In the aftermath of a workplace injury, your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits can make a critical difference in your life. You may be reluctant to seek benefits, based on some of things other people have told you. Let’s clear up a number of the false statements about New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system.
New Jersey employs a “no-fault” approach to eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits—you don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent or careless in causing the accident, and your employer cannot use your negligence as a reason to deny benefits. To qualify for workers’ compensation, you need only show that you were injured and that the injury occurred while you were in the course of your duties. You may, however, be denied benefits if it can be proved that you intentionally caused the accident or injury.
Your lawyer will almost always handle a workers’ compensation case on a contingency basis, taking a percentage of your recovery. You may also be responsible for certain out-of-pocket expenses, such as filing fees or court reporter fees.
You can always recover compensation for injuries caused by a workplace accident, but you can also get benefits when you suffer from repetitive stress or motion injuries. Furthermore, work comp benefits may be available for emotional or psychological injury, including stress-related conditions.
New Jersey law prohibits an employer from firing or taking other adverse employment-based action against a worker who has filed a legitimate workers’ compensation claim.
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