When you are injured on the job or develop an illness due to workplace conditions, you are automatically eligible to apply for workers compensation benefits. The workers compensation system operates under a no-fault policy, which means that the employee doesn't have to submit proof that the injury happened at work and the employer can't be sued. However, manufacturers, contractors and other third parties can be sued by an injured worker. State law gives you up to two years from the date of the injury or development of symptoms to report the incident to your employer. If you are no longer working for the company, you have two years from the date of your last paycheck.

Steps you must take to claim benefits

You may notify your employer verbally or in writing about your injury or illness (writing is best). Your employer then has 30 days to report the situation to the company's workers compensation insurance carrier. The insurance agent who receives the report must complete a First Report of Injury form and submit it to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Workers Compensation. That agency is responsible for notifying you if your claim was approved or denied. If it was denied, you have the right to file an appeal. You also have the right to seek medical care for your illness or injury at any time. However, the insurance agency for your employer may dictate where you receive treatment.

Workers compensation cases can become contentious when the injured worker feels he or she is not treated fairly. This may be in regards to specific medical treatment, how much compensation the worker receives during recovery or the claim being denied altogether. Robert Olkowitz is an experienced Red Bank workers compensation lawyer who has been in business since 1999. If you are experiencing a problem with your claim or wish to appeal, call the Law Office of Robert Olkowitz for immediate help.