There are a number of reasons as to why injured workers might want to contact an attorney experienced in the area of Workers’ Compensation law. The Workers’ Compensation laws are complex and such workers may miss out on opportunities to collect for their injuries if the paperwork is not filled out correctly or timely filed.
A ruling in the New Jersey courts prevented a worker from collecting for treatment related to her work-related injury because she missed a statute of limitations. Apparently her employer’s insurer paid for her initial eight days of hospitalization after she suffered a head injury and continued to pay for other medical treatment related to this injury as well. However, four-years later she attempted to receive compensation for depressive symptoms that may have been work related but apparently still unrelated to her head injury. The court denied her claim.
The court stated that the worker did not contact the Workers’ Compensation carrier concerning her psychological condition and instead received treatment from her regular health carrier. Any payments she received would in no way extend her Workers’ Compensation benefits as she had not received any such payments from her Workers’ Compensation carrier for more than two-years.
You’d be correct if you thought this sounded complicated. Workers’ Compensation law has a number of statutory requirements and can be entangled in red tape. Handling of such claims requires individuals that are familiar with all of the regulations and experienced in dealing with such claims.
It should not be assumed that receipt of compensation for injuries is automatic. Unfortunately, this can mean that injured workers with legitimate claims may be denied compensation because all requirements were not met.
Source: Risk & Insurance, “Payments by health insurer does not extend 2-year statute of limitations,” March 15, 2012