What documentation helps support workers’ compensation claims?

Contextual

Maintaining and submitting the right types of documentation may be vital for helping people collect workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey.

During the 2016 calendar year, the New Jersey Department of Labor reports that one out of every 33 workers in the state suffered an on-the-job injury or illness. With few exceptions, those who are harmed as a result of workplace accidents or otherwise due to their job duties may be eligible to receive benefits through the New Jersey workers' compensation program. In order to help ensure they receive the assistance they need and deserve, it behooves injured employees to keep thorough records and documentation.

Once occupational injuries or illnesses, the employers' workers' compensation carriers will assess whether the claim is compensable under the state's law. To make their determination, the insurance companies may contact the injured workers and their employers, as well as the overseeing medical providers. Maintaining all of the pertinent records and documentation for themselves, including a personal diary, letters from associates and medical records, may help people facilitate the process, and strengthen their claims in cases when employers or the insurance carriers refuse to pay.

Diary

Some of the effects of occupational injuries, such as psychological issues, pain and lifestyle limitations or adjustments, can be difficult to quantify. Through a diary, however, people may be able to put these internal effects into words. Including detailed notes regarding the medications they have used and the side effects they have experienced, their pain, the activities they can no longer perform due to their conditions and other such information may help workers express the full extent of their injuries.

Letters

Aside from hearing about people's injuries in their own words, it may be helpful if they also have accounts from family members and friends, as well as co-workers. Family members and friends may offer insight into day-to-day affect their conditions have had on the lives of injured workers and the changes they have been forced to make as a result of their workplace accidents. Letters from co-workers may discuss people's injuries in relation to their jobs and the associated requirements.

Medical records

Medical records, including procedure reports, doctors' office notes, and lab and imaging results, are vital for providing a diagnosis. They are also important for showing the extent of an injury or illness, as well as helping to prove the cause. All of this information may be essential in supporting workers' compensation claims, initially or during an appeal. Therefore, it is advisable that people obtain and keep copies of these records for their personal files.

Seeking legal counsel

Workers in New Jersey who suffer injuries on-the-job may be entitled to compensation benefits such as wage replacement and medical coverage. Though, obtaining those benefits is not always a straightforward process. As such, those who have experienced workplace accidents may find it helpful to consult with an attorney to discuss their rights and options. A legal representative may guide them through the claims process and, if necessary, aid them in appealing incorrect decisions.