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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Workers' Compensation Injuries Must Be Reported in a Timely Matter

In order to file a valid workers' compensation claim, an injured worker must report the accident within 90 days to his or her employer. The NJ Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's ruling dismissing a case of a volunteer emergency medical technician who failed to give timely notice of his injury.

The worker, captain of the rescue squad, alleged an injury occurred when he responded to a one care motor vehicle accident when minor injuries had occurred and he allegedly jumped off a flat bed truck some 3-4 feet off the ground injuring his back. The worker was 42 years old, 6.25 feet tall and weighed 325 pounds who was previously being treated for an arthritic condition.

The court found, that the trial judge that facts in the mater demonstrated that a report of accident thad not be made within the statutory 90 days and that the case was therefore dismissed.

"Here, the record supports the findings of the Judge of Compensation that a
reasonable person facing appellant's circumstances would have been aware that he
sustained a work-related compensable injury on November 18, 2008. After all, it
cannot be overlooked that appellant had been with the squad for twenty-nine year,
and had held the high supervisory rank of captain for eight years prior to the
date of the incident. He also had multiple consultations with physicians of his
choice. His failure to give timely notice to his employer under these circumstances is legally untenable. We thus affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by the Judge of Compensation in his letter opinion of August 18, 2011. R. 2:11–3(e)(1)(D). The remaining arguments lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion. R. 2:11–3(e)(1)(E)."

Ader v. Lebanon Township,__A.3d___, 2013 WL 869392 (N.J. App. Div. 2013)
Jon L.Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman 1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.