The Importance of Investigating a Petitioner’s Medical History and How It Can Help Employers Save Money

Upon the filing of a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim petition, it is extremely important to thoroughly investigate the history of the alleged injured worker to ensure you attain the best possible outcome and to prevent unnecessary expenses. This is a relatively well-known strategy.  However, in a rush to close or settle a matter, this strategy can sometimes be overlooked, which can result in significant costs to an employer. In
Continue reading...

The Interstate Medical Provider Claim: Unsettled Jurisdictional Questions Open the Floodgates in New Jersey

As overall filings in the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Courts have been falling, one particular type of claim is on the rise: the Medical Provider Application for Payment or Reimbursement of Medical Payment. The statutory authority for these “Medical Provider Claim Petitions” (MCPs) is found in a single sentence in the depths of New Jersey Statutes Annotated 34:15-15: “[e]xclusive jurisdiction for any disputed medical charge arising from any claim for
Continue reading...

Shifting Liability: A Lesson for General Contractors

Imagine this, you, a general contractor based in New Jersey, just secured a project from one of the biggest retailers to do some work at its warehouse in New York. Given the magnitude of the project, part of the work is subcontracted to another New Jersey company that guarantees it has workers’ compensation insurance. The project begins and you are unfamiliar with the number of subcontractor employees on-site, their day-to-day
Continue reading...

On the Road Again: Compensability on the New Jersey Roadways

In New Jersey, an injury sustained during employee’s travel to and from the workplace is generally not a compensable injury. This is commonly referred to as the “going and coming rule.” This rule developed in a time where employees commonly worked in a single, physical location such as an office or a store. The course and scope of an employee’s work began once she arrived at the office or store
Continue reading...

Verbal Threshold Does Not Bar Employers’ Subrogation

Section 40 of the New Jersey workers’ compensation statute allows employers or workers’ compensation carriers to automatically receive reimbursement of benefits paid to an injured worker from a third party tortfeasor – either directly from the tortfeasor, or from an award received by the injured worker in a third party claim. But what happens when an injured worker is barred from suing the third party tortfeasor? Can the employer or
Continue reading...

Idiopathic Injuries: Dealing with Injuries that Occur at Work, But Are Not Work-Related in New Jersey

We have all come across the case where an employee is injured at work, but the injury doesn’t seem to arise from something we would consider work-related. The injury could have just as easily happened at some time or place other than while the employee was at work. For example, the worker is walking down an aisle toward his workstation, his ankle gives out, and he falls. He didn’t trip.
Continue reading...

Got Insurance? What You Need to Know if You Are An Uninsured Employer in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, every corporation, limited partnership, as well as any employer required by law to submit an annual report, must provide valid proof of workers’ compensation coverage as part of its annual report. There are two ways that an employer can demonstrate valid proof of workers’ compensation coverage. An employer can either show proof of having coverage with an insurance carrier or by being self-insured. A self-insured employer
Continue reading...

Your Injury Happened Where? New Jersey Appellate Division Rejects Two Attempts to Avoid the Going and Coming Rule

Two recent decisions by the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the strength of the “going and coming” rule to bar workers’ compensation claims that did not occur at work. In New Jersey, injuries that occur during routine travel to and from work are not compensable. This comes from principle found in N.J.S.A. 34:15-36 (defining “employment”) that generally, employment starts when the employee arrives at his place of employment, and terminates
Continue reading...

Post-Accident Drug Testing: Part 1 — New Jersey

For New Jersey, a post-accident drug test can be helpful. In an unreported decision, the Appellate Division found that an injured employee terminated after he was placed on light duty, due to a failed drug test, is not automatically entitled to temporary disability benefits. Gioia v. Herr Foods, Inc., No. A-0667-10T4 (App. Div. Oct. 11, 2011). The employer provided testimony that it would have offered the injured employee light duty
Continue reading...

Is That Offer Bona Fide?

Did you know that a voluntary offer to settle a workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey must meet three specific criteria to comply with state law? The offer must meet the 26-week rule — this means the offer must be made within 26 weeks of the last active treatment or return to work, whichever is later. The letter to the petitioner must explain the weekly payments are meant to be
Continue reading...