This year, New Jersey commemorates 100 years of workers’ compensation. Our Workers’ Compensation Act was born in 1911, less than two weeks after the famous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire occurred, which killed 146 women garment workers. Since that time, our workers’ compensation system has provided medical treatment and financial compensation to millions of New Jersey workers who have been injured on the job and have provided benefits to the families of those who were killed on the job.
In addition to providing medical treatment and compensation to workers, or Workers’ Compensation Act has over the years promoted a safer working place, which has saved millions more from injury and death.
Our system in New Jersey is often times hailed as a model for other states, providing a high level of benefits while at the same time saving costs, particularly medical treatment. New Jersey is also in the forefront of workers’ rights by allowing the worker to get a lawyer to represent them in any dispute with the insurance company, without worrying about paying the fee for the lawyer’s services. This is set by the Judge at the end of the case. Even better, our workers’ compensation system provides for cash awards for permanent disability even if a worker is able to return to his job after an injury.
Unfortunately, for all the good that our workers’ compensation does here in New Jersey, it does carry many flaws as well. As in any system, dependent upon benefits paid by for-profit corporations, far too many decisions are made based upon the need for profit as opposed to the best interest of the injured worker.
Every day, Stark & Stark fights the corrupt insurance companies and their poor business practices, such as slow response times by adjusters to the need for medical treatment, or shopping for a doctor who will say treatment should end. Our system suffers from poor communication and poor coordination between the doctors and the claims adjusters which result in huge delays in obtaining treatment.
A new trend we are seeing is one in which healthcare providers are refusing to pay for treatment that they think should be related to a work related injury whether one has been reported or not.
All of this means that if you are injured at work, you cannot afford to be without the advice of a Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney. At Stark & Stark, we have five such attorneys who are ready to assist you.