Our Attorneys Respond to Workers Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

Lawyers providing the answers you need about workers compensation and personal injury

After a workplace accident, you likely have questions about your rights and obligations. Drawing on more than 35 years of experience, the lawyers at Seigel Law respond to frequently asked questions about the workers compensation process for workers located throughout New Jersey — including in Ridgewood, Hackensack, Fair Lawn, Teaneck, Garfield, Fort Lee, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth and Clifton.

Read our FAQs and contact our law firm to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

Learn the answers to your workers compensation questions

Seigel Law advocates for injured workers throughout northern New Jersey. Call our workers compensation lawyers at 201.444.4000 or contact us online to schedule your free initial evaluation. We make appointments at our Ridgewood office, in your home or at the hospital if your injuries prevent you from coming to us. Through our contingency arrangement, you are not responsible for paying lawyer fees unless we recover compensation for you.

I was injured at work. Does workers compensation kick in automatically?

You do not automatically receive workers compensation benefits. The injured worker is responsible for filing a claim. Your employer is required to file an accurate report, but likely will do nothing more to help you get the benefits you need. After all, your claim may result in an increase in its workers compensation insurance rates. You must, therefore, be proactive about recovering your rightful compensation.

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My initial claim was denied. Now what?

A high percentage of initial workers compensation claims are denied, often for minor technicalities. Our firm handles initial claims and denied claims, no matter how far along you are in the process. We do everything necessary to achieve success, from gathering initial accident reports and medical records to arguing your case before the insurance board, if necessary.

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Won't I end up paying my benefits to a lawyer?

No. Under the law, an attorney can only charge up to a certain percentage of your benefits for fees. You can never come out behind by retaining qualified counsel, whereas your lawyer can assist you in maximizing the amount of compensation you receive.

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What if the accident was partially my fault?

Workers compensation is a no-fault insurance program. This means that, under New Jersey laws, if you were injured at work, you are entitled to apply for benefits.

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What type of benefits am I entitled to receive?

Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries or illness, you may be entitled to these types of workers compensation benefits:

  • Medical benefits
  • Temporary total disability benefits
  • Permanent partial benefits
  • Permanent total benefits

You may receive a biweekly check in an amount that is based on your average weekly earnings for the year, or money can be paid directly to a medical specialist. You may also accept a lump sum cash payment settlement after negotiations with your employer’s insurance company. We can explain your options and advise you on taking steps to protect your long-term needs.

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When can I return to work?

Your doctor will authorize you to return to work when you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI doesn't mean you are 100 percent healthy, but that your doctor doesn't believe you will improve further. We work with your doctor to ensure you do not return to work too soon after an injury or illness. You are entitled to a second opinion on MMI, as well.

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A subcontractor was directly responsible for the accident. Can I sue?

Although you waive your right to sue your employer in most cases, you can seek additional damages from a third party whose negligence contributed to the accident. A third-party liability lawsuit is filed against the negligent person or corporation, while your workers compensation claim is processed through your employer’s insurance company under the NJ workers compensation program. To maximize your recovery under each of these separate actions, it is important to retain a law firm that has experience in both workers compensation and personal injury litigation.

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How much will it cost to hire your firm to represent me?

We offer a free consultation to discuss your workers compensation claim. If we represent you, we will not charge attorney fees unless you receive benefits or a cash settlement. Our fees and other expenses are based on a percentage of your benefits. There are typically some court expenses for which you will be responsible. We discuss the cost and fee structure during your initial consultation.

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What should I expect to happen during the workers compensation process?

There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter workers compensation claim. Every case is different, with unique circumstances and issues. That is why it is important to discuss your accident with an experienced lawyer.

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Who pays for workers compensation insurance?

Under New Jersey law, most employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance for their employees.

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Can I choose any doctor to treat my on-the-job injury?

Usually, your employer chooses your doctor or provides you with a list of authorized doctors. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

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What is the first step I should take if I am injured while at work?

Notify your employer about your accident as soon as possible. Failure to do so can cause your claim to be denied.

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What kind of experience does Seigel Law have in the area of workplace injury claims?

Our firm was founded in 1976. We have been successfully handling workers compensation and third-party claims for more than three decades and have access to top medical professionals and experts to help prepare a strong, clear case for benefits.

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