New Jersey Workers’ Compensation

In New Jersey, Workers’ Comp is handled by the Division of Workers’ Compensation, an office underneath the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  The office functions to guarantee injured workers’ have access to comp benefits and guarantee employers have comp insurance.  It also functions to make sure employees of uninsured companies or employers have access to benefits.  Finally, workers who have already received some benefits, but whose condition is substantially worse are ensured benefits from the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  The office is located in Trenton.  There are additional hearing sites in Atlantic City, Bridgeton, Camden, Elizabeth, Freehold, Hackensack, Jersey City, Lebanon, Mt. Arlington, Mt. Holly, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, and Toms River.  The website can be accessed here: NJ Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Estimate the Value of a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Claim

In order to estimate the value of a comp claim in NJ, you must first understand all the different kinds of benefits.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

When the injury is substantial enough to preclude the injured worker from returning to work, temporary total benefits are awarded, assuming other elements of the WC case are met.  Temporary total benefits are paid at a rate of 70% of the injured worker’s average weekly wage.  The maximum rate is 75% of the state average weekly wage.  The minimum is 20% of the SAWW.  For frame of reference, in 2009, the state average weekly wage for NJ was $1,056.54.

Permanent Partial and Permanent Total Benefits

After Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) has been reached, an injured worker is rated and a determination of how much lasting and permanent injury the worker will carry forever.  If the injury is scheduled, specific, and known, such as the loss of a finger or industrial use loss of an arm, a specific number of weeks of compensation will be paid.  If the injury is non-scheduled, then the attorneys generally try to settle on an amount.  The percentage of the salary that gets paid, like the number of weeks of payment, varies based on severity.  Permanent partial benefits in New Jersey are not to exceed $792/week and not to be lower than $35/week.  Permanent total disability in New Jersey is always equal to 70% of the average weekly wage, subject to the same maximum and minimums as TTD.  Initially, permanent total disability is paid for 450 weeks, requiring the injured worker to come back to ensure the injury persists.

Medical Benefits

Injured workers’ are entitled to full medical benefits.  The employer, however, chooses the treating medical professionals.

A Good New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

One of the premier New Jersey Workers’ Compensation attorneys is Jon Gelman.   He is the author of the three volume treatise “Workers’ Compensation Law.”  Published by West, it is part of the New Jersey Practice Series.  Jon handles all aspects of workers’ compensation, including asbestos/mesothelioma.  His office is in Wayne.  To speak to Jon, go to his website: New Jersey Workers’ Comp Lawyer.  With 40 years of experience, Jon has just about seen it all.

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