The Veterans Administration provides medical coverage in many instances to veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Like Medicare, it is a federal program, and like Medicare, has the ability to lien a Workers’ Compensation file and seek repayment for any amounts the V.A. feels have been made for a work-related condition.

Continue Reading Liens Attaching to Injured Workers’ Compensation Claims – The Veterans Administration

The second lien type I will be discussing in this series of blogs is Medicare. Medicare is a benefit under federal law which, in most cases, is provided to an individual either by that individual reaching 65 years of age or by that individual being found to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security Disability recipients are eligible for Medicare in most cases after a two-year waiting period. Medicare has the right under federal law to recover any money they pay for medical treatment which they feel is something which should have been paid by a workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

Continue Reading Medicare Liens Attached to a Workers’ Compensation Claim

You might ask yourself the above question if you are considering signing up to drive for the transportation service Uber. Uber promises that anyone with a valid driver’s license, personal car insurance, a clean record, and a four-door car can meet the New Jersey requirements to drive for Uber.

The Uber driver makes his or her own hours and is free to pick up or drop off a rider anywhere they chose and the driver can work as much or as little as they choose. Uber requires its drivers to carry the appropriate automobile insurance to cover the driver’s liability to other parties, damage to the vehicle and injury to the driver.

Continue Reading Are New Jersey Uber Drivers Covered By Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Here is what you should do if you have been hurt at work.

Report your accident

Immediately tell your supervisor or safety director about your accident, even if you do not think you need immediate medical attention. You never know when something small will turn into something big and it is better to be safe than sorry. You or your employer will then complete an incident report making a record of the event. Failure to report an injury in a timely manner could result in the denial of benefits.

Continue Reading First 3 Steps to Take After Getting Injured at Work

One of the things we try to warn clients about early in a case is being sure that they treat only with authorized physicians, that is, physicians who are appointed by your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.

Under New Jersey law an injured worker does not have the right to choose a treating physician when an injury is accepted as work related by his or her employer. Treatment must be provided by the employer, an important provision of our Workers’ Compensation Act originally enacted in 1911. That Act incorporated a compromise which allowed employers to choose the doctors as a cost saving measure, in return for the injured worker not having to prove that he or she was not negligent, and not having to prove that the injury was someone else’s fault.

Continue Reading ERISA Liens from Medical Treatment – Do I Have to Repay Them?

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Fraud Statute, N.J.S.A. 34:15-57.4, is alive and well in the Division of Workers’ Compensation as it applies to injured workers. Attorneys for workers’ compensation carriers are making fraud arguments often, and in some cases being successful in terminating workers’ benefits. Yet injured workers do not routinely file fraud claims against employers and/or their insurance carriers, who routinely and improperly deny benefits to injured workers.  However in this update to an article I wrote previously, I can now happily report that the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Statute applies to both employees and employers.

Continue Reading Workers Compensation and Fraud Update – the Statute Applies to the Employee and the Employer Alike

Attention Corrections and Juvenile Justice Officers

It appears that there is erroneous information concerning the present right of such Officers to receive SLI benefits rather than Workers’ Compensation Temporary disability benefits (70% of salary subject to a cap) when injured by direct contact with inmates in the performance of an officer’s duties.

Unfortunately, no such SLI benefits currently exist and those who say it does are incorrect. While there is proposed legislation to reinstate the SLI program in these situations, it is not yet an actual law.

Continue Reading Important Update on SLI Benefits

New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits are governed under N.J.S.A. 34:15 et seq. There are three benefits you are entitled to when you get hurt at work in New Jersey: payment of medical bills, payment of temporary disability benefits or wage replacement and payment of an award of permanent disability. I will address each of these in a series of blogs.

This is the third in a series of three blogs. The previous blogs can be found here: Part 1, Part 2.

This blog will focus on the benefit known as permanent partial disability. After medical treatment has been provided and the authorized doctor tells you there is nothing more he can do, you may be entitled to a monetary award even if you have returned to work full duty (see prior blogs). This benefit is payable if the injury has a permanent impact on your life.

Continue Reading New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Benefits Unraveled – Part 3

New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits are governed under N.J.S.A. 34:15, et seq. There are three benefits you are entitled to when you get hurt at work in New Jersey: payment of medical bills, payment of temporary disability benefits or wage replacement and payment of an award of permanent disability. I will address each of these in a series of blogs.

This is the second in a series of three blogs. Blog one can be read here: Part 1.

When you are hurt at work and the authorized doctor (see previous blog) indicates that you must be out of work to recover from your injury, you may be entitled to receive a portion of your wages. The law in New Jersey entitles you to 70% of your gross weekly wage. However, if you earn in excess of $1,221.50 per week, you can never receive more than $855.00 per week.

Continue Reading New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Benefits Unraveled – Part 2

New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits are governed under N.J.S.A. 34:15 et seq. There are three benefits you are entitled to when you get hurt at work in New Jersey: payment of medical bills, payment of temporary disability benefits or wage replacement and payment of an award of permanent disability. I will address each of these in a series of blogs.

This is the first in a series of three blogs. With regard to the payment of medical bills, the statute requires the employer to provide medical treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to your accident and that is designed to cure your condition. You are NOT permitted to seek treatment with your primary care doctor or specialist without the prior consent and approval of your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier. Your employer is also obligated to pay 100% of the bills. There are no deductibles, co-pays, or out of pocket expenses, including prescription medications and any other medical devices prescribed by the authorized doctor. Absent any obvious broken bones or other critical medical conditions, your treatment will generally begin with conservative treatment which might include rest and prescription medications. If your symptoms do not improve, you may be referred for diagnostic tests to help the physician arrive at a diagnosis. You may also be referred for physical therapy to help alleviate your symptoms. If that fails, you may then be referred to a specialist. This process could take weeks or months.

At some point in the process the authorized doctors will indicate that your condition is as good as it is going to get or maximum medical improvement. When this happens, the carrier’s obligation to you ends, even if you are not back to normal. You are not entitled to additional treatment that is not designed to cure your condition, even if that treatment might make you feel better. However, there are some limited circumstances under which you may be eligible for ongoing medical care and you should seek legal advice to determine if you fall within those exceptions. If you are still having complaints and problems, you will then be entitled to additional benefits which will be address in this blog series. At Stark & Stark, our experienced attorneys and legal staff can help you understand your rights. Please call us to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.