By Christopher Shea
You have a right to a safe and healthful workplace. If you have suffered an injury on the job, make sure you know what kind of benefits you might receive under workers’ compensation coverage.
In some instances, an aggressive compensation carrier may deny an injured worker’s legitimate workers’ compensation claims. An insurer can claim you have not been injured, or that the injury you have suffered is not serious enough to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If this is the case, you may stand to lose critical benefits.
Most important among these critical benefits is the right to medical treatment. Medical benefits are mandated by the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Act, and require the employer to furnish the injured worker with medical, surgical, and other treatment as are necessary “to cure and relieve the worker of the effects of the injury and to restore the functions of the injured member or organ” if possible. Moreover, in those instances where the employer has refused or neglected to provide medical treatment in accordance with the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act, the employer will be held responsible for the cost of treatment; even if the employee receives treatment prior to the carrier’s authorization.
Further, it is important to note another critical benefit of the Workers Compensation Act. This benefit protects employees from collections law suits when the employee obtains medical treatment that has been wrongfully or negligently withheld by an employer. This benefit, was upheld by the New Jersey Appellate Court in Kinley Physical Therapy Services, Inc. v. Kramer, and unequivocally states that a medical service provider is prohibited from filing an action against the employee until a determination has been made by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The Court reasoned that a medical provider is normally not permitted to pursue collection actions in court until it resolves all administrative remedies, thus, the employee must be shielded from all actions by the medical provider until the Court determines whether or not the employer is responsible for the cost of medical care.
If you feel your legitimate benefits have been denied and you live in the New Jersey, our workers compensation lawyers would like to talk to you to see if we can assist you with your case.
Please call for a free consultation. R.C. Shea & Associates, 244 Main Street, Toms River, N.J. (732) 505-1212.