What Is a Permanency Award? How Is One Obtained?
When you have suffered a work-related injury in New Jersey, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits, provided you can demonstrate that the injury occurred during the course of your employment. Workers’ compensation is designed to pay any medical expenses reasonably incurred as a consequence of your injury, as well as benefits to cover lost wages while you heal. But what if your injuries either prevent you from ever working again, or significantly limit the type of work you can do. That’s when you want an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you secure what’s known as a “permanency award.”
What Is a Permanency Award?
A permanency award is a statutory benefit, set forth in the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, that entitles an injured worker to a specific payment for certain types of injury or loss that are expected to affect the recipient for the rest of his or her life. The injury need not be one that impacts a person’s ability to work—an award can still be made for injuries that interfere with hobbies or avocations. A permanency award may be granted for “objective loss of function.”
Unless you hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever know whether you may be entitled to a permanency award. Typically, when your work comp claim is approved, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider will pay medical and temporary benefits, but never disclose that you might be eligible for a permanency award.
To determine the amount of a permanency award, both sides in a workers’ compensation dispute file expert witness reports. The amount of compensation is then negotiated between the parties or determined by a workers’ compensation judge in a bench trial (a trial without a jury).
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 work-related 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 workers’ compensation claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.