With over 45 years of combined experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation litigation, Barrett & Pavluk will assist you in all aspects if your case, including those against third parties.
WHAT IS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
The Workers’ Compensation Act, provides benefits to workers injured on the job or having an occupational disease regardless of who was at fault. Basic benefits are as follow include Medical Benefits, Temporary Disability, Permanent/Partial Disability Benefits.
MEDICAL BENEFITS means that the employer/ insurance company is obligated to provide the employee with, and pay for, all reasonable and necessary curative medical treatment the employee may need because of injuries sustained in the work related accident. You must understand that the employer/insurance company is permitted by law to choose the doctor or doctors who will treat you. These are known as authorized doctors. If you see a doctor who is NOT authorized by the insurance company, it will be your responsibility to pay this doctor. The employer/insurance company is obligated to pay for your authorized medical treatment until such time as your medical condition has reached a plateau, which means that the authorized doctors have given you all the curative treatment that they know will cure your medical condition and your condition will not get Medical Malpractice any better through further treatment. Any treatment after you have been plateaued is known as palliative treatment, which may make your feel better but will not help to cure your medical condition.
TEMPORARY DISABILITY BENEFITS means that you have a right to be compensated (paid) 70% of your weekly gross salary, to a maximum amount designated for the year of your injury, for the time you cannot work because you are temporarily totally disabled from doing any type of work as per the authorized doctor’s orders. Please note, you must be temporarily totally disabled for seven days or more in order to qualify for this benefit. Once you have qualified, the benefits are retroactive.
PERMANENT/PARTIAL DISABILITY BENEFITS means that as a result of your work related injury, you are partially/ permanently disabled. To find the degree of partial/permanent disability we will schedule you with our evaluating physician, who, after reviewing medical information sent by our office, and after examining you, will provide us with your percentage disability. You will also be scheduled with the insurance company’s doctor for the same type of evaluation. You may therefore be entitled to a money award for your injuries.
STEPS FOLLOWED IN A WORKERS COMP CASE
This a guide to the basic steps followed throughout a workers’ compensation case. Some cases are more complex than others and accordingly, more steps are involved. This guide is designed to give you some general knowledge as to what steps will be followed during the course of your case.
1 - An Employee’s Claim Petition is filed with the Division of Workers Compensation for the State of New Jersey.
2 - Medical records are collected by us from all doctors who have treated you relative to your workers’ compensation injury.
3 - While you are still under active treatment, the case will remain somewhat inactive, in that we cannot proceed until all of your medical treatment has been completed and your treating doctor thereby discharges you from his care. However, if you are having difficulties in obtaining the proper medical care and/or in obtaining your proper benefits, we would ask that you contact us immediately so that we may make every attempt to resolve the issue.
4 - When your treatment has been completed, please advise us as soon as you are discharged by your doctor. At that time, permanency evaluations will be scheduled by both your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier and by our office.
5 - After your evaluations have been completed; we will receive notice of a pre-trial hearing. Many workers’ compensation cases can be settled at this pre-trial hearing. If settlement cannot be reached on that date, the matter will then be adjourned for the appropriate number of cycles. It is not necessary for you to attend any hearing unless advised to do so by our office. Please note that each cycle is approximately three (3) weeks long, therefore, we ask that you have patience as we wait for the next assigned Court listing. The Judge, and only the Judge, decides when the hearings are scheduled. Our office has no control over the scheduling of hearings.
6 - At the time of settlement, the judge will listen to your testimony and make a determination as to your percentage of permanent/partial or total disability, which will then determine your award based on a permanent disability