Articles Posted in Calculation of Benefits

Many people throughout New Jersey have more than one job. Accordingly, when a person employed by multiple parties suffers a work-related injury, it may render the person unable to perform the duties of more than one position. Generally, a person who is hurt at work can recover workers’ compensation income lost as a result of the injury, regardless of whether the income was from one or multiple jobs, as discussed in a recent New Jersey case. If you were hurt while working, you may be owed income loss benefits and should talk to a knowledgeable New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney regarding your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that in 2009, the plaintiff worked part-time for the defendant employer as a stadium usher and full-time as a stock clerk for a box store. She suffered a compensable injury while working at her part-time job. Specifically, she sustained a left femur fracture when the door of a freight elevator fell on her leg. She underwent surgery on her leg and was on medical leave from her full-time job for nine months. She then returned to her previous full-time position in a part-time capacity due to medical restrictions.

Allegedly, the box store refused to hold her full-time position, and she declined to accept a permanent part-time position, so she was terminated. She later re-applied for a full-time position but was not hired. She ultimately returned to her job with the defendant employer but lost the position due to reasons unrelated to her accident. The plaintiff applied for workers’ compensation benefits, and following a hearing, the judge found that she was not entitled to full-time benefits because she failed to prove she lacked the ability to work full-time. She then appealed. Continue Reading ›

When an employee dies due to an occupational illness, his or her surviving spouse may be awarded benefits. Additionally, the surviving spouse may be granted attorneys’ fees. Recently, a New Jersey court assessed the proper method for calculating attorney’s fees in a case in which the claimant’s husband died due to an illness sustained at work. If you lost your spouse due to a work-related injury or illness, you may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits and should speak to a knowledgeable New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

Facts and Procedural History

It is reported that the claimant’s husband died due to an occupational disease, after which she filed a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits. The court issued an order granting benefits as well as attorneys’ fees that were calculated based on the claimant’s life expectancy. The employer appealed, arguing that the court erred in calculating the appropriate award for attorneys’ fees. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the lower court ruling.

Calculation of Attorneys’ Fees in Workers’ Compensation Claims

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act provides that compensation for a total permanent disability should be paid to qualified workers for 450 weeks, and may be extended in instances where the claimant can show that his or her disability caused an inability to earn an income equal to that which he or she earned at the time of the accident or onset of illness. Additionally, the law provides that any dependents that survive a deceased worker will be granted benefits as well, for 450 weeks and, in some cases, longer.

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Under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law, an employee that is totally disabled due to a work-related injury is owed greater wage benefits than an employee that is partially disabled. While typically a total disability will arise out of a physical or psychological injury, in some cases, other factors may be considered in determining whether an employee is totally disabled pursuant to New Jersey’s odd-lot doctrine. A New Jersey court recently discussed the odd-lot doctrine in a case in which an employee’s request for a modification was denied. If you suffered a work-related injury and are unable to work due to your injury and other factors, it is advisable to meet with a proficient New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to discuss what benefits you may be able to recover.

Facts Regarding the Employee’s Claim

It is reported that in 2006 the employee injured her back while working for the employer. She subsequently filed a workers’ compensation claim, which she settled for fifty-five percent of partial total disability, with a fifteen percent credit to the employer for prior functional loss. After the employee underwent surgery and significant treatment, her claim was reopened, which resulted in a modification of her disability award to seventy-five percent, with a credit to the employer of fifty-five percent for the prior award.

Allegedly, six months later, the employee sought a second modification, arguing that she was totally disabled under the odd-lot doctrine. Specifically, she argued that her limited ability to speak or understand English, her age, and limited job skills combined with her physical injuries rendered her unemployable. Following a hearing during which both parties presented expert testimony, the workers’ compensation judge found in favor of the employer and dismissed the employee’s application for a modification. The employee then appealed. Continue Reading ›

Employees who suffer injuries at work are often unable to work due to their injuries. Thus, in addition to recovering medical treatment benefits, many injured employees are able to recover workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages. In some cases, however, a compensation judge will incorrectly calculate the wage benefits an employee should be awarded. Thus, an employee will have to file a motion for reconsideration, asking for a new assessment of the benefits owed. In a recent case, a New Jersey court discussed what an employee asking for a reconsideration of a benefits award must demonstrate to be granted an amendment. If you were granted a workers’ compensation benefits award that you believe may be inadequate, it is critical to speak to a capable New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney regarding your options.

Facts Regarding the Benefits Award

It is reported that the employee sustained a work-related injury while working for a department store. She filed a workers’ compensation claim, which ultimately resulted in a settlement that found that the employee had a twenty-five percent partial disability and stipulated the weekly wages she was to receive, as well as her permanency rate.  In August 2016, a workers’ compensation judge entered an order approving the settlement.

Allegedly, in December 2016, after obtaining a new attorney, the employee filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that her wages were improperly calculated when the order was entered. In support of her motion, the employee submitted wage statements demonstrating wages that were higher than those contemplated by the order. Additionally, she argued that she was entitled to a wage reconstruction as her benefits should have been calculated based on full-time wages because she suffered a permanent injury and could no longer work full time. The court granted the employee’s motion as to the wage reconstruction issue and modified the prior order. Then the employer appealed, arguing a reconstruction was not warranted. Continue Reading ›

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