Bergen County, New Jersey Workers' Compensation Lawyer

Were you injured on the job? If so, you should strongly consider speaking with a seasoned Bergen County workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you get the money you need to get back on your feet again. Contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi today to learn more about how our legal team can assist you.

Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

Representation of individuals who are injured in the workplace, which is a companion to personal injury litigation, requires extensive knowledge and experience in the Workers’ Compensation Court. For more than 30 years, workers’ compensation attorney E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi has represented individuals injured at the workplace in an assertion of their workers’ compensation benefits, including resolution of their medical claims and liens, while obtaining a fair and reasonable settlement for the injuries they sustained.

Our Workers’ Compensation Services

Our legal team is prepared to help clients through all workers’ compensation matters, including the following:

  • Workplace Injuries
  • Income Benefits
  • Medical Benefits
  • Permanent Disability
  • Aggravation of Existing Condition
  • Third-Party Claims

Workplace Injuries

Does an old back injury aggravated by your current job entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits? Is your hypertension a result of employment-related stress? If you were in a car accident while running an errand for your employer, do you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?

The truth is, any injury related to your employment entitles you to income and medical benefits. Just some of the work-related injuries that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits are as follows:

  • Spinal cord, neck, and back injuries that result in quadriplegia, paraplegia, some other paralysis, loss of function, or chronic pain
  • Permanent brain damage resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • A torn rotator cuff injury, herniated lumbar disc/cervical disc, knee injury, shoulder injury, or other orthopedic or soft tissue injury
  • Psychological injuries, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety
  • Lung injuries, including asbestosis and baker’s lung
  • Heart conditions, including hypertension and heart attacks caused by stress, and pulmonary problems caused by exposure to diesel fumes and carbon monoxide
  • Cancer caused by toxic exposure, including lung, stomach, colon, and throat cancer, leukemia; and mesothelioma, including cancers that are diagnosed years after retirement
  • Repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, back strain, and rotator cuff impingement syndrome
  • Any injury that causes permanent partial loss of use of your hand, arm, all fingers, leg, foot, all of toes, eyes, or ears

Preexisting Injuries And Second Injuries

If a preexisting injury has been aggravated by your work, you are entitled to benefits but your claim must be handled very carefully. A construction worker’s knee injury from high school may be reinjured at work and require orthopedic surgery. An office worker with a history of depression may break down under the pressure of the workplace. A manual laborer with a lumbar disc injury may suffer a second back injury at a new job. Preexisting carpal tunnel syndrome may be aggravated by a repetitive stress injury in a new job.

When there is a history of previous injury to the same body part, a settlement for partial/total permanent disability benefits will be reduced by the percentage of the injury that is related to the first accident. If two or more injuries combine to result in total permanent disability, the New Jersey Second Injury Fund pays the portion of the total disability caused in a previous position.

If Your Employer Does Not Carry Workers’ Compensation

In New Jersey, it is a criminal offense to fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you were injured and your employer is not insured, you can still receive income benefits and medical benefits under the Uninsured Employers’ Fund (UEF) established through New Jersey workers’ compensation law.

Income Benefits

New Jersey workers’ compensation law provides income benefits (temporary disability benefits) for injured workers. These benefits cover a portion of wages lost as a result of workplace injuries. At the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi in Oradell, New Jersey, Mr. Cannarozzi helps employees injured on the job recover the income benefits and medical benefits that they need to get through the difficult period of recovery.

Workers’ Compensation Income Benefits FAQ

When will my lost income benefits begin?

You should receive your first wage compensation check within two weeks of the time you file your work injury claim. Some employers will delay filing a claim, hoping to pressure a worker to return to work before the income benefit begins.

What am I entitled to?

Income benefits entitle an employee to compensation equal to a percentage of the person’s average weekly wage. A benefit is typically 70% of lost wages, but is as high as 80% in some cases, with limitations on the total benefit. It is common for an employer to undervalue the income benefit.

It is extremely important to have an experienced workers’ comp lawyer review your income benefits worksheet and see that you are being treated fairly.

For how long will I receive my benefit checks?

You are entitled to lost income benefits until you are found to be medically fit to return to work. If you reach maximum medical improvement and are still not able to work, our attorneys will help you apply for permanent disability.

Do I have to accept light duty work?

If you have been injured and your employer tells you to come back to work on “light duty,” it is important to see that the work will not interfere with your recovery, that it does not cause further injury, and that it does not distract you from pursuing full compensation for your injury. If you were injured on the job in New Jersey, you are entitled to medical and income benefits. It does not matter who was at fault in an accident. You are still entitled to a percentage of your weekly wage. It does not matter if your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance – the New Jersey Uninsured Employers’ Fund (UEF), established through the New Jersey workers’ compensation law will pay your income benefit.

Medical Benefits

Medical benefits, workers’ compensation wage benefits, maximum medical improvement, full and partial disability – recovering benefits through a workers’ comp claim can be confusing and discouraging. Your employer is obligated to provide necessary medical treatment and income benefits for any employment-related injury – it is a lawyer’s job to see that you get the benefits you deserve.

Is There A Limit On Workers’ Compensation Medical Benefits?

There are no limits on the amount of your workers’ compensation medical benefits. Whether you need treatment for a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or you are paralyzed as a result of a construction fall, your employer is required to pay for all necessary medical treatment to bring you to maximum medical improvement.

