How the Legal Process Works | Your Rights and Restrictions
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one of every three motor vehicle accidents in the United States (about 40%) are work-related. Under New Jersey law, if you’re hurt and can prove that the injury was incurred in the course of your employment, you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages and medical expenses. How does that work? Are you limited to the benefits provided through workers’ comp?
The Workers’ Compensation Process
In New Jersey, workers’ compensation is essentially a “no-fault” system, which means you don’t have to show that another party was negligent. You need to show only that you were injured and that the injury was work-related.
When you’re hurt in an automobile accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment. Once you receive the care you need, you should notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. It’s not required, but it’s in your best interest to provide notice in writing. An experienced attorney will understand what needs to be done, so it’s always a smart move to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
Once you provide notice, your employer must file a “First Report of Injury” form with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation within 21 days. Your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company will then investigate your claim and decide whether to accept it. If it is accepted, you should start to receive benefits within a few weeks. If your claim is rejected, you have a right to appeal.
New Jersey workers’ compensation law provides a means of recovering the costs of injuries caused by your employer or a coworker. If the at-fault driver is an unrelated third party, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. A civil lawsuit can be filed simultaneously with a workers’ compensation claim, but you cannot recover twice for the same losses. If workers’ comp pays all your medical bills, you cannot recover medical expenses in a civil lawsuit.
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 motor vehicle accident on the job, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up anappointment. 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.