific benefits provided by workers’ compensation include lost income, diminished future earning capacity, all reasonable and necessary medical care and compensation for any permanent impairment or disability.
Myth #4—You Can Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
New Jersey law prohibits an employer from terminating employment or taking any adverse employment action against an employee because he or she filed a valid work comp claim. That does not mean, though, that your job must be waiting for you when you return. If your employer can show some other valid reason for terminating you, it can be legal.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after a workplace injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.