Workers' Compensation FAQ
Getting answers for injured workers in New Jersey
After suffering a workplace injury or illness, many people aren't sure what to do next. They are left with pain, medical expenses and lots of questions. The attorneys at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC guide injured workers through the workers' compensation claims process to get them the benefits they need and deserve.
Our attorneys have been helping injured workers since our law firm was founded in 1995. Some of our attorneys are board-certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the area of workers' compensation law. We have set up our case management system and organized our support staff in ways that help meet the needs of clients more effectively and respond to them quickly.
At our firm, we treat our clients the way we would like to be treated ourselves. There is always someone available in our office during working hours to answer your question. And our attorneys always return phone calls within 24 hours - and often within the hour. To learn more about how we can help you with your workers' compensation claim, call us at 856-751-7676 to schedule your free consultation.
Frequently asked questions
- Do I need a lawyer for my workers' compensation claim?
- What if my employer disputes my claim?
- Should I accept a settlement offer?
- I was partially responsible for the accident. Can I collect benefits?
- Can I collect benefits if I haven't been on the job long?
- How long do I have to file a claim for benefits?
- What if my claim is denied?
- What if I can no longer do my job because of my injury?
You may hear that you don't need a lawyer when filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits in New Jersey. The insurance company responsible for your claim has one goal in mind; pay as little on your claim as possible. That's why it's in your best interests to consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney. The insurance company may deny your benefits or take the position that you are ready to return to work, even if you are still recovering from your injury. At Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC, we determine the benefits you should be receiving and we will fight every attempt at delay or denial by the insurance company. We will represent you at all appeals and our trial attorneys are ready to fight for you in court, if that's what it takes.
Employers and insurance companies can dispute your workers' compensation claim. They may take the position that your injury was pre-existing or had nothing to do with your job. Or they may say you are ready to return to work even though you are still in pain. The workers' compensation attorneys at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC know the tactics that employers and insurance companies use to avoid their responsibilities after a worker is hurt. And we don't put up with them. We will provide aggressive representation and litigation if necessary. In some cases, we can help you pay for an independent medical evaluation to help prove your claim. Our attorneys have also successfully fought against attempts by insurance companies to gain full access to client medical records, searching for irrelevant information they can use against you.
When there is a dispute over workers' compensation benefits, at some point the insurance company may make a settlement offer. However, it may fall far short of the benefits that you could receive after litigation. They are betting you are willing to accept less because you are in a tough medical and financial situation. We strongly urge all clients to at least get a consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney before accepting any settlement offer. Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC offers a free consultation. We can help you determine the benefits you deserve and can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Yes. New Jersey has a "no fault" workers' compensation program. That means workers are eligible for medical and disability benefits even if they were responsible for causing the accident that left them injured. It also means that under most circumstances, you cannot sue your employer in a third-party liability claim. However, if a third party, such as a vendor or independent contractor, was responsible for causing the accident that left you injured, you may be able to take legal action. A workers' compensation attorney at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC can go over your options during your free consultation.
Yes. All employees are covered under the workers' compensation system, even those who just recently started the job. As long as your injury or illness was work-related, you should be covered. But in some cases, employers have challenged claims for workers' compensation benefits, taking the position that the injured person was actually an independent contractor and not an employee. Our attorneys fully investigate your case and will fight all attempts to deny your eligibility for benefits.
Under New Jersey law, claims for workers' compensation benefits must be filed within two years from the date you received your last workers' compensation benefit, or two years from the date you learned of a work-related illness. There are also other deadlines that must be met, for example when appealing a decision on benefits. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure all deadlines are met. If you've been hurt on the job, call Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC for a free consultation.
If a decision has been made to deny you medical treatment and/or wage benefits, you have the right to appeal. There are different steps in the appeals process, including informal and formal appeals to the Division of Workers' Compensation, as well as taking action in state courts. Having medical opinions, evidence and witness statements that support your claim can make a big difference. That's why you need an experienced workers' compensation attorney with the knowledge and resources needed to fight for your benefits. Call Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC to learn more.
Sometimes, a workplace accident can leave a worker with a permanent disability that prevents them from returning to work. But that person may want and need to continue working. New Jersey offers a vocational rehabilitation benefit for workers in this situation. The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) can provide them with career counseling, skills assessment, training and job search assistance to help them find a new position that matches their needs and abilities. The workers' compensation attorneys at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC helps injured workers get the vocational rehabilitation benefits they need and deserve under the law.