Giving Proper Notice for a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Claim Based on Occupational Diseases
Proper notice of an occupational disease must be given to an employer who does not have knowledge of the disease within a specific time limit to ensure that the worker will not lose his or her rights to workers’ compensation benefits. If you have suffered an occupational disease, you need to immediately consult with a New Jersey workman’s comp lawyer to make sure you take the necessary steps to get the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled.
Giving Notice Under the Law
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act requires that if a worker suffers an occupational disease and the employer does not have actual knowledge of it, written notice must be given either within five months of the end of the occupational disease or within 90 days after the employee knew or should have known the nature of the disability and its relation to the employment, whichever is later.
When Notice Is Not Required
The worker or his New Jersey workman’s comp lawyer is not required to give written notice if the employer knew of the applicable occupational disease. The employer does not need to have first-hand knowledge to satisfy the “actual knowledge” requirement. Instead, the “reasonably conscious employer” test will apply to impute where a reasonably conscious employer has grounds to suspect the possibility of a potential compensation claim.
Although the term “actual knowledge” is loosely defined, New Jersey courts have held that an employer has no duty of inquiry as to an employee’s medical condition beyond the time of employment. The reason for this limitation is to prevent subjecting employers to invalid workers’ compensation claims.
If you have suffered an occupational disease, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But in order to successfully file a claim, your employer must either have actual knowledge of your disease or you or your New Jersey workman’s comp lawyer must have provided your employer with proper notice.
For more information or to talk to a New Jersey workman’s comp lawyer, call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.