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How does workers’ comp settlements work?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance is essential in New Jersey as it provides payments to allow employees who get hurt on the job to recover from their injuries. When a work-related injury claim is filed, the insurance company usually accepts it and issues a reimbursement. What happens if you’re not satisfied with that settlement?

Challenge the settlement with a lawsuit

If you feel that your workers’ comp settlement is unfair, you can challenge the amount by filing a lawsuit. Pursuing a larger settlement can backfire on you, however, as the court can decide to award a lower figure. Sometimes, insurers will initially accept a claim and begin issuing payments but then may dispute it if they feel it is not work-related or didn’t actually occur. In most settled claims, the injured employee waives the right to sue the employer for compensation, but if you believe that your employer’s negligence has resulted in your injury, you can bypass the system entirely and file an injury lawsuit.

What happens if you take a workers’ compensation claim to trial?

If you file a workers’ compensation lawsuit against your employer because their negligence caused your injury, the judge must first evaluate if the claim is valid. It must be shown that your injury occurred due to an on-the-job task and that you have been following the doctor’s orders during recovery from your injury. Once a claim is deemed valid, the court will propose a settlement that it deems fair.

Once the court decides on the amount, both the insurer and the employee who has filed the claim can comply with the decision or choose to appeal either the whole settlement or certain parts of it. Appeals usually must occur within 30 days.