Does Workers’ Compensation Cover the Emergency Room?

Visits to the emergency room are notoriously expensive and can run in the range of thousands of dollars for a short visit for minor care. If you were injured in a work-related accident, you might naturally be anxious about who will pay for your emergency room visit.

Emergencies can happen any time of the day or night, and some people’s work requires them to be off-site or in locations other than their employer’s venue. They may not have anyone around to report their work-related accident but need immediate attention for their injuries. Fortunately, workers’ compensation covers medical treatment for work-related injuries in the State of New Jersey, including treatment in the emergency room.

At our law firm, we urge all injured workers who were hurt on the job and went to the emergency room to contact our experienced team of New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyers for help. We will make sure you are getting the benefits and compensation you deserve from your workers’ compensation claim.

How Should I Handle My Workers’ Comp Emergency Room Visit?

Anyone seriously injured at work should seek immediate care even if this means going to the nearest emergency room. New Jersey workers’ compensation law states that workers must use a medical provider stipulated by their employer or their employer’s insurance company; however, an exception is made for emergency treatment of work injuries. 

If possible and injuries permit, the worker should inform the emergency room staff that they are dealing with a work injury and possible workers’ compensation claim. Additionally, the injured worker should try to contact a work supervisor to let them know about the work accident and that it requires emergency treatment. If this is not possible at the time of treatment, this should be done as soon as possible afterward. 

Note that if you fail to inform the emergency room staff that your injuries are work-related, it could result in an initial denial of your workers’ compensation claim. However, an experienced work injury lawyer may be able to help with an appeal from that point.

What Else Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system of insurance that covers the cost of work-related injuries and occupational diseases for employees.

Even if the employee was partially to blame for the work accident that caused their injuries, their medical treatment is covered. In return, employees are not allowed to sue their employers for work injuries.

Workers’ Compensation benefits pay for medical treatment of work injuries and illnesses, including doctor visits, hospitalization, surgeries, blood test, X-rays and other imaging tests, prescription medication, and prosthetic devices. They also pay approximately two-thirds of a worker’s wages if they cannot return to work immediately because of injuries from a work accident.

Those who are permanently disabled from a work-related injury can receive workers’ compensation disability payments. In addition, death benefits are available for the survivors of a worker who suffers a fatal work injury.

Do I Need to Pay for Any of My Medical Treatment if I Was Injured on the Job?

If you are injured on the job, you should not need to pay for any of your medical treatment. The workers’ compensation insurance system will cover the cost of your medical treatment. This includes doctor visits, hospitalization, surgeries, blood tests, X-rays, and other imaging tests, prescription medication, and prosthetic devices.

However, the New Jersey workers’ compensation system only covers standard, doctor-prescribed Western medical treatments. Insurance companies will most likely not pay for alternative treatments and experimental treatments. Workers can certainly use alternative treatments such as acupuncture, but will most likely have to pay out of pocket for them.

According to New Jersey workers’ compensation law, workers must choose a doctor from a list of doctors approved by their employer. It is possible to seek treatment from a doctor not on the list, but treatment may not be covered and the worker is required to pay the bills out of pocket.

Occasionally, if a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits has been denied, medical bills will have to be paid by the worker first until a settlement has been reached. 

How Do I File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Any injuries from a workplace accident should be reported as soon as possible to a manager, supervisor, or another administrator. This begins the process of receiving workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expenses. It is not required in New Jersey that notice be given in writing, but it is always best to keep written records of the claim process.

Employers are then responsible for notifying their insurance companies, who will determine if workplace injuries or illnesses are covered. They may confer with the doctor who evaluated the injury and then decide to approve treatment. If this is the case, benefits should begin immediately and the employee does not usually get billed by the doctor. 

What Should I Do If My Workers’ Comp Claim is Denied?

It is possible that an employer’s insurance provider will refuse to pay for treatment of a work injury or illness. This can be because the injury or illness is not considered work-related, the type and extent of medical treatment are being disputed, or other reasons. However, there are also instances when a legitimate claim is denied because the insurance company is trying to avoid paying benefits. 

If your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim is denied, it’s important to take action right away. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney who knows the steps of the claim process and the evidence needed to support a successful petition will also know exactly what benefits for which you’re eligible, how to maximize your claim, and will not settle for less.

Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen - The People First Lawyers

Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen: New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

At Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen – The People First Lawyers, we’ve been taking on employers’ insurance companies in the courtroom for injured workers’ comp claims since 1995. Our Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Law attorneys are well-equipped to handle your claim, and will not rest until you’ve received the compensation and benefits you deserve.

If you’ve been the victim of a work-related injury, or if your job has caused you ongoing physical pain in any way, contact our office to schedule a free consultation or call us 24/7 at (856) 751-7676.

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