Modification of New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Benefits Based on the Refusal of Simple Medical & Surgical Treatment
Employees who are injured during the course of employment may be entitled to benefits under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation program. Although you have a right to determine your course of medical treatment and surgical options, in certain situations your decision to forego a simple treatment may be grounds for the modification of your workers’ compensation benefits.
In order not to jeopardize your eligibility and receipt of maximum benefits, you should discuss your course of treatment and surgical options with both your physicians and your NJ workers comp attorney.
What Does the Law State?
Under N.J.S.A. 34:15-23, if an employer is prejudiced by an injured employer who rejects necessary medical and surgical treatment that does not endanger the petitioner in any rational manner, the awarded workers compensation benefits may be modified accordingly.
In other words, your employer’s insurance carrier may modify your workers comp benefits if you refuse to have a simple medical treatment that will not put you in any danger, but will improve your medical condition by allowing you to go back to work and thus reduce your need for benefits.
Examples of Cases Where Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Reduced
One example of the reduction of benefits under this section involves a woman who was 100% disabled due to a mental condition, but could have reduced her disability by 75% had she accepted the insurance carrier’s offer for medical assistance. The Workers’ Compensation Division reduced the woman’s award to only 25%.
Similarly in another case, the workers’ compensation benefits of an employee was modified to 90% because, although he suffered 100% loss of the use of one leg, he refused to cooperate with the liability carrier’s physician and refused all efforts to reduce the degree of permanency.
If you or a loved one has been injured while at work, you should immediately contact a NJ workers comp attorney to ensure you get the maximum workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with workers comp attorney Dan Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404 for a free consultation.