Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

Injured workers in New Jersey can seek compensation for a temporary disability that would keep them from working for a limited time. New Jersey workers’ compensation provides support for medical treatments, wage loss, and disability compensation to workers who have suffered an injury or illness – whether they have suffered a temporary or a permanent disability as a result of a workplace injury.

But do you know if your injury qualifies as a disability in New Jersey?

A temporary disability is one that prevents a sick or injured employee from returning to work for a limited amount of time. For example, you can seek temporary disability benefits if you have sustained bone fractures, torn ligaments, hand injuries, strains, or short-term ailments following a complicated medical treatment or surgery.
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NJ Construction Fall InjuryThe U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a call for better fall protection at New Jersey’s construction sites. According to Business Week, there have been four recent fall accidents in northern New Jersey, including an incident involving a worker falling into a vat of acid. Another recent incident involved a worker falling from a roof in Bayonne. Officials want all construction sites to have the equipment necessary to protect workers from falling whenever an employee is more than six feet off the ground.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 751 construction workers were killed in the year 2010. Falling incidents were responsible for 35 percent of those fatalities. A 2010 OSHA news release states that fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction. A number of these New Jersey construction accidents are entirely preventable when workers are provided with fall protection devices.

Employers are required to provide certain protections for their employees. Depending on the elevation, employers may have to provide safety harnesses, safety nets, fences, railings, safety training, and fall prevention training. When an employer fails to take these safety measures and appropriately equip their workers, the consequences can be devastating.

A Kearny, New Jersey worker at an industrial firm was killed when he was struck by a piece of aluminum that shot out of a fabricating machine. According to The Associated Press, the accident occurred on May 26 and is currently being investigated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in case the accident was caused by unsafe work conditions.

Reports indicate that the New Jersey worker was operating a fabricating machine when it made an unusual sound, leading to the man turning it off. When the machine was turned off, a piece of aluminum shot out, striking him in the head and neck. The worker died from his injuries a short time later at a nearby hospital. The man has been described as a longtime employee that was well liked at his workplace.

When a worker suffers a fatal work injury in New Jersey, his or her family has the right to receive workers’ compensation for their losses. Workers’ comp can provide funds for burial and funeral costs and loss of wages that support those that once depended on the working family member.

Last September, a bolt of lightning struck an 800-foot-tall metal crane at an unfinished casino building in Atlantic City where workers were pouring concrete. According to The Washington Post, the men were told to keep working but decided that after one more bucket of concrete, they would head to shelter whether that meant getting in trouble or being fired. Sadly, that wasn’t soon enough. The bolt of lightning that struck the metal crane electrocuted a 40-year-old worker who was holding onto a metal bucket of concrete. Two other men were also hit by the lightning and fell down. Although they survived the incident, they still experience pain from the injuries suffered.

On April 4, the surviving workers and the widow of the worker killed in the New Jersey electrocution accident filed lawsuits against Tishman Construction Corp. of New York and Network Construction Co. of Pleasantville, N.J., a Tishman subcontractor, two construction companies that are being accused of knowing or should have known that a serious lightning storm was approaching the job-site, but kept the workers on the job anyway.

The lawsuit claims that the companies had reasonable warning about the risky weather conditions and should have acted by stopping the job until the storm was gone. Instead, it is being argued that the construction companies had their minds set on completing the job as soon as possible so as not to delay the multi-billion dollar casino project.

A worker, who was sucked down a drainpipe while working at a flooded business, was discovered dead hours after the accident by rescuers. According to The Times of Trenton, the fatal work injury accident occurred on Bakers Basin Road in Lawrence the afternoon of August 30, 2011. The man was working with a landscaping and nursery company to help clear water from a business that had become flooded. His co-workers opened a manhole cover and he was sucked in. He was discovered by rescuers several hours later.

Many jobs are potentially more dangerous following a flood. Individuals working in such conditions must use the utmost of care when working with power lines, electrical devices, cable lines, manholes and carbon monoxide producing generators. It is important that all employers notify their employees of the potential dangers they might face. It is also crucial that all employers properly train their employees to work in adverse conditions.

