People working in all types of occupations can be involved in accidents and get injured at their workplaces. You are entitled to some benefits if you have been injured while at work. In New Jersey, employers are expected to carry worker’s compensation insurance to help pay the medical costs for employees injured on the job.
Securing Compensation After Accident or Illness
You do not need to prove fault when you are filing a workers’ compensation claim. All that matters is the nature or injury or illness that you have. There are, however, strict filing requirements and deadlines and sometimes even hearings. After you recover worker’s compensation, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit claiming negligence against your employer.
However, you can file a third-party liability claim against any non-employer third-party whose negligence led to you getting injured or sick. This includes third-parties like landlords or property owners, motorists, and vendors. For example, in most large stores it is third-party vendors that stock their own merchandise on the shelves. If these shelves topple over and injure you, you can sue the third-party vendors. Motorists can be sued if they hit you while you are performing work related duties.
What Is Worker’s Compensation?
It is an insurance policy paid for by your employer, and is the money used to cover medical costs and other approved expenses after an injury. This kind of compensation covers:
- Death benefits paid to the victim’s surviving family
- Permanent disability benefits for injuries that cause permanent damage
- Lost wages compensation for the time you were out of work because of an injury
- Medical costs such as rehabilitation and recovery, ER bills, medication
- Temporary total disability benefits
You can also receive compensation for lost wages after you get compensation for disability. You receive temporary total disability payment until you have reached maximum medical improvement. People receive this kind of compensation for not more than 400 weeks.
Permanent disability benefits are for workers that may never work at full capacity again and for workers that cannot work again because of the injury on the job. They usually cover up to 70 percent of a person’s gross weekly wage. Your attorney can answer all your questions about the kind of compensation you are entitled to.
Eligibility For Workman’s Compensation
Both full-time and part-time employees are eligible for worker’s compensation irrespective of whether they are working for a small or large company. This includes farm and domestic workers. In New Jersey an independent contractor may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits, but not in some other states. Some of the factors used to determine eligibility for worker’s compensation benefits include:
- The employers control over the worker
- The employer can supervise the worker
- The worker’s dependence on income generated from working for an employer
- The work completed by the independent contractor is integral to the employer’s business
You can always contact a lawyer to ask if you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.