A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Workers’ Comp Basics

What Information Employers Need To Know To Defend Reopener Cases

By on May 27, 2021 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

For employers, perhaps the most negative aspect about New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act is the proliferation of what are called “reopener” petitions.  These do not exist in many states. The injured worker in New Jersey who receives a permanency award can file within two years of the last date of treatment or payment of indemnity […]

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The Crucial Importance of Examining Treating Medical Records and Employee Accident Forms

By on April 12, 2021 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Many workers’ compensation cases involve unwitnessed orthopedic injuries.  Consider a case where an employee alleges that he or she felt sharp back pain around 11 a.m. in aisle 4 of the store while stocking shelves.  Suppose there is no security video.  Suppose further the employer provides treatment under Section 15 without admitting liability but still […]

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The Crucial Difference Between Impairment And Disability In Workers’ Compensation

By on December 4, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 1 Comment

Understanding the difference between “impairment” and “disability” is important in properly reserving files and in defending workers’ compensation cases. Many people use the terms synonymously, but there is an important legal distinction. An impairment refers to a problem with the structure or organ of the body. Disability focuses on the functional limitations that are caused by the […]

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The Crucial Importance of Investigating Subsequent Accidents

By on August 28, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation claims professionals know how important it is to ask about prior injuries in workers’ compensation.  That information can bear directly on causation and will often lead to credits at the time of settlement. But an underrated area of investigation remains subsequent injuries that take place after the date of the workers’ compensation injury but […]

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When Are Injuries That Occur At Work Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation?

By on August 14, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 1 Comment

There is a fairly widespread belief that any injury that occurs at work must be covered under workers’ compensation.  But that is not true.  There are several categories of injuries that happen at work which simply are not compensable.  Injuries which do not arise out of employment are not covered in workers’ compensation.  Not only […]

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Preventive Actions Do Not Trigger Temporary Disability Benefits In Comp and New Paid Emergency Sick Leave Act For Coronavirus For Employers With Less Than 500 Employees Effective April 1, 2020

By on April 6, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Let me begin with a correction to a prior blog.  A few weeks ago I wrote in a blog about a hypothetical scenario where an employer requires an employee to be quarantined because the employee was exposed to a fellow employee who tested positive for COVID-19.  Several readers wrote to disagree that the period of […]

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Why It Is Important To Understand Legal Causation In Workers’ Compensation

By on March 5, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

The concept of legal causation is fundamental to master in handling claims. If there is no legal causation, the claim should be dismissed.  The claimant must prove an accident which arises from the employment.  There must be a work connection.  When a case poses a serious issue of legal causation, the most common mistake is […]

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Transportation Issues in Workers’ Compensation

By on February 21, 2020 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Adjusters and employers familiar with other state workers’ compensation laws are often surprised to find out that the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act contains no statute requiring employers to pay for transportation costs to get employees to medical appointments and no mileage reimbursement provision.   When an employer requires an injured worker who has moved out […]

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What Past Medical History Is Most Important In Orthopedic Claims in Workers’ Comp?

By on October 4, 2019 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

The New Jersey workers’ compensation system has one glaring drawback for employers, namely the absence of any formal discovery in traumatic injury cases.  There are no standard interrogatories in traumatic claims and no depositions.   The consequence of this is that claims sometimes get passed through workers’ compensation that really involve long-standing and preexisting conditions which […]

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The Concept of “Work Connected” in New Jersey Workers’ Compensation

By on September 27, 2019 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Employers are responsible for “accidents arising out of employment” under most state workers’ compensation laws.  What does this language really mean?  The easiest way to interpret this language is to consider whether the accident has a genuine connection to work or just happens to occur at work. Take for example someone who is sitting at […]

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Maximizing Defense IMEs in New Jersey Workers’ Compensation

By on August 16, 2019 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

An independent medical examination can be requested at any reasonable time and place in the state for a variety of reasons: there may be an issue of causation, ability to work, second opinion on surgery, need for further treatment, or assessment of permanent partial disability.  No matter what the purpose of the examination is, a […]

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Veterans Administration/Tricare Subrogation Rights – Issues in Workers’ Compensation Practice Requiring a Proactive Approach

By on June 18, 2019 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

By:  Alfred Vitarelli, Esq., Shareholder, Stark & Stark Yes, it’s me again with yet another nightmare-inducing minefield to trap the unwary practitioner. Well, perhaps that’s an extreme analogy. But since we are dealing with Department of Defense-based health coverage, I believe a military-themed introduction is a necessity. Ok, I’ve got it: think of these liens […]

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Reckless Prank By Co-Employee Does Not Permit Victim To Pursue Civil Suit

By on April 18, 2019 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Readers of this blog know that it is extremely difficult for an employee to sue his or her employer or co-employee in civil court.  That was proven again in Johns v. Wengerter, A-2053-17T1 (App. Div. April 1, 2019). Johns, a City of Linden firefighter, was on duty at the firehouse on November 27, 2015.  He […]

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Injuries Post Job Termination

By on February 15, 2019 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

What happens if an employer terminates the employment of a worker, who then has an accident before leaving the work premises?  Is there workers’ compensation coverage? Does it make a difference if the employee quits as opposed to being fired and then has the injury on premises while leaving?  Does the moment of job termination […]

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Section Twenty Settlements and Subrogation Rights

By on December 14, 2018 in Workers' Comp Basics with 0 Comments

Section 20 settlements are not technically payments of workers’ compensation benefits except for insurance rating purposes.  These settlements are popular with employers because the file can be closed for good with no potential for a reopener claim.  In many states, the Section 20 settlement is called a full and final settlement.  But does a Section […]

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