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What do you do after getting injured at work?

New Jersey workers who are injured on the job should report their injury immediately to their employer. Individuals must make requests for medical attention to the employer as soon as possible as well. The physician who treats the individual's work-related injury may be chosen by the employer or the employer's insurance carrier.

Workers' compensation should be available to injured workers regardless of whether anyone is at fault, but if there is a dispute about the benefits, the injured worker will need to file one of two forms with the Division of Workers' Compensation. This might be the application for an informal hearing or the formal claim petition. Examples of disputes that might arise include whether or not the accident was work-related and what kind of treatment the employee should receive. If the employer does not have insurance, the worker can make a report to the Office of Special Compensation Funds.

Workers' compensation claims can be complex, and individuals may wish to consult an attorney before filing. Furthermore, there may be other possibilities for making claims. Filing a workers' compensation claim means that unless the worker was injured as a result of intentional acts, there can be no further legal action against the employer, but if a third party is involved in the accident, an attorney may in some cases be able to assist in filing a suit against that person or entity.

For example, an individual might be injured on the job due to a defective piece of equipment. In such a circumstance, the individual might be eligible for workers' compensation and also be able to file a civil claim against the manufacturer of the equipment.

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "Injured Workers", November 14, 2014

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