There is no doubt that workplace safety has increased significantly over time. Despite these improvements and increased regulation, workplace accidents are still far too common. To provide immediate financial relief to workers injured on the job, New Jersey has adopted a workers’ compensation system.
If you were hurt at work, you might have a viable claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Steven L. Schepps is a practiced Springfield workers’ compensation attorney and could help you evaluate your eligibility, prepare your claim, and deal with any denials. Let an experienced legal professional help you pursue the benefits you deserve.
What is the Workers’ Compensation System?
Most workers in Springfield are covered by the workers’ compensation system. This system provides workers with access to financial benefits when they are hurt on the job and unable to work. The system is “no-fault,” meaning that an employee could be entitled to benefits no matter who caused the injury. This is a major difference from personal injury lawsuits, which require the plaintiff to make the case that the defendant was negligent.
The benefit of this system is that workers are often compensated quickly. The downside is that, in return, employees are barred from suing their employers for workplace injuries except in very rare circumstances. This is not always a fair tradeoff, as some types of damages available in a personal injury lawsuit are not an option in a workers’ compensation claim. A Springfield attorney could help an injured person determine what damages they might be entitled to through a workers’ compensation claim.
What to do After an Injury
Taking certain steps after a workplace injury can help ensure one’s safety as well as the strength of their potential claim. A worker that is injured on the job should immediately report the accident to their supervisor or employer as soon as possible. This step is important, as the failure to provide notice could put a claim at risk. While this notice does not have to be in writing, it is helpful to provide written notice in an effort to maintain a paper trail.
Once a claim is reported, the insurance company will investigate. Even though it is a “no-fault” system, insurers often try to find excuses to deny these claims. The good news is that a Springfield workers’ compensation attorney could fight back against unfair claim denials.
Appealing a Denied Claim
The reality of the workers’ compensation system is that denied claims are unfortunately common. These denials can happen because of a lack of documentation, or they could be made in bad faith. In any case, a Springfield workers’ compensation attorney could appeal an adverse decision.
There are different levels in the appellate process. Some attempt to resolve the issue during an informal hearing. An informal hearing is before a judge, and both parties are present. While the judge usually makes a settlement recommendation, neither party is obligated to take it.
There are also formal hearings. A formal hearing is similar to a trial in that both sides have the opportunity to put on evidence. Witnesses can testify, including medical experts and close family members of the injured worker. If the court does not side with the injured worker, the last stage of appeal involves filing a case with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. An experienced lawyer could take the lead through every step of this process.
Reach out to a Springfield Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Becoming injured on the job can be incredibly stressful. In addition to the physical toll that an injury can take, there is a financial cost that comes with these injuries as well. Workers’ compensation benefits can address those costs, but not every claim will be accepted.
Let a Springfield workers’ compensation lawyer assist you with your claim. Reach out to Steven L. Schepps today to schedule your free initial consultation. You do not owe us a penny unless we recover for you.