In many states,an injured worker has the right to choose who will be his or her treating physician. That’s not the case in New Jersey, though. Instead, your employer can choose who will examine you and often who will treat you. That begs the obvious question—if the doctor is handpicked by your employer, can you trust that you’ll get a fair shake? The good news—most often the answer is “yes.”

The Doctor’s Professional Obligations

Your treating physician, as a medical professional, has certain ethical obligations. One of the most fundamental is the priority of the doctor-patient relationship. What does this mean? First of all, it means that the doctor’s primary duty is to you, the injured party—not to your employer. If your physician violates that trust in any way, by failing to acknowledge the severity of your injury, or by providing any false information that benefits your employer, he or she can be subject to professional discipline, including the loss of the right to practice. Because of the potential for sanctions, most medical professionals take their responsibilities seriously.

So what can you do if you suspect that your company-selected doctor is wrongfully dismissing your injury claims? You do have the right to seek a second opinion. However, unless you choose a doctor who is approved by your employer, the costs of that visit will probably not be covered and your employer may ignore any finding. If you do choose an approved physician, who makes a different diagnosis than the first doctor, you’ll likely have to go to a third doctor to have the matter resolved. The matter can get complicated in a hurry. That’s why it’s really in your best interests to hire competent legal counsel early in the workers’ compensation process.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

October 5, 2016 By Leave a Comment

If you have been in a work-related motor vehicle accident and you file a third party claim for injuries suffered in the crash, your company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may be entitled to a portion of any recovery you receive in the personal injury lawsuit, if you also received workers’ compensation benefits. A New Jersey appellate court came to that conclusion in August, 2016.

In an appeal that consolidated claims from three different insurers, the court was asked to reconcile competing provisions of two New Jersey statutes: the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act. All three cases involved public workers who were hurt on the job and who had recovered damages in personal injury actions for medical expenses.

At the trial level, all three courts held that workers’ compensation insurance companies could not seek reimbursement of medical expenses in such occasions, as the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act prohibits reimbursement of medical expenses collected or paid under personal injury protection (PIP) policies. The trial judge concluded that, because an injured employee in a work-related accident is treated as a “no-fault” insured, the worker can’t recover medical expenses from the defendant if those medical expenses have been paid by an insurance company—that would be a double recovery. The judge concluded that, because the injured party could not recover medical expenses, the damage award could not and did not include compensation for medical expenses, so that workers’ compensation insurance company had no basis for reimbursement.

The appellate court disagreed, finding that the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act seeks to minimize insurance costs by guaranteeing medical expense coverage. Since the recovery could include reimbursement of medical expenses, and since the Workers’ Compensation Act allows a workers’ compensation insurance provider to seek reimbursement of any medical expenses paid, the requests of the insurance companies were permissible.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to men and women throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

September 12, 2016 By Leave a Comment

When you have been hurt in a work accident in New Jersey, you have a right to file a claim for benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system. As a general rule, if your claim is approved, you will be awarded benefits based on your average weekly wage and the extent of your injury. However, if you suffer an injury to one of your extremities, such as an arm, leg, finger or toe, you can also receive a cash payment if the injury is deemed permanent. These payments are referred to as scheduled loss of use, or SLU, awards.

As defined in the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, “extremities” include all body parts other than your head, neck or back. Accordingly, you can pursue a scheduled loss of use award if you sustain a permanent injury to your arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet or toes.

Here’s how to seek a scheduled loss of use award. You’ll have to wait until your case is finalized (usually around a year after your accident). Once you have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement,” you can see your doctor and request a report to document the degree to which your injury is permanent. Once your doctor has determined the percentage of permanent injury, you look at the statutory schedule for your type of loss and apply the percentage to determine the amount to which you are entitled.

It’s important to understand that, once the award is determined, your workers’ compensation case is generally closed. If your injury becomes worse, though, you can always seek to reopen your claim. So, for example, you may have 50% use of your hand now and receive a scheduled loss of use award based on that percentage. If your injury progresses and you lose permanent use of the entire hand, you can reopen your case and seek an additional amount.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

September 1, 2016 By Leave a Comment

When you have been injured at work in New Jersey, your exclusive remedy will typically be through a workers’ compensation claim. It’s often referred to as the “grand bargain,” as it is designed to benefit both employers and employees. Business owners (and workers’ compensation insurance companies) don’t have to worry about large damage claims from a judge or jury because the workers’ compensation laws establish specific payouts. Workers generally have access to compensation more quickly, as they don’t have to go through all the procedures involved in a lawsuit.

