Permanent Total Disability Benefits
In the most extreme cases, on-the-job accidents and workplace-related illnesses can leave a worker permanently unable to perform his or her duties. When this happens, the employee has certain legal rights under the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws. These laws apply to most employers in the state, requiring them to purchase workers’ compensation insurance (or go through the procedure to become self-insured) so that coverage will be available to employees who get hurt or become ill in the course and scope of their employment. At Siegel & Siegel, P.C., our Middlesex County workers’ compensation lawyers represent workers in Middlesex and Mercer Counties as they seek temporary total disability benefits or permanent total disability benefits from their employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Many workers are reluctant to report a work-related injury for fear of termination or other retaliation. It is important to note, however, that there are laws that protect injured workers from such conduct, and a separate legal action may be appropriate if an employee is fired, demoted, or otherwise treated unfairly due to a workers’ compensation claim. Since there are time constraints on the period for giving notice of a workplace injury or illness, it is advisable that a worker speak with an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident or illness at work.Pursuing Permanent Total Disability Benefits in New Jersey
Unlike ordinary types of personal injury cases, such as a car accident case, a workers’ compensation claim does not require an employee to prove that the employer or a coworker was at fault for the accident. Workers’ compensation is a compromise between employees and employers. The worker does not need to prove negligence and can receive medical benefits immediately following the accident, but he or she cannot recover the full range of money damages that would be possible in a personal injury case. The benefits available to an employee who is permanently and totally disabled, such that they cannot work even in a reduced capacity, are subject to a minimum and maximum set by state law. Generally, permanent total disability benefits are payable at a rate equal to 70% of the employee’s pre-accident average weekly wage. There is a cap on the number of weeks that the employee may receive permanent total disability benefits, although there are some exceptions to this general rule.
In some situations, a person who is hurt during his or her work may also have a claim against a third party, in addition to pursuing permanent total disability benefits. One example of this would be a delivery driver who is hurt in an accident caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent motorist. In this case, the worker might be able to sue the careless driver for the lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering caused by his or her injuries, as well as receiving benefits through the no-fault workers’ compensation system. However, any compensation received by the worker would be subject to a subrogation claim by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier for repayment of the funds paid on the worker’s claim for temporary or permanent disability benefits. Third-party claims are subject to separate statutes of limitations, so it is important that an injured worker promptly speak to an attorney about the details of his or her case to see if a third-party claim is a possibility.Talk to a Knowledgeable Work Injury Lawyer in Middlesex or Mercer County
If you have suffered a work-related injury in Plainsboro, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, West Windsor, or elsewhere in Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, or Union County, the law firm of Siegel & Siegel, P.C., can help. For an appointment to discuss your case, call us now at 609-799-6066 or contact us online. Our attorneys also handle car and truck accident cases, slip and fall claims, and other personal injury and wrongful death matters. We take most of our cases under a contingency fee arrangement, so no legal fees are collected unless and until your case reaches a favorable outcome.