Submitted by New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
On October 21, 2016 the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation director and chief judge issued a memo advising that the Rules pertaining to the motions for medical and temporary disability benefits SHALL be strictly enforced. Although these Rules had been in effect since 2002 they were seldom enforced due to the difficulty of insurance carriers being able to react to the motions in a timely manner, schedule the doctors exams timely and then obtain the appropriate reports quickly.
What this means for petitioners is that motions requesting medical benefits not being provided by the insurance company and respondent shall be given first priority in the Worker’s Compensation Court.
Once a petitioners attorney files a complete motion with the appropriate supporting medical records, medical reports, petitioner affidavit and petitioners attorney affidavit, respondent must reply within 21 days and schedule the appropriate medical appointment with the appropriate doctor within 30 days from the filing of the motion. Thereafter the examining doctor’s report shall be served on the court and petitioner’s counsel within five days from the doctor’s examination. In other words, the insurance company and respondents shall never be able to comply with these requirements because they can never get doctors appointments scheduled that quickly and the doctors will never write the reports that quickly.
The practical effect, if and when petitioners counsel file is a properly documented and adequately supported motion for additional authorized medical treatment, will be Orders will be entered for medical and temporary disability benefits to the petitioners benefits.
Make sure you hire the right attorney for your workers compensation case who is aware of these time deadlines to get you the medical treatment you need related to your work related claim.
Jeffrey S. Hark, Esq.