At its best, it’s a straightforward and simple system—you see a doctor, get a medical opinion that you’ve suffered an injury and can’t work. You file your claim, continue to see the doctor regularly, and receive temporary benefits until you can return to work, or permanent benefits if you can’t go back to your job.

Workers’ compensation insurance companies, though, take a completely different view of your claim. It’s all about their bottom line, and the way they maximize their bottom line is to minimize what they pay you. It’s how their business model works. They charge premiums, which represents the bulk of their income. In order to maximize their profits, they need to maximize income and minimize expenses. The more they pay out in claims, the less profit they’ll show at the end of the year.

So it’s really in the workers’ comp insurance company’s best interests to make the process difficult for you. They may refuse to pay for necessary testing, or they may allege that you can return to work, or that your injury is less serious that you know it is. That’s why you need an experienced and aggressive workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

August 24, 2016 By Leave a Comment

If you’ve been hurt on the job and need to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, but you’ve heard from others that it can be a complicated process and that most claims are denied. It’s true—employers and insurance companies have a vested interest in not paying workers’ compensation benefits and will look for every opportunity to reject your claim. That’s why it’s so important to hire the right attorney to handle your case. Here’s what you should seek in counsel.

Make Certain Your Lawyer Focuses on Workers’ Compensation

The workers’ compensation process has its own set of rules and if you don’t follow them, your claim can be denied or delayed. Don’t hire a general practitioner who may not be familiar with all the inner workings of the workers’ compensation system. Verify that your attorney has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation cases.

Make Certain You Hire an Experienced Trial Lawyer

The skills required of a trial attorney are different than those of a transactional lawyer. You want a lawyer who has skill and experience at oral argument, who can think and respond at the spur of the moment, and who is well-versed in the rules of trial procedure.

Make Certain Your Attorney Be Available and Accessible on a Regular Basis

You’ll have questions throughout the process and you need to know that your lawyer will respond to your calls or e-mails in a timely manner. Confirm that you’ll have direct access to the attorney, and won’t be dealing with a paralegal, secretary or inexperienced associate.

Know What Approach Will Your Attorney Take in Court

Some lawyers will aggressively advocate for you in every proceeding, while others prefer to negotiate an outcome that meets your needs. Be sure that your lawyer will take whatever approach is necessary to get the benefits you need.

Contact Our Office

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

August 10, 2016 By Leave a Comment

When you suffer an injury or illness that’s job-related in New Jersey, you have a right to seek benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation system. It may even be your exclusive remedy, which means that you can’t file a lawsuit in court to recover for your losses. But if you’ve never hired a lawyer before, or even if you have, you can have significant concerns about the costs of retaining counsel. Chances are pretty good that, because of your work injury, things are already pretty lean financially. That’s why it’s important to know just what it will cost you out-of-pocket to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.

As with most personal injury claims, workers’ compensation cases are typically handled on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that, instead of billing you on an hourly basis, your lawyer will usually take a percentage of any amount recovered on your behalf. There’s usually no requirement that you put any money down to initiate the process, either (known as a “retainer”). Because your attorney gets paid more if you get paid more, there’s the added incentive to maximize your recovery.

The final determination as to how much you will receive will be made by either the workers’ compensation judge or the Workers’ Compensation Board. As a general rule, the only out-of-pocket costs you’ll have will be filing fees or any costs associated with obtaining evidence, such as court reporter fees if depositions are required. But you won’t incur any fees for your attorney’s time.

Contact Our Office

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

July 20, 2016 By Leave a Comment

Most people feel some level of stress at work. But what if your job exposes you to a high level of stress on a daily basis—maybe you’re a police officer, emergency room nurse or firefighter. Or suppose you witness a traumatic event at work—the serious injury or death of a co-worker, or an act of workplace violence, such as a shooting. Are you entitled to file for workers’ compensation benefits if the effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) make it difficult or impossible for you to do your job? The answer depends, but it’s clear that mental illness can be the basis for a workers’ compensation claim.

When you file for workers’ compensation benefits based on a mental illness, your claim will fall into one of three categories:

  • Physical-mental injuries
  • Mental-physical injuries
  • Mental-mental injuries

A physical-mental injury is one that is initially entirely physical, but ends up creating mental health challenges. For example, you might hurt your knee lifting boxes or performing some other task at work. If the knee doesn’t heal quickly, and you can’t maintain the active lifestyle you had before the injury, you may become depressed, and the depression can contribute to your inability to work.

