While certain jobs and job-related activities have inherent risks, a number of workplace injuries happen when employees do not or cannot follow workplace safety policies and procedures. Often, these accidents happen when there is improper training of an employee for his or her role or when mental factors prevent an employee from operating at 100% while on the job.
It is incredibly common for an employee to say, “I just wasn’t thinking straight,” or “I was stressed and trying to rush,” after an accident occurs. When a workplace injury happens for these reasons, many employees and employers want to know how the employee’s mental state or mental fatigue may affect a workers’ compensation claim.
Underlying Cause of a Workplace Injury
Lawyers and workers’ compensation insurance companies frequently discuss the most common types of injuries that occur at work. In New Jersey, similar to the rest of the country, employees are injured by overexertion, a slip, trip, or fall, or being struck by an object or piece of equipment. It is important for a workers’ compensation claim to know exactly how an employee was injured. Yet, the underlying cause for an accident or injury can be overlooked.
Mental fatigue, stress, sleepiness, and anxiety all negatively impact an employee’s performance. These mental factors will manifest themselves at work in a lack of focus, inability to address details, or lack of thoroughness. All of these effects can have serious consequences for employees and employers. Despite this, sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and anxiety are overlooked as risks within the workplace.
It is estimated that employers’ inability to recognize or address employee fatigue and chronic stress is costing billions each year. A portion of these costs is the payment of workers’ compensation claims, which may be avoided through better policies and reporting.
Effect on Workers’ Compensation Claim
When an accident or injury does occur in a New Jersey workplace because an employee is overtired, stressed, or anxious it can feel as if the employee was at fault. Many insurance companies will try to use this factor against the employee, and at times make the process more confusing when an injury occurred because of omissions or negligence by the employee. However, in New Jersey workers’ compensation is a benefit provided to employees regardless of the underlying cause for the injury.
Any employee that has been denied a workers’ compensation claim or offered a reduced settlement because fatigue, stress, or other mental factor was an underlying cause of an injury, should speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer. These tactics by an employer or workers’ compensation provider can be confusing and overwhelming, and accurate answers to workers’ compensation questions are needed.
Speak with a New Jersey Lawyer
If you are experiencing pressure from an insurance provider to accept a workers’ compensation settlement, have been denied a claim, or simply need straightforward advice on filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is time to speak with a qualified lawyer. Albert J. Talone, at the Law Office of Albert J. Talone, focuses his practice on New Jersey workers’ compensation, and can provide easy to understand advice in this area. Call today at (856) 234-4023.