Mr. Sellitto has been representing injured workers in the New Jersey Workers Compensation Courts for 33 years.
If you have sustained a work related injury, it is recommended that you contact us directly to learn if you in fact have a claim. Not all injuries at work are covered by Worker's Compensation and some injuries away from your place of work are covered. Additionally, in some instances you may have both a claim for Worker's Compensation and a claim against a third party.
Do not rely upon the information below to determine if you have a claim. Anthony M. Sellitto Jr., will give you a free consultation to discuss you claim with you.
As an injured worker, your employer's insurance company (or your employer directly if self-insured) is required to pay for the cost of all of your medical treatment that is necessary to improve your medical status. That insurance company, however, must approve all medical treatment (except for emergency treatment). They have the right to require you to switch treatment to or have you examined by a doctor of their choice at any time. Be sure to obtain authorization for all medical treatment (except in the case of an emergency) prior to treatment beginning. Your failure to do so will probably result in your having to pay for this treatment yourself and your individual health insurance will not pay for it.
The requirement to pay for medical treatment ends when the treatment becomes what is known as "PALLIATIVE" treatment (treatment which only relieves pain and does not improve your medical condition). The bills for palliative treatment are your responsibility. They may, however, be covered by your own health insurance. Please check with your health insurance company before incurring any bills for palliative treatment, as you will have to pay for such treatment if it is not covered.
If your employer's insurance company notifies you that they are no longer authorizing medical treatment and you disagree with that decision contact my office immediately before incurring any further medical bills.
TEMPORARY DISABILITY BENEFITS
Your employer's insurance company (or your employer if self insured) is required to pay temporary disability benefits to you while you are unable to work. They are required to pay you 70% of your average weekly salary (including average overtime pay) up to a maximum of $742 per week for accidents which occurr in 2008. These benefits are not paid unless you are out of work for at least 8 days. These benefits are paid until one of the following three situations occur: You return to work; your doctor discharges you from active medical treatment (even though you have not returned to work); or your treatment becomes palliative (even though you have not returned to work).
If your employer's insurance company notifies you that they are ceasing to pay temporary disability benefits and you disagree with that decision, contact my office immediately.
PERMANENT DISABILITY BENEFITS
If the injuries you sustained in your accident result in a permanent disability, you will be awarded an amount of money for that disability by a Judge of the Worker's Compensation Court.
In order to determine the degree of your disability, I will have you examined by a doctor(s) who does Worker's Compensation evaluations. That doctor will evaluate your disability as a percentage of the loss of use of that part of your body that was injured or as a percentage of total disability. That doctor will charge a fee for his exam. You are normally required to pay the doctor that fee at the time the exam is conducted.
Your employer's insurance company will also require that you be evaluated by a doctor(s) of their choice. You will not have to pay for that exam. That doctor will also evaluate your disability as a percentage.
In the normal case, the Judge will review the reports from both evaluating doctors, will listen to your testimony as to the problems you experienced and will make his own determination as to the percentage of disability you have sustained. An award in dollars will then be made to you based upon the percent that you are disabled. This award is based upon how the disability you sustained would influence the average worker's ability to earn an income. No award is made for pain and suffering and the amount awarded is not changed by the fact that you were or were not able to continue in the same type of employment after your accident nor will the fact that you can or cannot earn the same salary as you did before change the amount you are awarded.
Any award for permanent disability is paid to you on a weekly basis, retroactive to the date temporary disability payments ended, and is payable at a minimum of $198.00 per week.
Once you have been examined by your employer's insurance company's evaluating doctor, they are required to pay to you the amount of money equivalent to the percentage of disability that their doctor estimates your disability to be. Payment of this initial amount due to you will be made on a weekly basis (at a minimum of $198.00 per week), retroactive to the date temporary disability payments ended. If such initial payments are made to you, the weekly payments of any additional amount due to you after the Judge's award will begin when the payments of the initial amount cease. If you receive a check for permanent disability you should make a copy of the check and contact our office. You may cash the check immediately. Acceptance of the check will not affect your ability to seek a greater amount from the Worker's Compensation Court and, except in very rare instances, you will be awarded a greater amount by the Judge. The attorney's fees awarded by the Judge will, in most instances, only be a percentage of the additional amount awarded by the Judge.
COOPERATION WITH YOUR EMPLOYER AND ITS INSURANCE COMPANY
You are required to report all work related injuries to your employer. If an immediate report is not made you may be precluded from making a claim for Worker's Compensation.
You are required to cooperate with your employer's insurance company. Such cooperation includes the following:
INVESTIGATION BY YOUR EMPLOYER'S INSURANCE COMPANY
In some cases the insurance company will employ an investigator to check on the validity of your claim. This may include interviewing friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and in some instances may entail the photographing or videotaping of youperforming activities that question the seriousness of your injuries. Such activities may include your performing chores around the home or performing work related activities on the side. Please note that any type of unauthorized employment while you are collecting temporary disability benefits will cause you to lose these benefits and may constitute criminal fraud.
TIMES TO CONTACT OUR OFFICE
If you have any questions regarding these instructions or your claim,
please feel free to contact my office
at any time.
ANTHONY M. SELLITTO, JR.
36 YEARS EXPERIENCE
by the NJ Supreme Court as a
CIVIL TRIAL ATTORNEY
Selected by his peers as a
PERSONAL INJURY SUPERLAWER©
(NJ Monthly Magazine
2005 - 2007)
LECTURER - Assn. of Trial Lawyers of America
LECTURER - NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education
"Our Courts exist so that innocent victims may be made whole for the injuries they have sustained at the hands of others"
Justices Long, Zazzali & Albin, NJ Supreme Court, "Buono v. Scalia" 179 NJ 131 (2004)