A mental-physical injury works in exactly the opposite manner. You may be exposed, for example, to a high level of stress on your job, which in turn can elevate your blood pressure, or cause you to either gain or lose a lot of weight. High blood pressure or increased weight can put you at risk of stroke, heart attack or joint injury.

A mental-mental injury is one that starts with a psychological event and manifests with PTSD, such as witnessing a traumatic injury or act of violence.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

July 6, 2016 By Leave a Comment

So you’ve been hurt at work—maybe you sprained your left knee unloading a truck—and you seek medical care for the knee sprain. Because of the pain and stiffness in your left knee, you naturally favor the left leg, putting additional stress on the right side of your body. Your knee gets better, but a couple weeks later, you wake up to terrible pain in your right heel. Your doctor diagnoses it as a heel spur, the result of changing your gait because of the injury to your left knee. Can you file for workers’ compensation benefits if the pain from the heel spur makes it impossible to do your job?

What we’re talking about here is what the law refers to as a “consequential” injury, i.e., one that is not immediately caused by a work accident, but arises only because of your work injury. Under workers’ compensation laws you have a right to file a claim for any injuries that can be shown to have “reasonably” been the result of a work-related injury. If you can bring in medical evidence to show that a subsequent injury (here, the heel spur) would not have happened “but for” the work accident, you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits for that injury.

Of course, the challenge, when an injury is not immediately apparent, is demonstrating that it resulted from the work accident. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important, when you see a doctor, to carefully describe everything that seems abnormal and to document every pain or injury. It’s a pretty common occurrence that injury to one part of the body will lead to overcompensation and injury somewhere else.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

June 30, 2016 By Leave a Comment

Most people understand that, when you’ve been hurt at work, your first (and often exclusive) remedy for lost wages and medical expenses is a workers’ compensation claim. But what if it’s not an injury suffered in an accident, but an illness caused by something at your job? Can you still seek benefits if your job has made you sick?

The good news—yes, workers’ compensation laws in New Jersey allow claimants to recover benefits for any disease or illness caused by conditions at work. If you work in an environment with toxic chemicals or other substances, you may have a valid claim for workers’ compensation if you contract cancer or some similar illness. If your job involves exposure to dust, fumes or fibers, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for silicosis or for asthma-like conditions. In addition, if you are employed in a high-stress job, working as a law enforcement officer, a firefighter or an EMT, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation if you develop high blood pressure, or suffer a heart attack or stroke.

In order to successfully recover workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease, you must demonstrate a clear connection between the job and your illness. If you suspect that you have a health problem because of exposure to something at work, your first course of action should be to see a physician. Be certain to document exactly when the symptoms first appeared and where you were working at the time.

It’s also important to understand that, if the substance that caused your illness was manufactured or installed by someone unrelated to your employer, you may be able to file a lawsuit in court against that party. You will likely have to wait longer to resolve the dispute, but you won’t be limited to the damages available through a workers’ compensation claim.

Contact Our Office

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

June 3, 2016 By Leave a Comment

New Jersey waste and recycle giant Action Environmental Group has implemented company-wide measures to improve employee safety and minimize the risk of workers’ compensation claims.

According to the company’s Director of Safety, Ken Levine, the company has been using video cameras for more than a year, filming employees as they go about their duties on the road and during trash pickups. The stated objectives of the program—to learn from any accidents or incidents that do occur, and to provide training opportunities to all employees.

Levine said that the cameras, mounted on the dashboard of each vehicle, monitor both the driver and the road ahead, so that company officials can determine reactions to different situations. Company officials do not review the videos, but send them over to a third party for analysis and to determine if drivers are following safety guidelines and abiding by the laws, specifically with respect to seat belts and other safety measures. If the third-party vendor observes violations, the tapes are sent to Action Environmental and are used to coach employees to avoid safety risks.

According to Levine, during the first three months of the program, there was nearly a 50% drop in the incidents of risky behavior by drivers. He said the company has also seen a similar decrease in workers’ compensation claims filed by company employees. The company has also used videotape as evidence in workers’ compensation proceedings.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-200-8989.

