Explainer: Appeals of New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Decisions

Decisions of a Workers’ Compensation Judge are appealable directly to the New Jersey Appellate Court. An appeal of the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s opinion must be made within 45 days of the entry of the final order. How does the appeals court rule where there was a disagreement between the doctors who testified in the workers’ compensation case?

The Scope of Review.

The scope of review by the Appellate Division is “the same as that on appeal in any non-jury case, that is, whether the findings made could reasonably have been reached on sufficient credible evidence present in the record, considering the proofs as a whole, with due regard to the opportunity of the one who heard the witnesses to judge of their credibility.” Close v. Kordulak Bros., 44 N.J. 589, 599 (1965), quoting State v. Johnson, 42 N.J. 146, 162 (1964).

Thus, the findings of fact made by a judge of compensation “are entitled to substantial deference.” Ramos v. M & F Fashions, Inc., 154 N.J. 583, 294 (1998). But how does the appeals court review cases where there was a significant split – a disagreement – between the doctors who testified in the workers’ compensation case? How does the Appellate Division review a case where the Trial Judge agrees with one side’s doctors over the other? Continue reading Explainer: Appeals of New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Decisions

Explainer: Wage Replacement Benefits in New York

This articles provides a basic overview of the wage replacement benefit – temporary disability – in New York workers’ compensation claims. A workers’ compensation claimant is entitled to medical care and wage replacement. If the worker is killed by the accident, his dependents may be eligible for death benefits.

As set forth more completely in my book, when an employee sustains are injury medical benefits must be provided immediately. WCL § 13. There is no waiting period before medical benefits must be provided. Wage replacement (as discussed below) has a waiting period before benefits must be provided. WCL § 12.

​Wage Compensation: Cash Benefits.

Cash benefits are not paid for the first seven days of the disability, unless it extends beyond fourteen days. In that case, the worker may receive cash benefits from the first work day off the job. Continue reading Explainer: Wage Replacement Benefits in New York

Video: The Defense of Lack of Employment in New Jersey

Here is the post-webinar video from our most recent presentation, “Is the Petitioner an Employee?” from our New Jersey workers’ compensation webinar training series.

The webinar was presented live by Lois LLC partner Joe Jones and associate Angiola DiPopolo and audience questions are addressed such as:

  • “How is ’employment’ defined in New Jersey?”
  • “How is the defense of ‘Lack of Employment’ raised?”
  • “How do the courts define an ‘independent contractor’ in New Jersey” and
  • “What about ‘undocumented’ or illegal workers – can they get benefits as a petitioner in a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim?”

Subject: New Jersey, Workers’ Compensation Law, Second Injury Fund
Date Presented: April 24, 2017
Presenter(s): Joe Jones, Esq. and Angiola DiPopolo, Esq.
Run time: 20:01 Continue reading Video: The Defense of Lack of Employment in New Jersey

Video: Is the Claimant an Employee?

Is a minor covered by New York’s Workers’ Compensation law? How about undocumented workers? What are the rules for coverage for independent contractors? Attorney Greg Lois presents a webinar on the defense of “Lack of Employment” in New York.

Subject: New York, Workers’ Compensation Law, Lack of Employment, Defenses, Employer-Employee
Date Presented: April 17, 2017
Presenter(s): Greg Lois, Esq.
Run time: 23:10 Continue reading Video: Is the Claimant an Employee?

When Commutation of Payments is Available in New Jersey

Simply stated, a commutation is the legal term for a petitioner asking the court to accelerate the payment of an award to answer some pressing need of the claimant.

Commutation reduces exposure in two ways:

  1. Any commuted payment made is discounted 5%. Therefore, payments of compensation which are made under Order For Commutation save the insured money. (So, a commutation reduces the amount the respondent has to pay).
  2. The payment of commutation is deemed to shorten the period of overall benefits. A claimant, under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, has two years to re-open a claim from the time the last payment was paid. By commuting payments, the period for re-opener is shortened.

So, when is commutation available in New Jersey workers’ compensation cases? It turns out that it is only available in specific circumstances. Continue reading When Commutation of Payments is Available in New Jersey

Defending Employers