Why You Should Retain Workers’ Compensation Attorney John D. Kovac For Your Employment-Related Injury

From the time of injury until the end of your case and beyond, I will fight to ensure:

1. That you get medical care when treatment is unreasonably denied.

2. That your medical care is proper:

  • That you are not undertreated or discharged from treatment prematurely;
  • That you are not treated for only one injured body part when more than one are involved
    1. Sometimes treatment for an injured back or neck is refused when you have a severely injured hand, arm, foot, or leg. Back and neck injuries get more money on the disability scales. A lumbar or cervical injury added to an injured hand, arm, foot, or leg leads to a much higher award, so insurance companies have little incentive to treat such "lesser" injuries.
  • That diagnostic tests such as MRIs and EMGs are provided when medically indicated;
  • That you receive sufficient physical therapy;
  • That you receive treatment for depression caused by a severe injury and inability to work;
  • That you receive pain management if warranted after reaching maximum medical treatment and being discharged by an orthopedist or neurologist;
  • That nurse case managers and insurance adjusters do not unduly interfere with your medical treatment.

3. That you get temporary disability benefits when entitled to them:

  • That your rate is calculated properly, you are not shortchanged, and overtime and bonuses are included in the calculation.

4. That you are not taken advantage of when on limited/restricted duty:

  • That your doctor specifies restrictions applicable to your injury;
  • That your employer adheres to the restrictions;
  • That if the restrictions are unrealistic and unworkable you are taken out of work and paid temporary disability benefits while under active curative medical care.

5. That your claim for permanent disability is presented persuasively, and as expeditiously as possible:

  • That soon after the end of curative treatment you will be sent to a forensic medical expert or experts who will prepare reports presenting your claim in the best possible light;
  • That these experts will testify if necessary;
  • That I will negotiate effectively with opposing counsel and present your case convincingly to the Judge of Compensation;
  • That if the evidence points to permanent total disability I will explore and pursue all applicable options including but not limited to the Second Injury Fund;
  • That I will try your case if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached;
  • That if new evidence or changed circumstances put your claim in jeopardy, I will pursue a "Lump Sum Settlement," known as "Section 20" under New Jersey law, that will enable you to walk away with something.

6. That I will be there for you if issues arise after an Order Approving Settlement or a Judgment:

  • That I will insist that your check for permanent disability benefits is paid within the time designated by law;
  • That if not I will file a Motion and ask for Sanctions for failure to pay on time;
  • That I will help you obtain additional medical treatment and temporary disability benefits if applicable;
  • That I will file a Petition to Modify your award and request more money if your condition becomes worse from the work-related injury;
  • That if such a Petition is warranted, I will consider the possibility of filing a new Occupational Claim to cover the chance that subsequent employment is found to have contributed to the increased disability.

I do all of this for a contingency fee much less than the one-third typically paid in civil negligence cases. No attorney fee is owed up front. The fee is awarded by a judge at the end of the case and will be 20 per cent or less. It may be as low as eight per cent when a Judge finds a causal relationship between your employment and your injury.

Before a claim is filed I will take an hour or two or three, as long as necessary, to interview you personally, take a thorough history, and explore all options, including but not limited to occupational claims and total disability.