September 15, 2014 By Leave a Comment

Worker’s Comp and Disability

Mount Laurel NJ Worker’s Comp Attorney

Machines on a factory floorSerious, catastrophic job-related injuries may qualify you for temporary total, temporary partial, permanent total, or partial disability benefits. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you may be eligible to receive one of the following kinds of worker’s compensation benefits:

  • Temporary total benefits: Weekly benefits you are eligible to receive until your doctor indicates you are ready to carry out your full duties at work.
  • Temporary partial benefits: Weekly benefits you are eligible to receive until your doctor indicates you are ready to return to light duty at work.
  • Permanent partial benefits: If you are unable to return to work, you are eligible to receive some kind of worker’s compensation benefits on an ongoing basis.
  • Total benefits: If you are unable to return to work and prefer a single, one-time only lump payment of benefits, you can elect a total benefit payout. Typically, this option is reserved for injured workers suffering from catastrophic injuries that involve permanent disability.
  • If I’m Disabled, can I still Qualify for Social Security?
  • In the event your injuries are permanently disabling, you can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, the amount of SSDI or SSI you are eligible to receive will be affected by the amount of worker’s compensation you receive as well. Here, it’s also important to keep in mind that additional medical exams may be required in order to qualify for SSDI or SSI. In some cases, this process can be complicated by the fact that not all employers maintain or provide accurate information regarding injured workers.

Contact Mount Laurel Worker’s Comp Attorneys at Taylor & Boguski

Disability and worker’s compensation often involve a number of legal issues that require the direction of an experienced worker’s comp attorney. At Taylor & Boguski, we have helped numerous workers navigate the sometimes confusing area of temporary, permanent, and total benefits. We also assist injured workers in matters related to SSDI and SSI when permanent disability prevents them from working in the future.

To learn how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel worker’s compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.

August 11, 2014 By Leave a Comment

What to watch out for when filing a workers’ compensation claim

Wharehouse worker with clipboard We have represented workers’ compensation claimants for many years and have seen innocent mistakes by injured workers come back to haunt them later on. Here are some issues you should consider, and problems to avoid, when filing a workers’ compensation claim:

  • After a work-related injury, request medical attention and report the incident.
  • If your injury requires more than first aid, document your injury or it may be used against you later in your claim.
  • If you fail to get prompt, appropriate medical treatment, the claims adjuster or the defense lawyer will use this against you and argue that your injury is not work related or is minimal.
  • In the report, disclose everything the first time.
  • Be very thorough and disclose all injuries, whether they’re major or minor.
  • Failing to report a minor injury and only focusing on more serious ones
  • May result in a denial for claims covering minor injuries, or
  • What you think is a minor injury may actually be a major one. Its symptoms may only be clear later on.
  • Make a note of any witnesses to your accident and get written statements from them if possible. This can support your claim in case the insurance company tries to deny it.

Communicating with the workers’ compensation insurance company is a bad idea.

Though they may sound like they are, insurance adjusters are not your friends. You are dealing with trained professionals whose sole purpose is to protect the employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company. They want to save money and pay you as little as possible.

An experiencedadjuster or defense attorney can use statements made by injured workers against them.

Not filing a claim because no work was missed is a mistake.

Workers’ compensation benefits don’t just apply to time missed from work. These benefits include payment for medical services and prescription drugs. The insurance will likely also cover travel expenses related to getting to and from the doctor.

Be prepared to be watched, online and in public.

It’s become common practice for insurance adjustors to hire investigators to gather evidence concerning your activities to disprove that you are injured or prove your injury is not as serious as you claim.

They may monitor your movements and activities, even interview your neighbors. You may be video recorded while out in the public.

Any postings on social media, especially those describing what you are doing and where you are going, may end up on the investigator’s computer. They would like nothing more than to see pictures or videos posted showing you engaged in any kind of vigorous, strenuous activities.

It may only take about five seconds of video, a picture or a posting about your vacation to provide evidence contesting your claim.

When it comes to workers’ compensation, an ounce of prevention with a claim is worth a pound of benefits. If you have any questions about workers’ compensation, contact our office.

July 11, 2014 By Leave a Comment

What if I can’t work anymore due to an on-the-job injury?

Physical therapy An employee left unable to work due to a workplace injury is in a difficult situation, but may still have options to collect an income to support him or herself. We offer complete services to those injured on the job, including those facing a future with a complete disability.

Who is considered to have a permanent total disability?

