Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) June 28, 2018 – New Jersey has seen an increase in the amount of cases in which injured workers have been advanced money by private pre-settlement companies prior to their workers’ compensation settlements. These are companies that make private loans to workers who have been injured, then try to make an appearance at settlement and judicially enforce the amount that is owed their company.
Child support liens and temporary disability benefit (TDB) liens are considered legal obligations in New Jersey. In addition, medical providers have a statutory right to file a claim for payment in New Jersey. However, the statute does not allow pre-settlement companies to appear in court as a party to safeguard their loans.
South Jersey personal injury attorneys Petrillo & Goldberg say, “Pre-settlement funding may be appropriate if the injured worker cannot perform their job responsibilities, has diminished income, or has incurred expenses relevant to care or disability because of the injury.” “However, because of the exorbitant fees associated with pre-settlement funding, it should be viewed as a last resort.”
Such companies do not make loans in an effort to be generous. They make these loans in order to benefit financially at the expense of the worker who suffered an injury. It is possible that the practice of loaning a settlement to an injured worker in return for a later reimbursement is in violation of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, under which only a Judge of Compensation is able to give approval of a settlement.
Furthermore, placing a loan on an Occupational Assessment Service (OAS) conflicts with the rules against commutations. An employer is not allowed to make a commutation in New Jersey without filing a motion and securing permission from the court. All payments are made to the petitioner pursuant to the OAS.
Petrillo & Goldberg Law
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Pennsauken, NJ 08109
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Philadelphia, PA 19103
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Woodbury, NJ 08096