The Statute of Limitations in New Jersey Medical Provider Claims

The Division Of Workers’ Compensation’s jurisdiction includes medical fee disputes arising from New Jersey workers’ compensation claims.N.J.S.A. 34:15-15 states:
“Exclusive jurisdiction for any disputed medical charge arising from any claim for compensation for a work-related injury or illness shall be vested in the division.”
As evidenced by its situation inside of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation section of the New Jersey Labor Statute, this provision is meant to apply to all New Jersey Workers’ Compensation claims.

Prior to the November 19, 2012 amendment to the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act (N.J.S.A. 34:15-15), the statue of limitations for fee disputes was set by N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1 as per Medical Diagnostic Assocs. v. Hawryluk, 317 N.J. Super. 338, 349 (App. Div. 1998), cert. denied, 160 N.J. 89 (1999). Under N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1, recovery upon a contractual claim or liability, express or implied, not under seal, or upon an account other than one which concerns the trade or merchandise between merchant and merchant, their factors, agents and servants, shall be commenced within 6 years next after the cause of any such action shall have accrued.”

The 2012 amendment granted the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation “sole” discretion over fee disputes arising out of Workers’ Compensation matters. The amendment, in using the language “sole” discretion over fee disputes, intended to include all issues arising from a medical fee dispute, which should include the filing of a claim in a timely matter. Where the Applicant files a Medical Provider Application with the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act should apply as to all aspects of the claim.

Under the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act every claimant must file a petition in a matter prescribed by regulation, within two years after the date of which the accident occurred, or within two years after the failure of the employer to make a payment pursuant to the terms of such agreement. N.J.S.A. 34:15-51. Any claim, which is filed after the two-year statutory period noted in 34:15-41 should be forever barred. N.J.S.A. 34:15-41.

The Statute of Limitations for a New Jersey Medical Provider Claim is two years from the date the medical care was rendered consistent with the Act.

Greg Lois is the managing partner of LOIS LLC, a 21-attorney law firm dedicated to defending employers and carriers in New York and New Jersey workers' compensation claims. Greg is the author of a popular series of "Handbooks" on workers' compensation, and is the co-author of the 2016 & 2017 Lexis-Nexis New Jersey Workers' Compensation Practice Guide. Greg can be reached at 201-880-7213 or glois@lois-llc.com