Can I See My Own Doctor?

You are required to see the doctor your employer sends you to. You can request a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing, but that is subject to your employer’s approval.

The New Jersey workers’ compensation medical benefits system favors the employer. Since the employer pays the doctor, the doctor is under pressure to send you back to work prematurely, terminate treatment prematurely, put you on light duty prematurely, and discourage aggressive medical treatment. To give an example, your family doctor might recommend knee surgery while your workers’ compensation doctor may pressure you to return to work without that treatment.

If your injury was partly the fault of someone other than your employer, our attorneys will help you file a third-party claim for personal injury. If you become eligible for Social Security Disability or private disability insurance, our lawyers will see that all claims are filed with the proper documentation.

If you have been injured, it is extremely important that you have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer review your case and see that you receive the treatment you need for a full recovery. If you were injured under one employer and reinjure yourself on a new job, it is likely you will need a lawyer to get the benefits you deserve.

Aggravation Of Existing Conditions

As with health insurance coverage, most employees believe workers’ compensation does not cover illness or injuries related to preexisting conditions. At the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi, we have successfully shown that work-related injuries can exacerbate a previous injury or disability requiring treatment, and workers’ compensation may apply, even preexisting conditions that were not job-related.

As a general rule, when a workplace injury aggravates a preexisting injury or condition that prevents an employee from working, the entire disability is considered work-related. While a preexisting condition doesn’t have to be job-related, the aggravation or exacerbation of the condition must be related in order to entitle workers to receive workers’ comp benefits.

Contact the team at the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi to arrange a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer regarding an aggravated or chronic injury claim.

Normal Daily Activity Conflicts And Reasonable Accommodations

If your preexisting condition is job-related, but an escalation of the injury is the result of normal daily activity, the new injury would not qualify for compensation under workers’ comp. In addition, preexisting conditions made worse by a workplace injury require employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled workers under federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) laws, so long as they can still perform the duties of the job.

Permanent Disability

Under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, if you have suffered a workplace accident or occupational disease that results in a permanent disability, you are entitled to disability compensation.

Calculating A Permanent Partial/Full Disability Benefit

If you have suffered a loss such as the amputation of your fingers, a hand, or a foot in a manufacturing accident, or if you became deaf or blind as the result of a gas explosion on a construction site, your permanent disability can be clearly described. The amount of your benefit will be calculated using a chart published by the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. The chart lists body parts (hand, arm, all fingers, leg, foot, toes, eyes, and ears). Ranging from 1-100%, the percentage of loss of the use of the body part and the impact on your ability to do your job will determine the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive.

The benefit for a permanent partial disability or permanent total disability that is not on the chart (an unscheduled loss) is more difficult to calculate. Some of the most devastating workplace injuries fall into this category:

  • Neck and back injuries resulting in quadriplegia, paraplegia, or some other paralysis or chronic pain;
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in permanent brain damage
  • A torn rotator cuff injury, herniated lumbar disc/cervical disc, knee injury, shoulder injury, or other orthopedic or soft tissue injury
  • Psychological injuries, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety
  • Lung injuries and heart conditions

When representing a client with a work-related permanent disability that does not appear on the chart, we will send our client to an independent doctor for an evaluation. Then, using the evaluation of our client’s doctor and the workers’ comp doctor, our attorneys will negotiate with the insurance company to arrive at a fair value for the permanent disability claim. If the insurance company does not agree to a fair value, our lawyer will go to trial to fight for fair compensation. This is an area where you need a lawyer with the proper experience – if the doctor referral or negotiations are not handled correctly, it may permanently damage your right to receive permanent disability benefits.

Third-Party Claims

The Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi has been litigating personal injury cases from dog bites to serious surgeries involving a multiple-level cervical and lumbar discectomy and fusion. In New Jersey, the standard of negligence is known as modified comparative negligence, which means that the plaintiff, the party who was injured, is entitled to monetary (non-economic) damages as well as economic, compensatory, and on occasion punitive damages for serious injuries sustained, which are permanent in nature. E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi has represented clients who have been injured in product liability cases, hazardous and ultra-hazardous conditions, auto accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, dog bites, assault and battery, and wrongful death for over 25 years.

In order to effectively represent an individual, it is necessary to have obtained a competent a level, in the area of medicine involved as well as proficiency in trial technique and strategy. In the course of attorney Cannarozzi’s representation of individuals, as well as in his capacity as a dispute resolution professional, he has acquired the recognition of the nature of the complexity of an individual’s sustained injuries, as well as the efficient techniques required in the process of direct and cross-examination to maximum result to a client’s claim. In an ever-changing world of tort reform, especially related to auto injury claims, it is imperative that an individual obtain maximum legal representation in prosecuting his/her claim against the wrongdoer/tortfeasor. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Cannarozzi has acquired a toolbox of skills that are required to obtain maximum results

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

In order to navigate through the sometimes-daunting waters of workers’ compensation law, the experience of a skilled practitioner is required. The Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi is committed to providing clients with responsive and effective legal services. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, it is important to have a lawyer review your claim in order to see that you are being treated fairly. Contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi today to schedule your free case evaluation with our seasoned legal team.

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