Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) have been making headlines lately. While carpel tunnel is the most well-known of this family of injuries, there are many others.
Determining Whether RSIs are Work Injuries
To close off avenues whereby your employer may challenge the work-based nature of the injury, it’s important to cover your bases.
Your first step will be to go see your own doctor. Bring a job description. If the injury is aggravated every time you work, that’s a good clue that it’s work related, but a doctor can verify it.
Note that you are not trying to establish that no other activity exacerbates the injury. If you’re having problems at work you may be having problems at home, too. What you’re trying to establish is that your activities on the job have made a “material contribution” to causing the injury. That means they’re a major source of the problem.
See also: 8 Workman’s Comp Mistakes to Avoid.
Once you’ve established you have a work-related RSI you need to make a report to your employer just as you would if you’d taken an acute injury on the job. Bringing the problem to your employer’s condition is the start of every successful workman’s comp claim.
You’ll fill out an accident report for an RSI too, just …Read More
Employers don’t love watching their workman’s comp premiums go up. They don’t love holding a job for an injured worker. And insurance companies don’t love paying claims.
So there are dozens of little legal loopholes these entities can slip through.
You can avoid handing them the ability to slip through some of them by avoiding actions which give them an excuse. Here are some of the most common reasons workman’s comp benefits get suspended or denied. Avoid these actions to keep the flow of benefits coming.
1. Failing to report the injury to your employer.
While it seems counter intuitive, it’s important to report the injury to your employer. And you should do your best not to leave the scene of the accident until you’ve done it.
This establishes a few important facts.
- That you were on the job, and not, say, on break, when the injury occurred.
- That the employer is aware of the claim. The employer has no obligation otherwise.
- That you’re taking the process seriously.
- Tells you which doctor to go to, since in New Jersey the carrier or employer can tell you who to see.
Immediate reporting also avoids suspicion that you’re exaggerating the injury.
Obviously if you’re unconscious or being rushed to the hospital calling a supervisor and filling out a form won’t be at the top of your to do list. Just make sure to inform your employer as soon as you can, and add the written justification for the delay.
Don’t just …Read More
Workman’s compensation isn’t straightforward. Like any legal proceeding, there are a lot of steps to get through.
And that means a lot of places you can derail your own claim if you’re not careful.
#1) Failing to report to your employer.
Creating an incident report and giving it to your supervisor and HR is going to be your first step unless you’re unconscious and unable to move after your injury, or are too hurt in other ways.
Reporting starts the claim. And while this might worry you, the truth is the incident report is the first piece of evidence the accident took place on the job. The last thing you want is for your employer to try to make a case that the injury took place while you were at home.
Remember, “fault” doesn’t enter into a workman’s comp claim. What matters is that you were injured while working, period.
By the way, you don’t have to rely on your employer to report the accident to the insurance carrier. You can do that yourself.
#2) Failing to hire a workman’s compensation lawyer, and quick.
You pretty much need a workman’s compensation lawyer as soon as you file the claim, unless the injury was minor. If it’s a long-term injury likely to keep you out of work for days at a time you definitely want someone in your corner.
The insurance company is likely to try to dispute …Read More
Employers are certainly advised to be very careful about firing an employee who is out on a workman’s comp claim.
The law can’t keep your situation from becoming complicated.
Once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement the employer has a little wriggle room. For example, if you have work restrictions your employer may tell you they can’t accommodate those restrictions and terminate your employment at that point.
Many employers don’t terminate, but attempt to retaliate in other, more subtle ways. They may demote you, slash your hours, or cut your pay. They may also make groundless accusations or take other unwarranted disciplinary actions.
It’s a good idea to document everything that happens from the moment your claim begins.
It’s also a good idea to keep copies of any evaluations you receive, promotion records, and pay raise. They’ll serve as direct contradictions of any claims that you were a bad employee. And if you think you have grounds for a suit, you need to …Read More
If you are one of the 22,000 people in New Jersey who has been authorized to use medical marijuana to manage your pain, then this issue is bound to cause you some worry when you’re in the middle of a workman’s comp claim.
As it happens, this is an issue that’s been getting some resolution recently.
A Recent Case
In the 2018 case McNeary v. Freehold Township the Honorable Judge Lionel Simon ordered Mr. McNeary’s workman’s comp insurance company to cover the cost of his medical marijuana use so long as a doctor was willing to continue to provide evidence of his need for it.
In his ruling, Simon said that it was clear to him that the legislative intent of federal drug laws is to “curtail the use and distribution of illicit narcotics for the purposes of the overall general health.” He said he did not believe the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Act was in conflict with that goal, and was far more concerned about the possibility that Mr. McNeary would have to switch to opioids to manage his pain if he was denied reimbursement for the marijuana.
He pointed out it would be cheaper for the insurance company to pay that claim, too, though in this case the insurance company’s concern seemed to be less about the amount paid and more about whether they’d accrue liability in the face of Federal law which continues to criminalize marijuana use.
See also: Top Tips for Documenting Your NJ Injury in …Read More
There are over 127,000 temporary workers in the state of New Jersey. And if you’re one of them, you may be surprised to learn you absolutely are entitled to workman’s comp if you get injured on an assignment.
There’s a reason not many people know. For one thing, some publications erroneously report temp workers aren’t entitled to workman’s comp. What they might mean is the third-party employer who owns the job site isn’t responsible for it. And temp employees don’t often get it, in part because employers are all-too-willing to lie about it.
