People hurt on the job while working in New Jersey may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits for their losses. They must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for such benefits, however. For example, they have to establish that they suffered compensable injuries, which means, in part, the harm must be work-related. Recently, a New Jersey court discussed the review process in a matter in which an employee’s workers’ compensation claim was denied due to insufficient proof of work-related harm. If you sustained injuries while working in New Jersey, it is advisable to speak to a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to assess whether you may be owed benefits.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is alleged that the plaintiff worked at a manufacturing warehouse for the defendant. He was provided with protective eyewear and gloves but no equipment to protect his hearing. In July 2015, the defendant presented to the emergency room with complaints of dizziness. He was prescribed medication and directed to follow up with an ENT doctor. He was then evaluated in October and November 2015 by ENT doctors.

It is reported that the first doctor found the plaintiff’s hearing to be normal and did not diagnose any abnormalities, while the second diagnosed him with tinnitus and hearing loss. The plaintiff then filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, alleging his hearing issues were work-related. Following a hearing, his claim was denied, after which he appealed.

Reviewing a Denial of a Workers’ Compensation Claim

On appeal, the court noted that the judge of compensation found that the plaintiff lacked credibility and offered inconsistent testimony. Further, the judge of compensation was troubled by the plaintiff’s expert’s narrative report, which stated that the plaintiff’s issues were caused by noise exposure at work, but offered no data, study, or evidence to support the opinion.

The appellate court explained that its role on appeal was limited to determining whether the judge of compensation’s findings were reasonable based on the evidence of record that is sufficient and credible, in consideration of the proofs as a whole. Appellate courts are also mindful of the fact that judges of compensation are afforded the opportunity to assess the credibility of the witnesses and thus grants their findings substantial deference.

In other words, the appellate court cannot substitute its own findings of fact for those of the judge of compensation and will only disturb the judge’s decision if it is wholly unsupported by the competent, credible, and relevant evidence. In the subject case, the court found no grounds to overturn the judge of compensations’ findings. Thus, the denial of the plaintiff’s claims was affirmed.

Confer with a Skillful New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you suffered harm due to workplace conditions, you may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits, and if your claim was denied, you might have grounds for an appeal. The skillful New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are proficient at helping people throughout the process of appealing a denied claim workers’ compensation claim, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf.  You can contact us via our online form or at 800-999-0897 to schedule a meeting.