Disability Benefits Attorney in Sussex County, NJ Fights for Your Maximum Return
Board-certified trial lawyer negotiates disability settlements
What happens when a work-related condition prevents you from working? You’ve got to think of your future and your family, but the situation leaves you feeling hopeless. Then the insurance company offers to settle your claim for a lump sum that seems tempting until you realize the settlement is worth substantially less over time than the benefits you’re entitled to. But how do you negotiate for what you deserve when you don’t seem to have any leverage? You can accomplish that by calling me, Kevin T. Kutyla, Esq. I am determined to help injured workers get the disability benefits they are entitled to so that they can regain a firm financial footing. If you’re facing a personal crisis because of a work-related disability, you can rely on my passionate advocacy. I bring more than 25 years of legal experience to every case I manage, and as one of the few board-certified trial attorneys in New Jersey, I am prepared to fight and deliver positive results.
Understanding disability benefits for workers in Sussex and Morris counties
Sussex County is no longer a center for coal mining and iron works, but construction workers in this part of the state’s Skylands region still perform inherently dangerous tasks, and no occupation is without risks. Today’s Sussex County worker is more likely to be employed in an office, but injuries from repetitive stress can be painful and debilitating, and disabling accidents can occur anywhere at any time. Fortunately, injured New Jersey workers have a safety net comprising the following benefits:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) — If you are injured on the job and cannot work, workers’ compensation pays TTD, which is partial wage replacement at 70 percent of your average weekly wage, but no more than 75 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. This is the benefit you receive while you are under medical care up to the point where you reach the maximum medical improvement (MMI) that you can be expected to make. At that point, if you are still unable to return to your regular duties, you can either take lesser duties and receive permanent partial disability to compensate for lower pay, or you can apply for permanent total disability.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) — This workers’ comp benefit is for the permanent loss of a body part or function. There are two categories of losses: scheduled and nonscheduled. Scheduled losses involve arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth. The schedule is a chart that matches the percentage loss of use with body part to produce a number of weeks benefits will be paid and a maximum dollar amount. For example, a worker who loses 10 percent use of a hand gets 10 percent of the maximum benefit of 245 weeks, or 24.5 weeks of benefits. However, the maximum dollar amount the worker can receive is $5,855.50. Nonscheduled losses are for areas of the body not included on the schedule, such as the heart and lungs, and are paid weekly as soon as TTD ends.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) — When a work-related injury or illness prevents a worker from maintaining gainful employment, he or she may receive PTD. The worker receives these benefits for an initial period of 450 weeks. Payments continue if the worker proves the disability continues to exist. The law presumes a worker is permanently disabled after the loss of two major members (or a combination of members) of the body, such as eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet. Permanent disability can also result from a combination of injuries that make work impossible.
- Social Security Disability Insurance — Individuals who become disabled may be eligible to receive SSDI if they have a work history that meets the eligibility requirements. SSDI is an important benefit for individuals who suffer injuries that are not work related and therefore do not qualify them for workers’ compensation. It is possible for an individual to receive both PTD and SSDI, but generally, PTD payments will reduce or eliminate payments from SSDI.
Because disability benefits represent large payouts, insurance companies are often eager to negotiate settlements. There are advantages to taking a lump sum rather than weekly checks, but there are also risks, especially if you have no experience negotiating with insurers. Your settlement must take into account your future medical needs and provide you with sufficient support. To maximize the amount of your disability settlement, don’t talk to an insurance company until you’ve spoken with me. I am determined to maximize the value of your settlement, and I have a long track record of success in this area.
Trust a board-certified civil trial lawyer to manage your disability case
If you’ve suffered a disabling injury, you can trust Kevin T. Kutyla, Esq. to fight for your benefits. For more than 25 years, I have delivered positive results for workers in Sussex and Morris counties. Call 862-354-8931 or contact me online to schedule an appointment. In addition to my Succasunna office at 15 Commerce Boulevard, I have a Newton office at 93 Spring Street, across from the Newton Green.