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Overview of the process for making a workers' compensation claim

Employers in New Jersey carry workers' compensation insurance to provide benefits to workers hurt or killed on the job. The benefits generally pay for medical treatments after a workplace injury or illness occurs. Injured workers who miss work due to an accident or illness will likely qualify for benefits that pay roughly two-thirds of their salaries until they can return to work. When workplace accidents result in deaths, the insurance could cover burial expenses and provide a death settlement to a family. To collect these benefits, an injured worker must initiate an insurance claim within the deadlines established by the policy.

People should get medical treatment as soon as possible after being hurt at work or sickened by a toxic exposure. Waiting to seek medical care could reduce a worker's ability to collect benefits. After getting medical care, a worker must tell the employer about the illness or injury. The employer should provide the necessary paperwork and connect the employee to the insurer.

Claim paperwork typically requires documentation about the person's medical condition as well as receipts for medical expenses. The forms should specify that the person needs compensation for the medical bills and wage-based payments. After the insurer processes the claim, the person should start receiving money.

Following the steps of the process is important to avoid a denial of benefits. Sometimes, employers interfere with the process because they do not want claims to go through. Claims drive up insurance premiums for employers. When an uncooperative employer blocks access to workers' compensation or the insurer denies a valid claim, legal representation may help protect the person's rights. An attorney may assist with insurance paperwork to help someone meeting filing deadlines. If disputes emerge, then an attorney might file a lawsuit to pursue the benefits that the person legally deserves.

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