Employees in New Jersey suffer workplace injuries due to falls, trips, car accidents, and failure to wear protective eyewear. In fact, when you start to categorize the reasons and causes of workplace injury in New Jersey, there seem to be endless risks and hazards. However, some of the state’s most serious workplace injuries involve the use of machinery or equipment.
When one of these grave accidents occurs, both employees and employers will ask a number of questions. We have the answers. In this post, we cover some of the questions most frequently asked of a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer after a machinery accident. However, it is impossible to cover all the information you want or need here. If you have a complicated question or one particular to your workers’ compensation case, contact our New Jersey office now.
Question #1: How Common Are Accidents Involving Machinery or Equipment?
There are a substantial number of heavy machinery accidents in the United States each year. These accidents occur on construction sites, in hotels, restaurants, and bars, in factories or industrial facilities, and in laboratories. Most statistics place workplace injury by machinery or equipment in the top 10 list of the most common causes of injury.
As well, machinery and equipment injuries could be more common than most people realize. When statistics are reported, the types of workplace injury are often broken down more narrowly than simply “caused by equipment.” Rather, there are multiple ways a worker can be injured by equipment and machinery, and each is reported separately.
For example, a machinery injury could involve being caught or compressed, struck by part of the machinery, or colliding with the machinery. Each of these causes falls under a separate category of injury – and all are often found in the list of top 10 most common causes of workplace injury.
Question #2: What Should Be the First Step Following a Machinery Accident?
Every workplace injury should have the same first step: seek medical attention. If an employee suffers a slip and fall, misuse or tools, heavy lifting, or a machinery accident, the biggest priority is always health and safety. After a machinery accident, it is probable that the employee should receive immediate medical attention. Management or another employer should call 911 and have an ambulance sent.
Where you go for medical treatment is based on the severity of a workplace injury. Following a substantial and life-threatening machinery or equipment injury, an employee should go to the nearest emergency room or care facility. The important thing is receiving treatment right away.
In the event the workplace injury is only a cut or non-emergency, then your employer should have a list of approved medical providers. If it won’t impact the state of your health, you should visit a practitioner on this list.
Question #3: Do I Continue with Treatment Before Workers’ Compensation Is Approved?
Once the recovery process has started, many employees have questions regarding recovery and return to work. One of the most important questions is whether or not to continue seeking costly treatments when workers’ compensation is still pending.
In general, a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer is going to advocate for the option that is in the best interest of your health and wellness. This means completing all required and recommended medical treatment and physical therapy. You shouldn’t skip doctor’s appointments or discontinue treatment because you feel fully recovered or are solely concerned with costs.
However, financial decisions are tough, and if you are uncertain that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or don’t know if a particular treatment is covered, speak to a New Jersey lawyer first. You can always call our office at the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone to learn more about covered medical care.
Question #4: When Do I Return to Work?
From the moment many New Jersey employees are injured, one of the most pressing issues is returning to work. Recovery from a machinery or equipment accident can be slow and frustrating. Often, workers want to get back to their job and full-time employment before they are ready. The best source of information on returning to work isn’t going to be your New Jersey lawyer, but a doctor.
A medical professional should be assessing your recovery and capabilities every step of the way. When a doctor clears you for light work or part-time hours, you can approach your employer with this information.
If your employer makes an offer of light-duty assignment or part-time work that is within the bounds of your medical restrictions, you should accept. To refuse work that you are cleared to perform could impede your workers’ compensation claim.
Question #5: When Should I Speak With a Lawyer
If you don’t know the status of your workers’ compensation claim or feel that there is a delay in the process, you should contact a lawyer. Similarly, if you claim for workers’ compensation was rejected by the insurance company or stalled by an employer, it is time for a New Jersey lawyer to assist with your case.
Finally, if you are confused by the workers’ compensation process or have questions after a workplace injury, you can reach out to a lawyer at the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone for answers. Our office is always available when you call (856) 234-4023.