¶ … NJ Fails Injured Workers
What is your reaction to the fact that many WC cases are rescheduled twelve or more times before settling? What is the impact of those delays on the injured workers?
The Workers Compensation system in New Jersey is clearly not effectively dealing with workers cases in a timely manner. The stories cited are heartbreaking; like John DeJulio who had to wait three years before getting a needed knee replacement, Andrew Mathis who was forced to wait so long for any kind of relief that he lost his house and was forced to move in with his family, and Joseph DelDuca who actually became so frustrated with his long wait that he took it upon himself to drive his pickup truck through the glass doors of his local unemployment office (Martin, 2008). There are many more cases that are similar to these that do not get media attention and it is estimated that the NJ system directly affects an estimated one hundred thousand people per year.
The implications for the bureaucratic and slow system are definitely detrimental for the workers, and their families. They often wait for any kind of financial assistance to help them through their period of unemployment which can make it almost impossible to live. Furthermore, they often have to wait long periods of time to receive the medical...
Therefore, it could be said that these individuals often suffer, in the literal sense of the word as well as the figurative.
The system seems to have implications that favor the lawyers and the insurance companies however. With the number of cases that are being tried on the rise, it is likely that lawyers who specialize in WC have a steady workflow and receive significant financial compensation. The insurance companies also seem to be able to game the system to reduce expenditures to injured workers or at least delay these payments. DeJulio, a 79-year-old retired contractor, said Home Depot's insurance consultant, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, ordered him to see five specialists and attend nine court hearings in two years (Martin, 2008). It is unclear why the insurance company would request that DeJulio see five specialists, although it is reasonable to suspect that they were looking for one that would reduce their financial burden with their diagnosis.
How does NJ differ from other states when it comes to employers who ignore WC judge mandates?
Most states operate WC systems in which workers can navigate the system without a lawyer. However, it is virtually mandatory that injured workers have a lawyer in New Jersey because the system is so complicated. The article mentions that even with a lawyer, the system can still be overwhelming for workers.
Describe the conflicts within…
Martin, J. (2008, June 12). How Jersey Fails Injured Workers. Retrieved from New Jersey: http://blog.nj.com/ledgerarchives/2008/06/how_jersey_fails_injured_worke.html
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