Overview of The New Jersey Workers Compensation Law
Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, employees who are injured on the job are entitled to several benefits regardless of fault. These benefits may include:
- Medical Benefits: Employers must provide immediate, necessary, and curative medical treatment to injured workers.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits: Employers must provide wage continuation benefits to employees while recovering from work-related injuries.
- Permanent Disability Benefits: Employers must provide monetary compensation for any permanent injuries sustained as a result of a workplace accident. This monetary compensation is also known as a “permanency award.”
- Death benefits: Employers must pay benefits to the dependents of a deceased employee.
In a workers’ compensation case, the injured worker is referred to as the Petitioner. Petitioners may bring a workers compensation claim if:
- An employee/employer relationship exists, and: The Appellate Courts have applied two tests to determine if an employee/employer relationship exists. These tests include the “control test” and the “relative nature of the work test.” Under the “control test,” an employee/employer relationship exists when an employer retains the right to control what is done and the manner in which the work is completed. Under the “relative nature of the work test” it is the extent of the economic dependence of the worker upon the business he/she serves and the relationship of the nature of his/her work to the operation to that business that determines whether an employee/employer relationship exists.
- The accident arises out of, and in the course of employment: An accident arises “in the course of employment” when it occurs: within the period of employment, at a place where the employee may reasonably be, and while employee is reasonably fulfilling the duties of the employment, or doing something incidental thereto. “Arising out of employment” refers to the causal origin of the accident in relation to the employment. It requires an analysis of the risk which gave rise to the injury and whether such risk is contemplated as an incident of the employment.
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