One goal of a workers’ compensation policy is to restore an injured employee after a workplace accident. Regardless of fault, the policy is designed to provide treatment and benefits after the injury.
Ideally, workers’ compensation packages will provide the benefits needed to make a worker whole again and enable him or her to return to work. Yet what happens when an employer disagrees with an employee’s requested rehabilitation plan, perhaps viewing a procedure as too costly or excessive?
As a law firm that focuses on personal injury and workers’ compensation issues, we understand that a workers’ compensation package should reflect every consequence of the injured worker’s condition. For example, compensation for the initial recovery may not be the end of the story. If a worker has reduced mobility, range-of-motion issues or other long-term care needs arising from the workplace accident, his or her workers’ compensation benefits should also account for that changed earning potential and/or financial situation.
Our website provides context for how disputes over workers’ compensation benefits are handled in New Jersey. Specifically, the Division of Workers’ Compensation is the agency responsible for administering the state’s applicable workers’ compensation laws and adjudicating disputes over their application. The DWC provides a forum where parties can present their dispute to an official. The official’s ruling will be binding, unless overturned on appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
Although the stakes can be high, an injured worker can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that successful appeals usually include an award of attorney’s fees, usually at least 50 percent. Check out our website to learn more about appeals to the DWC.
Source: Department of Labor and Workforce Development, “DWC Organization & Function,” copyright 2015, State of New Jersey