After a workplace injury, you will go through treatment and rehabilitation to improve your condition. You will reach your Maximum Medical Improvement, and a doctor will determine whether the injury will totally disable you and prevent future work.

If a catastrophic work-related injury or occupational disease causes a complete inability to return to work, the employee may collect benefits for a permanent total disability. This total disability is presumed when a worker loses the use of two or more major body parts (such as eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet). It can also be proven with facts concerning other types of conditions that establish a complete inability to resume gainful employment.

Permanent total disability benefits can be paid for up to 450 weeks. These payments can be like a pension with a regular disbursement or a lump sum. The amount is usually 70 percent of the average weekly wage, subject to certain caps and minimums. These payments can be extended past the 450 weeks if the claimant can prove the disabling condition continues to prevent a return to work.

Other sources of income

Workers’ compensation may not be the only benefit a totally disabled employee could tap into. Through the employer, or purchased by the worker, there may be a private disability insurance policy that could be used. Many of our clients can also receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

If you become totally disabled, SSDI can provide income if you have been paying into Social Security for a sufficient time (that amount changes each year) and it’s been determined you are disabled.

In 2014, you earn one credit for each $1,200 of wages. When you’ve earned $4,800, you’ve earned your four credits for the year. How many work credits you need to qualify depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. Younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

To be considered “disabled” you must show you are unable to perform “substantial gainful employment.” If someone qualifies for SSDI two years after the “disability onset date,” they will also be eligible for Social Security Disability Medicare, which provides free medical care.

If you have suffered a serious work-related injury and want to learn more about your rights and legal options, contact our office.

May 7, 2014 By Leave a Comment

How can an attorney help me with workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation laws protect workers who are hurt on the job. An injury occurring on the job “out of and in the course of employment” is covered by workers’ compensation laws. Many work-related injuries are minor and most employees recover quickly and are able to return to work. When things go smoothly, there is not much need to hire an attorney.

However, when a workers’ compensation claim is rejected, we can help. We can also help if your claim is accepted but the amount offered doesn’t cover your medical needs, or if appropriate medical care is denied. We can also help if your employer retaliates against you because of your compensation claim.

We do the work so you won’t have to.

We have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the workers’ compensation process.

We can help you get the medical treatment you need and the maximum financial recovery permitted by law.

We will file the necessary Claim Petition and guide you through the system, protecting your rights every step of the way.

Under the state’s workers’ compensation law, workers with work-related injuries or occupational diseases are entitled to a variety of benefits from their employers, including:

  • Medical treatment
  • Temporary disability benefits payments while you receive treatment and are unable to work
  • A monetary award for permanent injuries
  • Dependents, typically spouses and minor children of workers who die from work-related injuries or diseases, are also entitled to benefits
  • Your employer has insurance to cover work-related injuries and occupational diseases.

That insurance company has an entire staff and has retained lawyers to make sure workers get as few benefits as possible.

Employers or their insurance companies may refuse to provide injured workers with the medical treatment and temporary disability benefits mandated by law.

If compensation to injured workers for their permanent injuries and disability are not voluntarily paid, the only way to protect the rights of an injured worker is to file a workers’ compensation case.

We not only file the case, but zealously protect your rights to get you the best treatment and most compensation possible.


New Jersey law prohibits employers from retaliating or threatening to retaliate against employees who file a workers’ compensation case. If that law is broken, we can help you protect your rights.

Retaliation in response to a workers’ compensation claim can take many forms, including:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Reduction in pay or in work hours
  • Loss of benefits
  • Denial of any other employment opportunity
  • If you have any questions about workers’ compensation or concerns about a work-related injury, contact our office for a free consultation.

April 7, 2014 By Leave a Comment

Do I have a right to workers’ compensation if I injured myself on the job?

Getting worker’s compensation benefits generally does not require a showing of fault by one party or another. If the injury took place in the course of your employment, you should be covered. But all cases are unique and very fact-specific.

Unlike with personal injury law, workers’ compensation does not normally involve fault issues. If the employer caused the accident, you won’t collect more money and if you caused the accident, you normally won’t be denied benefits.

Self-injury and intent

A self-inflicted injury may be intentional or unintentional. If a self-inflicted injury is intentional, it means the worker deliberately did harm to him or herself. If it is unintentional, it was the result of a mistake and there was no intent to self-harm. That unintentional type of injury would be covered by workers’ compensation.

