August 7, 2014 is going to make for an interesting day. I am on my way to New Brunswick on a Motion for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits. A Motion for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits is a specific device filed within the Division of Workers’ Compensation which allows a petitioner’s attorney to get in front of a judge and hear matters when there are issues with the insurance carrier not providing appropriate medical treatment or paying a person for being out of work. The case that I’m involved with involves an ironworker who was assaulted by a 300‑pound crane and who is in need of specific orthopedic, neurologic and counseling care. The carrier has been slow to provide medical care and as a result the motion was filed to force the insurance carrier to provide the appropriate and recommended medical treatment. In workers’ compensation when the insurance carrier assigns a particular doctor that treatment must be approved. If not, a Judge of Compensation will order the insurance carrier to provide the treatment recommended by their authorized treating physician. In this case, the Judge of Compensation has already entered an order requiring them to provide my client medical treatment but as a result of the delay and authorization the judge will hear this and hopefully an order will be entered.
In addition to handling the Motion for Medical and Temporary Disability Benefits I will also have the opportunity to be involved with a mediation on a matter which not only involves New Jersey workers’ compensation but the New Jersey LAD law against discrimination. This mediation is designed to have all of the parties involved with the entire litigation and all of their representatives (seven lawyers and a mediator) in the same place to attempt to resolve the matter in a global perspective. The interesting part of the case is the connection between New Jersey workers’ compensation and the New Jersey law against discrimination. There is a section of the workers’ compensation statute (Section 40) which in a tort action allows the workers’ comp carrier to retrieve two‑thirds of any benefits it pays from what would be deemed the third-party claim. However, the New Jersey law against discrimination falls outside the purview of the tort action and as a result is not necessarily subject to the same Section 40 lien. The case is interesting for the factual basis but from a legal point of view the interaction between workers’ compensation and the New Jersey law against discrimination creates a new dimension which is not typical in these matters.
Finally, I will have the ability to attend the City of Trenton council meeting at which seven workers’ compensation claims are on the agenda to be approved in order to resolve their claims. Mechanism of resolution for City of Trenton is that once the insurance carrier approves or recommends resolution to resolve the workers’ compensation claim it must come before city council for approval. As such, the city council will approve the agreement, hopefully, and these matters can resolve. If you have any questions regarding motions for medical or temporary disability benefits or third-party Section 40 resolutions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our video library which provides some additional information.