The family of a worker who has been seriously injured or killed in a job-related accident in New Jersey can seek compensation for their irreparable loss by filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Losses that may be taken into consideration include medical bills, funeral expenses and lost future wages.

An amendment to the New Jersey Constitution was approved by voters with an overwhelming 81% of the vote, according to BusinessInsurance.com. The amendment states that the government may not utilize funds specified for workers’ compensation insurance to balance the state’s budget, which also includes New Jersey’s Second Injury Fund. The Second Injury Fund was set up to provide compensation to workers who had sustained partial disability injuries prior to being hired at their current jobs and also provides employer incentive to hire disabled employees.

Workers’ compensation in New Jersey is designated to workers who sustain injury while on the job. All businesses within the state are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. There are four types of insurance, which includes: temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability and permanent total disability. The extent of an employee’s injuries will determine the amount and the length of time that compensation will be available.

If you or a loved one has sustained a New Jersey work related injury, you may be entitled to more than just the amount that workers’ compensation insurance provides. While workers’ compensation does help, there are cases where an employee’s injuries are more serious and the amount that workers’ compensation provides is not enough.

Over 9,000 injured Ground Zero workers may get a boost in their settlements, according to NewYorkTimes.com. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, thousands of workers helped clean up debris. Over 9,000 of those workers have reported illnesses that have been linked to exposure from toxic dust and debris. Those workers sued the city, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the city’s contractors.

The workers have been in negotiations with the city and are now trying to decide whether to accept a $712.5 million settlement. Just this month, the Port Authority has offered another $47 million in a separate settlement. The workers have until November 8 to accept the $712.5 million settlement. Once the settlement with Port Authority is approved with the board of commissioners, workers will have 60 days to opt into the settlement. The settlement will only be valid if 80 to 95 percent of the plaintiffs approve it. About 75 percent of the workers have agreed to the large settlement with the city. That settlement requires 95 percent of the workers to agree in order to become effective.

Workers will receive payments based on the severity of their medical problems. Those with fewer medical problems will receive payments of either $2,000, $2,500 or $3,000 from the Port Authority settlement, while those with the most severe problems could receive much larger amounts. In addition to the settlement awards, Congress may set aside money to monitor and treat the workers’ medical problems as well as to compensate them for losses.

Tragically, a man working for New Jersey Rail Carriers in Kearney fell 20 feet and landed on his head, according to NJ.com. He was attempting to fasten a tarp onto a truck when he fell. Fortunately, he was wearing a hard hat and was transported to the hospital after complaining of neck and back pain.

In general, when an employee is injured on the job in New Jersey, they are entitled to workers’ compensation. This compensation is provided in exchange for the employee forfeiting his right to sue the employee for negligence. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Workers’ compensation is administered on a state by state basis.

Usually, employees injured in a New Jersey on-the-job accident can make a workers’ compensation claim and receive wages, payment of medical expenses, and compensation for future economic loss. If a worker is killed in the course of employment, workers’ compensation benefits are available to dependents. Usually, compensation for pain and suffering or punitive damages against employers is not available under workers’ compensation programs.

An interesting question arises in the field of New Jersey workers’ compensation law when an employee is injured in the parking lot of an employer either before work begins or after work ends. What happens when an employee arrives at work, parks, and falls sustaining an injury before actually entering the building and punching in for the work day?

These cases are very common. They also are very fact sensitive. As the New Jersey Supreme Court pointed out in the 2000 case of Bowers v. ICT Group, “the fact that the [employee] had punched out does not preclude compensability because the situs of the accident and the employer’s control of that location are the dispositive factors.” Therefore, it is possible to bring a workers’ compensation claim for an injury sustained in an employees’ parking lot either before the work day begins or after the work day ends.

If you have suffered an injury of this type, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact an attorney at the Princeton, New Jersey personal injury law firm of Lependorf & Silverstein for a consultation regarding your legal rights. Our Princeton workers comp attorneys can advise you of your legal rights.