There are some jobs in New Jersey and the United States as a whole that appear inherently more dangerous than others. For example, the use of heavy machinery and heavy lifting in construction makes it an obvious workplace for employees injured by equipment, electric shocks, improper use of tools, and manual lifting or pushing.
Similarly, the dangers of working in a restaurant or other hospitality setting are readily apparent. There are slick floors, spilled beverages, and a lot of time standing. The longer a waitress or waiter is on a shift, the greater increase there is in employees injured by slips and falls. Finally, we can look to firefighters and police officers as brave individuals taking on a job with evident dangers. These first responders are thrown into chaotic and dangerous situations as part of their job description.
These Surprising Jobs Have a High Number of Injured Employees
On the other hand, there are some professions in New Jersey where the number of employees injured at work seems inconsistent with the job description. You may not think of nursing and in-home care as particularly dangerous careers, but in fact, healthcare professionals have one of the highest rates of injury in the United States according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Another career that is high on the list of employees injured each year is taxi drivers and chauffeurs. These professional drivers don’t have some of the typical risks found in an office space of manufacturing facility …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
Filing and receiving NJ workers compensation benefits is a process. You have to inform your employer of the injury, seek medical attention, and then you file a claim. This claim process could be incredibly straightforward and smooth, with the support of your employer. On the other hand, receiving the NJ workers compensation you deserve might be a frustrating legal battle.
Under the second scenario, it is very common for the medical attention you received to become medical bills that are due and payable. Your doctor, the hospital, or emergency services likely provide somewhere between 30 and 90 days for you to pay your bills. This timeframe isn’t always sufficient to cover the expenses with workers compensation benefits if there is a dispute or disagreement over the claim.
What should you do about seeking medical treatment and paying medical bills as you await approval of NJ workers compensation benefits?
Should You Seek Medical Assistance Immediately?
Many employees wonder if they should seek medical assistance immediately after an NJ workplace injury, or wait until they have confirmation of their NJ workers compensation claim. In all instances, you should obtain the medical treatment you need. This includes accepting emergency services, such as an ambulance or on-site treatment, and seeking out physical therapy or rehabilitation treatment, when recommended by a doctor.
Your choice of medical treatment could be important for approval of your NJ workers compensation claim, but this should never impede on your need for immediate care. If you are seriously injured in …Read More
The workers’ compensation cases and settlements that result from a New Jersey work injury typically take place in administrative proceedings before the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, not courtrooms. Despite the different venue, NJ workers’ compensation cases must follow certain processes to be successful. Often, these processes cause problems for New Jersey employees that are unaware of the rules.
In this post, we’ll cover some of the biggest mistakes employees make after a New Jersey work injury, and provide information on what you can do differently.
#1: Failing to Report the Injury in a Timely Manner
Many workers wait weeks or months to tell an employer about a New Jersey work injury. This delay can cause complications for a resulting workers’ compensation claim.
To follow best practices and advice from a workers’ compensation lawyer, a New Jersey employee should report a workplace accident and resulting injuries immediately after the incident occurs. However, this isn’t always practical or possible. A manager may not be available, the injury could require immediate medical attention, or onset of the injury is delayed. In such circumstances, an employee should report a New Jersey work injury as soon as possible.
#2: Not Reporting the Extent or Severity of Injuries
After an injury, many NJ employees are worried they will lose their job, be demoted at work, or even lose the respect of co-workers and managers. In an effort to protect their employment and pride, employees conceal the extent or severity of their injuries. When …Read More
The Internet and increased mobility are changing the way many businesses are structured. It wouldn’t be surprising if an office of 30 in New Jersey only had five or six employees that actually lived and worked in the area. As these business structures and the physical demands on employees change, the NJ workers compensation laws have tried to keep pace.
Yet, in certain instances, employees now fall outside the bounds of NJ workers compensation. Are you one of these employees?
#1: Remote Employees Working Outside New Jersey
Remote work is changing the landscape of America’s workforce. More people are working from home or coffee shops. Five years ago, these were the rogue workers of corporate America, but no longer. Today, many reputable and established businesses allow employees to work on a remote basis, and several NJ companies even allow employees to work out-of-state.
These remote employees may not be entitled to NJ workers compensation. Under the current law, an NJ employer is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to an employee that works in the state or signed their employment agreement in the state. If you are an employee from Ohio, that lives, works, signed your employment agreement outside New Jersey, and has no physical contact with New Jersey – you aren’t covered by NJ workers compensation.
#2: Employees Covered by a Federal Program
One of the narrow exceptions to NJ workers compensation applies to those employees covered by a federal program. For the most part, this is limited to …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
In New Jersey, an employee injured at work should first and foremost tell an employer about the accident, incident or illness. Employers in New Jersey are required to have workers’ compensation insurance that reimburses an employee’s medical expenses and pays benefits after an injury. Once an employer knows about your injury, it has a responsibility to start the claims process with the insurance provider.
In most cases, the employer makes the appropriate phone calls to the insurance company and files the correct paperwork. The average employee injured at work in New Jersey encounters very few problems receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In these uncontested situations, an employee may ask initial questions of an attorney regarding what to tell an insurance provider, how to complete required paperwork, and what to expect throughout the process.
Employee Injured at Work & Pushback on Workers’ Compensation
Other employees receive deferment, delay and denial from their employer or the insurance provider. An employer may argue that the accident occurred outside of work or was the result of recreational activities. Some situations, such as repetitive motion injuries and cumulative trauma are harder for an employee to prove, and an insurance company may inappropriately pushback on these claims.
When an employee injured at work receives pushback or denial of a workers’ compensation claim, the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law provides separate paths for employees to obtain appropriate and entitled benefits.
Filing for an Informal Hearing
An employer injured at work can file with the New Jersey Department …Read More