Knowing your rights is the first step to protecting yourself.
You probably need workman’s comp even more than full-time employees do.
Workplace conditions can be more dangerous for temporary workers than for full-time employees. There are three reasons for this.
First, light industrial jobs dominate the industry, which means we’re already talking about warehouse and assembly jobs where injuries are more likely to occur. Of course, even offices can be unsafe workspaces under the right conditions.
Second, many staffing agency clients know it’s very easy to replace anyone who complains, and so try to save money by cutting corners on safety. For example, one third-party employer required temps to enter a freezer without insulated suits.
Finally, third-party employers don’t usually invest in proper training. And some try to make temp workers do work outside the scope of both their assignment and their expertise, such as working a forklift.
See also: What to Do When a Workplace …Read More
If you suffer a workplace accident the consequences are immediate. After a workplace accident, you need medical attention and time off work – in the event of a serious accident, you need emergency care and weeks (or longer) to recover. These ramifications of an injury or illness are costly and there is every reason to worry about the financial consequences of a workplace accident.
In New Jersey, the state government has recognized the swift and cutting impact of a workplace accident and designed the process for a workers compensation claim to follow suit. An employee is entitled to temporary disability benefits when unable to work for seven days. The first workers compensation check should arrive within two weeks of reporting your workplace accident.
What if this isn’t the case for your workers compensation claim? Some employees wait much longer for their workers compensation claim to begin reimbursement of medical costs or payment of lost wages. At the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone, we take a look at what causes these delays and an employee’s options for getting their workers compensation benefits on time.
Delays by the Insurance Company or Employer
The most common cause of delay to a workers compensation claim is the insurance company. Employers in New Jersey are required to carry workers compensation insurance. These insurance policies protect the employer from exceptional costs, in the event of a workplace injury, but also provide assurance to the employee that a workers compensation claim will …Read More
NJ workplace injuries can result from carelessness, poor training, or repetitive activities. The nearly endless causes of employee accidents and injuries are often dependent on the type of work environment and duties of an employee. However, there is one cause of NJ workplace injuries that span offices, factories, construction sites, and hospitals, and that is fatigue.
In a hospital, where doctor and nurses are working ten, twelve, and fifteen-hour shifts, it is easy to recognize how fatigue plays a roll in NJ workplace injuries. But accidents arising from fatigue and sleepiness are also common in workplaces where the shifts are shorter and physical demands lower. Here are five ways fatigue is impacting a variety of workplaces in NJ.
#1: Fatigue Isn’t Always Tied to Sleep
We generally connect fatigue with a lack of sleep or rest, but studies have shown that this isn’t always the case when it comes to NJ workplace injuries. Fatigue can be caused by intense physical labor, long hours in front of a computer, an intense mental task, or even social interactions. Environmental factors, medical conditions, and physically demanding work are all underlying reasons for a tired employee.
As well, there is evidence to suggest that it is actually these aspects of the workplace that cause more accidents than sleepiness. Jobs are demanding more of employees outside traditional office hours and requiring a high-level of mental or physical dedication. As more is required of employees outside the office or salaries drive NJ employees to take …Read More
It can take anywhere from a couple months to half a year for workplace accidents and injuries statistics to work their way into the public sphere. In this case, workers’ compensation practitioners and businesses are just seeing the final numbers for 2017 and estimates for 2018 here in December. What do these new numbers tell us about workplace accidents in recent years?
Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of fatal workplace accidents dropped from 2016 to 2017 and the approximate numbers for 2018 show another slight decrease this past year. Specifically, in 2017, the fatal injury rate was 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in the United States. This number is down from 3.6 fatalities reported in 2016.
The data on fatal workplace accidents also tells us a lot more about injuries, illnesses, and infamously dangerous industries in the United States in the most recent years.
What Does the Drop in Workplace Fatalities Indicate?
The total number of workplace fatalities in 2017 is 5,147. This number represents all fatalities from all causes and across every industry in the United States for last year. The total fatalities account for slip and fall, electrocution, work-related car accidents, and even heart attacks occurring in the workplace. There were only 43 fewer fatal accidents in 2017 than in 2016.
While it is encouraging to see a slight drop in the number of workplace fatalities, this information doesn’t indicate much to a worker’s compensation or …Read More
If you look for a list of workspaces and professions with the most workplace injuries, you are unlikely to see jobs like account manager or sales representative make the list. These jobs are frequently done at an office and behind a desk. A seemingly safe workspace compared to construction sites and factory floors. Yet, there are several common injuries that still afflict traditional offices in NJ.
Similar to other workplaces in NJ, a substantial number of common injuries in the office can be easily avoided through training and proper procedure. A separate handful of office injuries are more difficult to tackle because these common injuries are inherent to the work and design of an office. What are the most common injuries in NJ offices and how can you avoid them? Read this post to find out.
#1: Ergonomic Injuries From Sitting and Typing
While the work in your office might not be monotonous, it is very likely your posture and position for completing this work is. Ergonomic injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, repetitive motion injuries, or cumulative trauma injuries, are incredibly common in NJ offices. In fact, these musculoskeletal issues are the most common injuries in offices. Just as concerning, most people ignore the signs and symptoms of these injuries for a long time.
The risk factors for ergonomic injuries include awkward posture or sitting positions, continuous strain or stress on the neck, back, and shoulders from looking up or down at a screen, and extended periods of …Read More