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Will workers' compensation cover my mesothelioma treatment?

Employers are required to create safe working environments for their employees, and must also provide necessary safety equipment and warn workers of possible dangers. This includes alerting workers to the presence of asbestos in the workplace. All too frequently, people in New Jersey -- especially teachers -- are unknowingly exposed to asbestos just by showing up to work. Workers' compensation could help teachers who have developed mesothelioma because of asbestos in their classrooms.

While, in 2019, it is only used in limited capacities, prior to the 1980s, asbestos was very common and could be found in lots of places. Since it is a very durable substance that is also fireproof, builders frequently added it to the construction of schools in an effort to protect students. Asbestos was wrapped around heating pipes for insulation and sprayed onto the ceilings of gymnasiums and large auditoriums. Asbestos was even added to walls and used in textured paint. However, the durability of asbestos is now putting teachers and students at risk.

What you should know about workers' compensation in New Jersey

Getting hurt at work might make for entertaining TV, but it is far less funny in real life. Work injuries can range from mild to severe, but no matter the nature of a victim's injury, the resulting damages are usually serious. When workers have to take time off work or pay medical bills for an on-the-job injury, workers' compensation is there to help.

Most employers in New Jersey are legally required to have insurance that protects victims of workplace injuries from any financial hardships. These employers must also have temporary disability insurance, which covers any injuries that happen while not at work. There are a few exceptions to this law as well as to who is covered, so workers may want to check whether they are covered.

You don't need to have an accident to seek workers' compensation

There are many myths swirling around regarding the workers' compensation insurance system. Quite a few people don't really understand what benefits they should receive or how workers' compensation even functions. That lack of knowledge means that when people get hurt on the job, they may not know their rights to benefits and may not file the right claims.

For example, many people are under the mistaken impression that only workplace accidents qualify people for workers' compensation benefits. However, acquired illnesses and even a condition you had before you started the job could qualify for benefits under workers' compensation in certain circumstances.

Seeking workers' compensation for depression

It is not uncommon to hear people in Toms River talk about being stressed at work. Yet what if the stress you experience on the job has led to depression? Recent years have seen the recognition of depression as a debilitating condition, often leaving you unable to perform the tasks that even simple daily living demands. If it can be that debilitating in your everyday life, imagine how much more impactful depression can be to your job. Taking time to seek treatment is certainly an option, but as many have asked us here at Rosenberg Kirby Cahill Stankowitz & Richardson, should such treatment be covered by workers’ compensation?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, while 18.1 percent of the adult population in American reports suffering from some form of anxiety disorder, less than 37 percent actually seek treatment. Your reason for not yet having done so may be because you fear filing a workers’ compensation claim over this issue might be troublesome. From a general perspective, proving that your depression is work-related may seem difficult. Yet employees may face any number of stressful things at work, such as:

  • A heavy workload
  • Tight deadlines
  • Lack of resources
  • Job insecurity
  • Office alienation
  • Bullying or harassment

Just how dangerous is eating while driving?

After having been involved in a car accident in Toms River, your first course of action (after seeing to your own well-being, that is) is likely to determine both who is at fault and why. The circumstances of your collision may make the first point easy to prove, but understanding the why can often be harder. No one typically wants to get into an accident; rather, it is simple distracting behaviors that usually lead to collisions.

When you think of distracted driving, you probably envision someone texting or otherwise using their cell phone while behind the wheel. Yet there is another major form of driving distraction that us much more prevalent and yet can be equally as dangerous. Indeed, eating while driving is often a contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents.

How serious is whiplash?

If you are like a lot of people who live in New Jersey, you have heard others talk about whiplash injuries. Most of the time, conversations about whiplash arise after a car accident or when the topic of a car accident comes up. Whiplash is often thought of as a common and even a minor injury. This mindset may lead to some people being a bit dismissive about any symptoms that they associate with whiplash. It is important to understand whiplash so that it can be properly addressed.

As explained by WebMD, not every whiplash injury is something that just will magically clear up in a couple of days. Some people end up experiencing chronic and even life-long problems after incurring whiplash. Vehicle crashes are the most common cause of whiplash, especially wrecks that involve a person's vehicle being hit by another vehicle from the rear.

Workers' compensation can be claimed when an injury has worsened

Many people have issues such as back pain, muscle problems or trapped nerves that can flare up after certain activities. While these injuries may have been a frequent cause of pain for some time, your work activities may have caused the condition to worsen or to become more painful. As a result, you may need to seek medical attention or take time off of work to recover.

Since you will suffer financially as a result of not working or gaining medical assistance, you may consider filing for workers' compensation. However, you may be slightly cautious to do so, because the injury existed before you even started working for your current employer. It is, in fact, possible to file workers' compensation for the aggravation of pre-existing conditions through your working activities, but the process may encounter some challenges. The following are some tips for filing for workers' compensation for a pre-existing injury.

Report ranks New Jersey's driving laws

People who live in New Jersey should be able to trust that their state does as much as possible to keep its residents safe. This can include many things and parts of life, such as enacting laws to ensure that drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists are safe on area roads and highways. Every driver has the ability to make their own choices about how to operate a vehicle but the presence of laws and penalties for reckless or unsafe operation may help guide wise decisions.

A recent report by NJ1015.com provided some insights into the results of a study that took a look at the driving laws in each state across the nation. The study was conducted by the Governor's Highway Safety Administration. There were some areas in which New Jersey ranked very well in terms of protecting its residents. Other laws were found to be somewhat lacking in strength.

Understanding work-related asthma

Many people in New Jersey have jobs in which they are exposed to a variety of substances that may be harmful to their health. Employers are supposed to follow standards designed to avoid or minimize unhealthy exposure to keep workers safe yet this may not always happen. One condition that is of concern is work-related asthma. You may develop this illness due to exposure at work. Even if you had asthma before beginning a job, you might have work-related asthma if your symptoms worsen while at work.

According to the New Jersey Work-Related Asthma Surveillance, more than 650 people have contracted work-related asthma in the state since 1993. More than half of those people never had asthma previously. In addition, more than half of the people with work-related asthma were in their 40s or younger. The New Jersey Adult Asthma Call-Back Survey estimated the real number of work-related cases to be above 54,000. This disparity is concerning indeed.

Motorcycle fatalities in New Jersey

If you or a member of your family loves to ride on a motorcycle, it is important that you remain aware of the unique risks associated with riding on two wheels. While a motorcycle offers an unparalleled experience and a great ability to enjoy the lovely New Jersey outdoors, it does not come without some potential dangers. The inherent lack of protection around a biker makes every accident potentially devastating. Opening car doors, car blind spots, poorly maintained roadways and more are just some of the things riders have to contend with.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the number of motorcyclist fatalities across the state has increased from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, there were 56 recorded biker deaths. That increased to 62 the next year. Fortunately, 2015 saw a dip down to 50 deaths but that was tragically followed by two significant increases. First, in 2016, New Jersey lost 71 motorcyclists on its roads and highways. Then, in 2017, biker fatalities in the Garden State totaled 83.

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Rosenberg, Kirby, Cahill, Stankowitz & Richardson
29 Main Street
Toms River, NJ 08753

Phone: 732-908-7239
Fax: 732-341-3404
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