If the injury was intentional, however, and the worker did something in order to harm him or herself, the injury would not be covered. But the burden would be on the employer to show that the self-injury was intentional. Another possible route for the employee in this case could be to show a mental illness was caused or worsened by work to the point where the worker was a danger to him or herself (which may be a difficult case to prove).

In very unusual cases, it could be found that the sole cause of the injury was the employee’s fault because the worker ignored a well-known safety rule or policy. In that case, a workers’ compensation claim could be denied. Normally, though, when an employee makes a mistake or doesn’t pay attention in the course of doing a job, there’s a work component, like a tool or piece of equipment that hits you.

Workers’ compensation benefits

As a practical matter, if you find yourself injured at work, don’t spend time wondering about legal issues. Report your injury to your employer. Your medical treatment will be chosen and paid for by the workers’ compensation insurance company. You may qualify for temporary disability benefits (70 percent of your gross weekly salary) if you are unable to work for at least seven days. You would return to work, and your benefits would end, when you are medically cleared to come back to work. If you suffer a permanent disability, you are entitled to a monetary award.

If you have any questions about workers’ compensation laws and how they may apply to your situation, contact our office for a free consultation.

March 12, 2014 By Leave a Comment

How do injuries get valued in workers’ compensation payouts?

We work with our workers’ compensation clients to get them the maximum recovery for their work-related injuries. Some of the values of those injuries are clearer cut than others.

If we and the compensation carrier can’t work out a settlement agreement, the value of your case will be decided by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Workers’ Compensation, an administrative court that determines the value of an injured New Jersey worker’s claim.

Partial permanent disability

When a job-related injury or illness results in a partial permanent disability, benefits are based upon a percentage of certain “scheduled” or “nonscheduled” losses.

A “scheduled” loss is one involving arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth. The schedule lists the body parts, the percentage of loss and value of each.

A “nonscheduled” loss is one involving any area or system of the body not specifically identified in the schedule, such as the back, heart or lungs.

These benefits are paid weekly and are due after the date temporary disability ends.

Temporary total disability

If an injured worker is disabled for more than seven days, he or she will be eligible to receive temporary total benefits at a rate of 70 percent of their average weekly wage, with a maximum and minimum rate set by the State based on the year of the accident. For example, for an accident occurring in the year 2013 the maximum rate is $843.00 and the minimum is $225.00. These benefits are provided during the period when a worker is unable to work and is under active medical care.

Benefits usually end when the worker is released to return to work in some capacity or if the worker has reached maximum medical improvement, when additional treatment will no longer improve their medical condition.

Permanent total disability

If a work-related injury or illness prevents a worker from returning to any type of gainful employment, that person may receive permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total disability is presumed when the worker has lost two major body parts or a combination of parts of the body, such as eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet. However, permanent total disability can also result from a combination of other injuries that render the worker unemployable.

These weekly benefits are provided initially for 450 weeks. These benefits may continue if the injured worker can show that he or she remains unable to earn wages.

Contact us

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job and want to get answers to questions about workers’ compensation, contact our office.

January 17, 2014 By Leave a Comment

What Are My Options If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?

Mount Laurel Workers’ Comp Claim Denial Attorneys

A workers’ compensation claim is usually denied when the doctor who works for an employer’s insurer decides a worker’s injuries aren’t serious enough or are due to a preexisting condition. Unfortunately, once a workers’ compensation claim is denied, employers typically expect an employee to return to work sooner than he or she is physically ready. As a result, injured employees in this situation are forced to use vacation days or apply for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Depending on your situation, you may be able to apply for disability benefits, but your employer and doctor will need to fill out part of the application certifying that you are disabled. You’ll also need to fill out the Certification of Contested Workers’ Compensation Claim Form.

A workers’ compensation claim can be denied for different reasons — the claim is filed too late, your employer disputes the claim or your employer’s insurance company doctor rejects your claim for medical reasons.

Filing an Appeal after a Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied

After a workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you can request a hearing with a Judge of Compensation or with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. In cases in which you have medical bills that need to be paid, you can file a Motion for Medical Temporary Benefits. A hearing with a Judge of Compensation will then be scheduled within 30 days of your motion’s being filed. However, in order to receive temporary benefits, you must be out of work for at least seven days and have a letter from a doctor.

If an insurance company denies your claim or you were provided with reduced benefits, you have only 30 days after that decision to file an appeal. For these reasons, it is essential that you talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. While each case is different, once you appeal a claim denial you may be expected to appear before a board hearing or seek a legal resolution through the court system.

