Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP’s workers’ compensation third-party administrator and insurance carrier practice is a recognized leader in its field, among the true elite of law firms representing New Jersey insurers in complex workers’ compensation litigation for over 15 years.
We handle the full range of workers’ compensation insurance matters, from the routine to the most complex, and have a depth of experience in the field that is unsurpassed in New Jersey. Led by a core practice representing third-party administrators, workers’ compensation insurers, municipal joint insurance funds, and excess carriers we vigorously represent clients before the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks represents third-party administrators and insurance carriers in each stage of a workers’ compensation claim from investigation, discovery, and medical and temporary disability issues through trial, and in obtaining contribution from other sources such as the New Jersey Second Injury Fund. The firm has established niches in efficiently and successfully managing claims short of trial.
Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP’s workers’ compensation third party administrator and insurance defense practice provides legal counsel and litigation services to third-party administrators, insurance companies and their clients. We represent regional and national insurers, insureds and self-insureds to defend against insurance claims including:
Our workers’ compensation attorneys draft workers’ compensation policies, investigate and file responses to formal claims on behalf of clients, locate expert witnesses, prepare oral and written discovery, negotiate settlements, and bring cases to trial when necessary.
We work with our clients’ claims representatives, nurse case managers, and the insureds to determine the best strategy for our defense. Our philosophy uniquely prepares our team to counsel and assist our clients when it is time to make the strategic decisions as to how a case will be handled. Understanding and avoiding the costs of court involvements, as well as the risks associated with a trial before a judge of compensation, can make settling a case attractive.
On the other hand, there are times when the issues strike at the heart of a company’s character or mission — and settling becomes the last choice. Our attorneys, who have a combined 140 years of workers’ compensation trial experience, and are often hired by TPAs and insurance carriers on behalf of insureds because of the results we have achieved. We have successfully navigated our TPA and insurance clients through all types of claims from minor slip and falls to multi-respondent occupational disease claims for total disability involving the New Jersey Second Injury Fund.
One of the fastest growing areas of litigation is occupational disease claims. We have defended thousands of employment based claims where the allegation is that an injury or condition was not due to a traumatic accident, but rather due to exposures at work. These include all sorts of claims from orthopedic injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome to claims for psychiatric, pulmonary, and/or cardiac disabilities. Our attorneys have also handled thousands of “plant closing” claims filed only after a business has closed its doors for good.
From the basic slip-and-fall claims to catastrophic injury claims, we have the necessary experience to successfully represent insurers and their insureds in all types of workers’ compensation claims.
AMERIHEALTH CASUALTY, INC.
AMTRUST NORTH AMERICA, INC.
ATLANTIC COUNTY MUNICIPAL JOINT INSURANCE FUND
BURLINGTON COUNTY MUNICIPAL JOINT INSURANCE FUND
CAMDEN COUNTY INSURANCE COMMISSION
CAMDEN COUNTY MUNICIPAL JOINT INSURANCE FUND
COTTINGHAM & BUTLER CLAIMS SERVICES
GALLAGHER BASSETT SERVICES, INC.
SCHOOL POOL FOR EXCESS LIABILITY LIMITS (SPELLIF)
SPECIALTY RISK SERVICES
TRISTAR INSURANCE GROUP
ZURICH NORTH AMERICA
Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:
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Please be advised that in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, which imposed strict limitations on the operations of "brick-and-mortar" businesses and required telecommuting to the greatest extent possible, all N.J. workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.
In response to overwhelming requests from the Workers’ Compensation Bar to hold non-emergent matters electronically or by teleconference, as of April 6, 2020, the following Workers’ Compensation Judges shall be designated by the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation as essential personnel and shall report to their home vicinages for the purpose of hearing as many Workers’ Compensation matters as possible by telephonic conferencing, including all emergent matters and the following non-emergent matters, pre-trial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary benefits, and settlements by affidavit:
Hon. Audrey Kernan, S.J., Atlantic City WC Courthouse
Hon. Arthur Marchand, A.S.J., Bridgeton WC Courthouse
Hon. Ingrid French, A.S.J., Camden WC Courthouse
Hon. Lionel Simon III, A.S.J., Freehold WC Courthouse
Hon. Diana Ferriero, S.J., Hackensack WC Courthouse
Hon. Jill Fader, S.J., Jersey City WC Courthouse
Hon. Glenn Kaplan, S.J., Lebanon WC Courthouse
Hon. Michael Luther, S.J., Mt. Arlington WC Courthouse
Hon. George Geist, S.J., Mt. Holly WC Courthouse
Hon. Ashley Hutchinson, A.S.J., New Brunswick WC Courthouse
Hon. Philip Tornetta, A.S.J., Newark WC Courthouse
Hon. William Roca, S.J., Paterson WC Courthouse
Hon. Maria Del Valle Koch, S.J., Plainfield WC Courthouse
Hon. Eugene Mulvaney, S.J., Toms River WC Courthouse
Hon. David Puma, S.J., Trenton WC Courthouse
The Division’s plan is to limit physical interactions in our workers’ compensation courts to the greatest extent possible and shift to the use of telephone conferencing, and if possible video conferencing for judges, attorneys, and litigants. There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which case social distancing will be enforced). Court offices will remain closed for in-person submissions. Filings will continue to be accepted electronically through COURTS On-line.
The N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation’s number one goal is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, litigants, witnesses, and members of the public at large.
Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP also continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact on our local community and the world at large. In accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, our office is closed and the members of the firm continue to work remotely. As such, the members of the firm may have limited access to information during this time. We continue to appreciate your understanding. We encourage our current clients, new clients, and fellow members of the bar to contact us via e-mail as that remains the best form of communication. All attorneys and paralegals have access to e-mail and case information. We have designated essential personnel to report to our office for the purpose of handling emergent matters only and to complete essential administrative tasks. Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP remains committed to complying with all health and governmental regulations. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those most affected by this situation.