What It Takes to Get Workers’ Compensation

Submitted by Workers Compensation Attorney, Jeffrey Hark

Diaz-Paredes v. Whole Foods Market (decided January 23, 2015) is an appeal from an administrative decision of Workers’ Compensation. The appellant worked for Whole Foods for eight years in a position that involved bending, lifting, and pushing carts and claims that she suffered orthopedic, neurological, and neuropsychiatric injuries as a result. Whole Foods on the other hand claimed the injuries were a result of a 2004 car accident. The judge ultimately chose Whole Foods’ story and this appeal followed. On appeal, including in administrative decisions, deference is accorded to the factual findings of the judge. However the review of the Judge of Compensation’s conclusions of law is “de novo” or as if it has not been decided before. In this case the appellate court agreed with the trial judge but the short opinion does explain some definitions and standards that will be relevant to any readers of this blog seeking Workers’ Compensation benefits.

In order to get compensation a petitioner generally must show both legal and medical causation. This means that the injury was medically a result of the petitioner’s job duties or employment by a reasonable probability. The medical ailment is termed a “compensable occupational disease” meaning “all diseases arising out of an in the course of employment, which are due in a partial degree to cause and conditions which are or were characteristic of or peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process or place of employment.” See N.J.S.A. 34:15-31(a).

A competent attorney and the medical experts he/she work with can help you prove legal and medical causation and get you the benefits you deserve.

Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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