In some states, employers and employees can get into protracted battles over whose negligence caused a workplace injury. Not so in New Jersey, which is a no fault state.
This means that in New Jersey, it simply doesn’t matter whether you made an honest mistake which contributed to your injury. You are still entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
The “no fault” provision benefits employers, too. Employees in New Jersey are barred from bringing a personal injury or negligence suit against their employers. They rely on worker’s compensation instead.
Thus, even if your employer decides to dispute your claim the issues of fact will usually be whether you have a permanent disability, to what degree you’re disabled, and whether you could return to work. In some cases the employer will be disputing where and how you took the injury, claiming it did not happen at work or represents a pre-existing condition they shouldn’t have to cover.
There are a few exceptions.
Employers can deny your claim if they can prove you were injured as a result of willful misconduct, which is different from fault. Willful misconduct covers violations of company policy or “horseplay.”
Safety and Health Magazine offers a good explanation of what might be considered horseplay: rough or rowdy play or pranks, which could involve physical contact, playing around, racing, grabbing, foolish vehicle operation, social pressure to participate in unsafe acts, harassment and unauthorized contests.
Basically, if you were injured while goofing off on the job or blatantly while blatantly …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 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
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
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey. The frequency of slip and fall accidents is due to the wide variety of hazards that can lead to a slip and fall and the number of work environments where these accidents are likely to occur. From offices to warehouses, construction sites to hospitals, and even in restaurants and retail, there are hazards that can cause an employee to slip, trip, or fall.
Despite the regularity of a slip and fall accidents, few New Jersey workers are certain how to react or what to do after they take a tumble. At the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone, we handle several slip and fall workers’ compensation cases each year and can offer a solid set of first steps to any employee that is facing injury or time away from work after a slip, trip, or fall in the workplace.
Make an Assessment of Your Injuries
If you are seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, then your first reaction and responsibility are seeking medical attention. Whether you need a co-worker or manager to call emergency medical services, such as an ambulance, or request a ride to the nearest hospital, it is important to get treatment. Broken bones, fractures, deep lacerations, neck injuries, lower back pain, and head injuries are all reasons to seek immediate medical assistance.
In cases where your injuries from a slip and fall do not require urgent medical …Read More
The seasons are shifting in New Jersey, and for now, the state is buzzing with autumn activities and pumpkin spice. But anyone familiar with the New Jersey fall knows that there are colder temperatures not far behind and so are the hazards of certain workplace injuries. What is now sweater weather and scary movies will soon turn to frosty mornings and cold temperatures.
In most parts of your life, it is wholly acceptable to ignore the approaching winter and cold weather, but not when it comes to preparation and planning for workplace injuries. There are entirely new hazards and concerns for the winter months, and the time to address these workplace risks is right now.
Whether you are an employee or employer this is the best time to start preparing for cold weather workplace injuries in New Jersey. Here are five of the common cold weather injuries and accidents you can take steps to avoid.
#1: Slips, Trips and Falls Increase Drastically
One common sign that winter is coming to the workplace is a gigantic leap in the number of slip and fall accidents that are reported to workers’ compensation insurance during the winter months. The cause of many slip and fall workplace injuries is probably obvious – frost, ice, and inclement weather – but these hazards are still overlooked by too many employers.
First, many employers put off their winter weather procedures, such as buying salt and bringing shovels out of storage, until the initial winter weather hits their …Read More
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common workplace accidents in NJ and across the U.S. Each year thousands of employees miss thousands of days at work because they have a broken arm, sprained neck, or another injury from falling at work.
Another important statistic about slip and fall accidents is that they occur in a variety of NJ workplaces and work environments. Offices, industrial warehouses, construction sites, and hospitals are all common locations for an employee to slip and fall. Other accidents occur in restaurants, hair salons, and schools.
Yet, slip and fall accidents are preventable. Very few employees are falling without reason and most slip and fall accidents occur because of a hazard in the workplace. Putting in place alternatives and safety features can reduce the hazards leading to slip and fall accidents. In particular, employers can work to address these five common hazards at work.
