Benson v. Coca Cola Co. is a workers’ compensation case decided in 1972 that is still good law today. This case stands for the proposition that if there is no demand upon the Employer to provide treatment, there is no liability for payment of same, unless the request by injured worker would have been futile.

In this case the injured worker, Mr. Benson, fell off of a tank tuck and injured his head, back, and neck. He went to the company clinic with significant complaints. The company doctor examines, took x-rays (negative), and prescribed heat, muscle relaxers, and pain meds.

The injured worker refused the treatment at the company clinic and failed to follow up the next day at the company clinic as prescribed.


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Which State has jurisdiction (legal authority) to address a work related injury is a question that comes up often in our practice. This is particularly common because we live in an area of the country where workers frequently live in one state and work in another.

In a recent case Marconi v. United Airlines, the Appellate Division court in New Jersey addressed an issue where the injured worker, Mr. Marconi, lived in New Jersey and was injured while working for United Airlines in Philadelphia. He filed two workers’ compensation cases in New Jersey, and the employer disputed that New Jersey had jurisdiction over the claims. The facts showed that Mr. Marconi was hired by United Airlines in San Francisco, lived continuously in New Jersey throughout his employment, and was transferred to work in Philadelphia. During the time Mr. Marconi worked in Philadelphia, his supervisor worked out of the Newark Airport. Mr. Marconi would call United staff at the Newark Airport hub for technical advice, but he never worked in Newark himself. He had received training all over the world, including the Newark Airport hub.


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In today’s economic climate many people do not have or cannot afford health insurance through their employer. In situations such as this, it is very often the case that the individual is covered by a state program involving Medicaid.

Medicaid is need-based, and in reality, it is a federal program administered by the state. Medicaid is intended to be used for non-work related conditions only. If a worker is injured on the job who happens to be covered by Medicaid, it is absolutely necessary to avoid using Medicaid for treatment.


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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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