After the initial shock of a workplace accident wears off, many victims start to wonder how their injuries will affect them financially. These concerns are often justified because if you are seriously injured in a work-related incident, you may incur significant medical expenses and even be unable to return work for an extended period of time, if ever again. Without regular income, it is possible that you could lose your home, your car, and be unable to support yourself and your family. Thankfully for victims, New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system exists to ensure that workers receive benefits for their injuries regardless of fault.
How Does a No-Fault Compensation System Work?
In a traditional injury case involving two parties that do not have an employer-employee relationship, the party seeking compensation must establish that the other party was at fault for the accident. In accident cases, this means showing that the defendant was negligent or careless in some way that caused the accident.
In a workers’ compensation claim, however, it is not necessary for injured workers to establish fault at all. In fact, injured employees can obtain compensation even if their accident was completely unavoidable or even their own fault, so long as it was work-related. Some of the injuries and accidents that commonly result in successful workers claims include the following:
- Slip and fall accidents that occur at work
- Vehicle accidents
- Occupational illnesses such as carpal tunnel, repetitive stress injuries, or exposure-related cancers
- Accidents involving work tools or equipment
- Traumatic brain injuries
The way the system operates is that the state requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance or be approved to be self-insured. As a result, workers are guaranteed benefits after a workplace injury – the trade-off for guaranteed benefits, however, is that workers cannot sue their employers for workplace accidents that occur as a result of negligence.
Do You need an Attorney?
Because workers’ compensation provides benefits regardless of fault, you may be wondering whether you need to retain an attorney. It is always good to speak with a lawyer after an accident and we offer free consultations, so there is no risk associated with doing so. Many simple workers’ compensation claims do not require the assistance of an attorney, and our lawyers will advise you as to whether it is best to simply handle your case yourself. In cases involving serious injuries, on the other hand, insurance companies are much more likely to contest a claim, making the assistance of an attorney extremely important.
Workplace accidents and injuries can take a significant toll on your mental, physical, and financial health. Fortunately, in most cases, you can obtain workers’ compensation after a work-related injury that can pay for your medical bills and replace your lost income. Additionally, if you are permanently disabled, you may be eligible for benefits for the rest of your life or a significant cash settlement.