#1: Cables and Cords Across the Floors
Employees often don’t notice where their computer or printer is plugged in, until the cord to that power source becomes a hazard in the hallway or other areas of the workplace. In fact, cables and cords that go unnoticed or unsecured on the floor are one of the most common reasons for slip and fall accidents in the office.
However, it isn’t just law firms and business professionals that need to worry about this hazard. Extension cords, power cords, ropes, and other cables are common in warehouses, industrial facilities, and other workplaces …Read More
There is a legal requirement that NJ employers acquire and carry workers compensation insurance at all times. This insurance should cover all employees of the company, including new hires. It is a non-negotiable and extremely firm requirement that exempts few NJ employers. The structure of the workers compensation insurance obtained by your NJ employer may vary, but the legal obligation to protect workers through a policy is finite.
Yet, each year a small number of NJ employers neglect their workers compensation policies, fail to renew plans, forget to pay premiums, or just choose to take the legal risk and not obtain the mandatory insurance. What should an injured worker do if they discover their NJ employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance?
#1: Determine There Isn’t an Applicable Exception
Upon the discovery that an NJ employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance, your first step is confirming the employer is violating an NJ law. There are two major exceptions to the requirement to carry workers compensation insurance. You should be certain your employer doesn’t fall outside the insurance obligations.
First, the workers compensation law in NJ exempts any employer covered by a federal program from the workers compensation insurance requirements. This is a blanket exception, meaning it is applicable to all employers that receive insurance commitments from a federal program, but it is also extremely limited. There are few employers in NJ that would meet the criteria of the exception.
The second exception is applicable to employers that qualify for self-insurance. Again, …Read More
Following an NJ injury in the workplace, the injured employee is required to follow certain processes and procedures. For example, NJ law mandates that every workplace injury is reported to the management or the human resources department at your employer within 14 days of the accident or discovery of the injury. Informing your employer doesn’t need to be writing and a verbal report suffices under the law, but it is in your best interest to document this exchange.
In addition to reporting your injury, what other information and events should be documented during your NJ workers’ compensation case?
The Events Leading to an NJ Injury in the Workplace
Eventually, your employer, the insurance company, an NJ workers’ compensation lawyer, and possibly the NJ Division of Workers’ Compensation will want to hear how the workplace accident occurred. You’ll want your recollection of the events to be clear and fresh in your mind when you relay them to these different parties, but these conversations and a hearing will not occur immediately.
Rather, you should document the exact events leading to an NJ injury in the workplace soon after it occurs. This documentation not only serves as your reminder when speaking with an employer or insurance company but can also be incredibly helpful to an NJ workers’ compensation lawyer that may take your case.
Documenting Medical Attention and Appointments
Most workplace injuries in NJ require some form of medical attention to treatment. A medical practitioner should even assess the cuts, bruises, and …Read More
New Jersey workplace injuries occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes an employee isn’t properly trained on equipment and in other instances the machinery or equipment malfunctions. There are accidents and the accidental spreading of illness. Chemicals, electrical issues, and improperly placed or stored inventory can all lead to New Jersey workplace injuries. However, even among the plethora of reasons for employee injuries, fatigue causes an unusually high number of these accidents.
Why Is America So Tired?
More than ever people in the United States are working two or more jobs to make ends meet and pay their bills. Over the past 15 years, there’s been a steady rise in the number of Americans reporting a second part-time job or even an additional full-time position. As of late 2017, an estimated 7.6 million Americans were working two or more jobs, which was an increase of .2% over the previous reporting year.
This increase in U.S. employees with multiple jobs is having a cooling impact on the U.S. economy, but there’s more. Many of these workers are finding their extra hours in positions with a high risk of workplace injuries, and it is suspected that working two jobs is only making these numbers climb higher.
Of the individuals working multiple jobs in New Jersey, a substantial percentage are exhausted and burnout – leading to a higher overall number of New Jersey workplace injuries due to fatigue.
How Frequent Are New Jersey Workplace Injuries from Fatigue?
All reports tell us that …Read More