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
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
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
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development handles every New Jersey workers compensation claim. Regardless of the severity of your injury, the industry of your employer, or complexity of your claim, your case will eventually pass before the same department.
However, there are certain steps you must take to make a valid claim, and the process isn’t always as straightforward or simple as you may imagine. Our team at the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone takes you through the five steps to filing a New Jersey workers compensation claim, but simultaneously encourage any injured employee to contact our office for assistance with one or all of these steps.
#1: Report Your Injury to a Supervisor
The first action you must take after a workplace injury in New Jersey is to inform your employer. Under New Jersey workers compensation law, an employee is required to provide notice of a workplace injury before filing a claim with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
You are expected to provide notice to your employer within 14 days of an injury, but the sooner you report the injury the better. If you fail to report a workplace injury within 90 days of such injury or onset of illness, then you may lose your right to New Jersey workers compensation benefits.
#2: Obtain a Medical Report and Evaluation
In most New Jersey workers compensation claims, the most important aspect is recovering costs for medical treatment. If you required emergency care, a …Read More
Throughout the holiday season, and even into the New Year, employers show their appreciation for employees by hosting a company holiday party. These events are intended as celebrations and joyful affairs for the company’s employees. Sometimes gifts are exchanged or dinner is provided. Other employers turn their conference room into a winter wonderland, and some rent an event space. One of the biggest decisions is whether or not to include alcohol as part of the party.
The festive environment not only increases employee morale and commitment but also encourages co-workers to step away from work and form personal relationships. These parties can be essential to retention and company culture. However, each year in New Jersey several employees leave the office holiday party with injuries.
Common Injuries at the Office Holiday Party
The office holiday party provides the perfect environment for certain injuries. These parties almost always involve food and drink, which is spilled and sloshed throughout the night. Unlike a normal workday, other employees are far less likely to clean up these spills. Slick or wet floors lead to slips and falls. It isn’t unusual for a few employees to leave with bumps, bruises, or even broken bones from a slippery floor. These spills are even more dangerous when out on the dance floor, where employees are already prone to lower back injuries and other strains.
As well, holiday celebrations also include extra decorations. Even if the holiday party is hosted at the office, employers will rent or buy …Read More
Between 2010 and 2011, New Jersey firefighter Carl E. Larson filed two separate workers compensation claims for two separate work-related injuries. It took until February 2013, but the Paterson City Council in Passaic County eventually approved both of these claims. The total in workers compensation came to over $105,000.
In many instances, the approval of the applicable municipal legislature would bring closure to a workers compensation case, but soon after the approval of compensation and benefits, Larson needed to take two days off work, unrelated to injuries or workers compensation. This short leave initiated a chain of events that eventually led to Larson’s retirement from the city’s fire department.
As stated in his subsequent lawsuit, this was a retirement that Larson didn’t seek or desire – and in fact, was allegedly forced upon him by the department as retaliation for workers compensation claims in New Jersey.
Circumstances for Retaliation for Workers Compensation
In his original complaint against the City of Paterson alleged that the city’s fire department forced him to retire as retaliation for the two workers compensation claims filed years earlier. The facts that surrounded the claim made by former fire captain, Larson, include evidence that after two days of non-injury related leave, he was told to remain off-duty until he completed for a fitness of duty examination. Then, upon his insistence that he was prepared for such examination, the department would neither facilitate such test nor allow him to return to work.
A few weeks into this …Read More
Offices are generally safe and secure places to work in New Jersey. Unlike construction sites and industrial warehouses, you don’t usually encounter heavy machinery or the need for strenuous manual labor, and unlike nursing or other medical professions there is limited lifting, pushing and pulling. Yet, the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics estimated that in the finance and insurance industries, professions that typically operate out of traditional office space, one in every 100 employees were injured at work last year.
These workplace injuries spanned a surprising range of type and severity. Yet, just as nursing is particularly prone to neck and back injuries, and falls are common to working in construction – certain workplace injuries are more common than others in offices. Office managers, human resources, and upper management can save considerable costs and improve the working environment by proactively addressing the most frequent office injuries.
#1: Slips, Trips & Falls
Across industries, slips, trips and falls account for more workplace injuries than any other cause. These unfortunate accidents require employees to take significant time off work and are a major source of workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey. This includes claims that come from office workers, who are actually 2.5 more likely to slip or trip at work than workers in any other environment or industry.
Unsuspecting office employees are victims of hidden and overlooked trip and fall hazards every day. For instance, a huge number of office employees trip on cords, cables and wiring that are stretched across …Read More
In New Jersey, there are several procedural and factual barriers that an injured employee must overcome to have a successful workers’ compensation claim. There include providing proper notification of an injury, filing a claim within the required period of time, and bringing a case in the state with proper jurisdiction to determine an outcome. All of these procedural requirements must be met before an injured worker even gets a hearing date.
An upcoming case before the New Jersey Supreme Court takes a look at the parameters and requirements for one of these procedural requirements – jurisdiction.
The Facts of Williams v. Raymours Furniture Co Inc
In August the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Keith Williams v. Raymours Furniture Co Inc. It is a case that began when Mr. Williams accepted a job back in 2014. Williams lived in New Jersey, and it is from his home in the state that he accepted a position at a warehouse in Suffern, New York. This is where Mr. Williams exclusively worked for Raymours Furniture.
During the course of his employment at the warehouse, Mr. Williams tripped and fractured his elbow. It was a serious injury that left Williams unable to work, and the New York Workers’ Compensation Board readily approved his application filing for medical treatment and indemnity benefits.
The New York workers’ compensation benefits eventually ended. At this time, Mr. Williams filed a claim with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation for partial permanent disability …Read More
When it comes to NJ workers’ compensation, many applicable injuries happen in an instant. For example, an employee trips over an extension cord and fractures her arm, or a delivery driver is injured in a motor vehicle accident on his route. While there can be other issues with these claims, it is pretty clear that the incident and resulting injuries were job-related. However, a substantial number of workplace injuries aren’t so clear-cut, for example a repetitive motion injury.
When an employee is injured due to a repetitive motion, such as typing on a keyboard for long hours or twisting to sort different components of a product on an assembly line, there is less certainty how and when the injury occurred. In these examples, and hundreds of similar situations in NJ workers’ compensation, evidence of the injury becomes substantially more important.
What Is a Repetitive Motion Injury?
Repetitive motion injuries are those ongoing aches and pains that arise gradually and over time. It can take months or even years at a specific job before there is any indication of the injury, and many employees continue to work through the initial warning signs of a potential injury.
These injuries often manifest in the neck, back, shoulders, and extremities. In terms of diagnosis, carpal tunnel, tendinitis, and bursitis.
Certain professions are more susceptible to repetitive motion injuries and resulting NJ workers’ compensation claims. Some of these jobs are transportation operators, such as bus drivers, school teachers, factory workers, painters, custodians, typists and …Read More