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A primer for New Jersey workers' comp benefits

Have you been injured on the job in New Jersey? Although your situation might seem dire for your pocketbook, you should know about your rights through New Jersey workers' compensation. A workers' compensation claim can help you obtain the money you need to pay for your lost wages, medical bills and other costs if you were injured at work.

So, what exactly is workers' compensation? It is a no-fault insurance system that offers financial compensation for those who have suffered injuries in work-related accidents. The program also offers death benefits for spouses and family members of those who are fatally injured on the job. Whether you suffer injuries because of an electrical accident, crane accident, defective power tool accident or other construction mishaps, you can obtain the financial compensation you deserve. In New Jersey, the worker will receive benefits no matter who was at fault for the accident. In return, the worker forfeits the right to bring civil claims against the employer, except for instances in which intentional acts caused the injury.

Workers can receive several types of benefits from the state workers' compensation program. Medical benefits are provided when an employer pays for medical costs, generally through the company's medical insurance. The employer and its insurance company may select the care providers for work-related injury. Additional benefits include temporary total benefits, which offers 70 percent of the workers' weekly wage for a short period of time. Permanent partial and permanent full benefits are also available, requiring an employer to pay injury benefits constituting a percentage of the worker's weekly salary. Death benefits are also available in the amount of $3,500 for families of fatally wounded workers.

Employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance in the state of New Jersey so that these benefits can be distributed appropriately. However, some injury victims' employers do not comply with this law, causing confusion and difficulty in obtaining benefits. Legal assistance may be required in such instances to make sure that the victim obtains the correct type of treatment and compensation.

Source: New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "An Employer’s Guide to Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey," accessed Oct. 07, 2015

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