New Jersey workers’ compensation laws provide a basis for protecting employees who are injured while on the job. Specifically, the workers’ compensation system in New Jersey allows for covered employees to receive medical treatment and payments for lost wages when they suffer a work-related injury or illness. In certain situations, however, a worker’s injury or illness may be severe enough to prevent the employee from returning to work for an extended period of time. Under these circumstances, the employee may be able to recover for expenses related to continued medical treatment of the illness, injury, chronic condition, or permanent disability suffered.
In order to qualify for continued medical treatment, an injured employee must show that the claimed injury resulted from a work-related activity and present medical evidence that he or she is still suffering from the effects of the injury, necessitating additional or ongoing medical treatment. This evidence may be presented through medical reports or expert testimony. In certain situations, an employee may have to obtain the opinion of several doctors in order to prove the need for ongoing medical treatment. If an injured worker successfully demonstrates this need, then that employee is entitled to compensation for all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospitalization services related to the injury.
Depending on the nature of the employee’s long-term injury or illness, the benefits available may vary. For certain injuries, such as those involving the loss of a limb, eye, ear, or tooth, a worker may be entitled to a maximum benefit based on a schedule released annually by the New Jersey Department of Labor. For other injuries involving internal systems, such as the cardiac, respiratory, or digestive systems, there may not be an established rate available, and the employee may have to present detailed information to justify why he or she is entitled to payments for continued medical treatment in the amount requested.
It is critically important for injured employees to understand their legal rights in order to receive the compensation to which they are entitled. Time limitations apply to workers’ compensation claims, and failure to heed these limits can prevent recovery. If you are injured in the course of your job, get legal advice from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Your attorney can explain relevant points of the law and fight for your right to appropriate compensation for your injuries so you can receive the care you need to heal.