Getting a Second Opinion

If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you have a right to get a second opinion from your own doctor. While your company’s insurer is not obligated to accept your doctor’s diagnosis, it makes it more difficult for an employer’s insurer to downplay or ignore the extent and nature of your injuries. Here, you will need to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can inform your employer’s insurer that you intend to file a lawsuit regarding the denial of your original workers’ compensation claim.

Contact Taylor & Boguski If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied

Appealing or litigating a denied workers’ compensation claim involves processes, deadlines and careful attention to documents and medical records. At Taylor & Boguski, our workers’ compensation attorneys have the resources and knowledge needed to protect your rights and financial interests when an injury leaves you facing mounting medical bills and an uncertain future. We protect your rights and are prepared to take employers to court when they try to ignore the law or terminate injured employees without cause.

To learn how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel workers’ compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.

January 3, 2014 By Leave a Comment

Can I Go to My Own Doctor for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer after an accident or job-related injury, your employer’s insurance company doctor will likely examine you to determine the extent and nature of your injuries. Under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws, employers can choose the doctor you must see.

In certain situations, however, your employer (or your employer’s insurance company) may agree to let you choose your own doctor. On the other hand, if your doctor is not authorized by your employer (or employer’s insurance provider), or you have been specifically instructed to see the insurance provider’s doctor, you can’t see a doctor of your choosing for your workers’ compensation claim.

Denial of a Workers’ Compensation Claim — Getting a Second Opinion

If your employer insists on choosing your doctor, you may want to get a second opinion. Keep in mind, however, that the doctor you choose is subject to your employer’s approval. Here, workers’ compensation claims can be a bit tricky — since the doctor works for your employer’s insurer, he or she may have an unspoken incentive to minimize costs to your employer. As a result, insurance company doctors downplaying injuries or claiming workers are ready to return to work before they really are is not unheard of.

In these kinds of cases, it’s best to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you navigate the workers’ compensation appeals process while protecting your rights and financial interests.

A Difference of Opinion: the Insurer’s Doctor and Yours

Suppose you suffer from what you believe is carpal tunnel syndrome and are experiencing tingling and weakness in your arm. You’ve developed these symptoms due to the repetitive motion required by your work. After you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer instructs you to see a doctor it has chosen for you. The doctor examines you and decides you need physical therapy and are able to return to work.

You then decide to see your own doctor, who takes some x-rays of your spine and neck. He discovers that you have retrolisthesis and endplate spurring. He suggests surgery may be necessary, but can be avoided if you take a month off from work and use physical therapy. In this situation, your employer is not obligated to accept your doctor’s finding. If this happens, your only alternative is to hire a workers’ compensation attorney and take your employer to court.

Problems with Your Employer’s Doctor? Contact Taylor & Boguski

If you’re being told you’re ready to return to work even though you know you aren’t, contact Mount Laurel workers’ compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today. We can evaluate your case, discuss the best options available to you and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

August 27, 2013 By Leave a Comment

Learn more about Worker’s Compensation

The New Jersey Department of Labor is comprehensive database which addresses all questions related to worker’s compensation issues such as benefits, timelines, employer reporting requirements, total disability, temporary disability and insurance coverage requirements. Helpful information exists such as knowing that workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable under the NJ Gross Income Tax law N.J.S.A. 54A:6-6. See more on the IRS website here. Additionally, to receive worker’s compensation benefits, by law, an employee you must be unable to work for seven days (including weekends and holidays) before being eligible for temporary disability benefits. Benefits are retroactive to the first day, and the seven days do not have to be consecutive. Other information such as pointers on the litigation process is discussed. For example, after the judge’s order warding you of benefits, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance carrier has 60 days to process payment. If you have not received payment, you may be entitled to receive simple interest on any delay in payments. Under statute N.J.S.A. 34:15-15 an employer has the choice to select which health service professionals to provide care to an injured employee. Failure of an employer to provide the required worker’s compensation insurance may subject the employer to a penalty up to $1,000 for the first twenty days and up to $1,000 for each ten-day period after that.

To learn more about New Jersey workers’ compensation laws and your rights, contact Mount Laurel workers’ compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski. Employers don’t always tell their employees about their rights. Additionally, they don’t always treat them fairly in terms of job protection. If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Taylor & Boguski in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 for a free consultation or contact us online.

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