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Workers' compensation: OSHA issues fines for workers' injury

Employers are responsible for protecting their workers; it is as simple as that. However, some employers in New Jersey seem to take this as more of a suggestion than a legal expectation. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently fined a company after one of its workers was seriously injured -- one who likely needed help from workers' compensation.

The worksite accident happened back in Aug. 2019. The victim -- a crane operator for an aluminum manufacturer -- was seriously hurt by a steel plate that fell from a crane. He was taken to the hospital and then admitted for further treatment. His employer was supposed to report his injury and hospitalization to OSHA within a period of 24 hours, but it missed that timeframe. It is not clear when the company actually reported the accident.

Motor vehicle accidents may involve pedestrians too

It is no secret that car accidents often result in serious injuries, but you might be familiar with only one side of this problem. While motor vehicle accidents certainly injure people in cars, bicyclists and pedestrians can suffer injuries too. Even areas designed to accommodate people on foot and bike are not as safe as you might think.

If you have spent any time walking or biking around Toms River, you already know just how dangerous it can be. It does not matter how well you follow the rules of the road or what safety precautions you take -- cars rule the road, not you. And there are a lot of drivers in New Jersey who feel like the road is exclusively reserved for vehicle use, even in areas with clearly marked bike lanes and pedestrian crossings.

Your rights with a pre-existing repetitive stress injury at work

Repetitive stress injuries develop slowly over time. Although you may not realize it, you may contribute a small amount to this cumulative injury every day that you work. Performing the same tasks day after day can place an inordinate amount of strain on your muscles and connective tissues.

It is possible for someone to develop a repetitive stress or motion injury in any part of their body that they frequently use for repetitive tasks, including lifting, twisting, gripping and maneuvering. Even typing at a computer for long amounts of time can result in serious, even permanent injury.

Workers' compensation: Construction worker hurt on New Year's Eve

Although most people in New Jersey might have spent New Year's Eve celebrating the changing of the calendar, there was at least one person who was not able to participate. That person is a construction worker who was injured at work on that day. Even though the accident occurred in 2019, he can still pursue workers' compensation for any related injuries.

On Dec. 31, 2019, the 64-year-old man was working at the site of a utility repair project. He is employed by one of the companies helping with the ongoing project. At the time of the accident he was working in an on-site ditch. For reasons that are not yet clear, the ditch partially collapsed. The man was trapped at least briefly by the collapse.

Personal injury: Motorcycle riders face greater risks

The experience of riding a motorcycle is wholly different than that of sitting behind a steering wheel. Although there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to transportation preferences, New Jersey motorcyclists often enjoy the sense of freedom that only comes on two wheels. That freedom comes at a cost. When it comes to accidents and injuries, motorcycle riders are especially vulnerable and may need to understand how personal injury claims can help.

The majority of motorcycle accidents that involve another vehicle are not the fault of the motorcycle driver. In fact, drivers violating motorcyclists' right of way are responsible for 66% of these accidents. Motorcycle riders are at a certain disadvantage on the road since they are less visible than larger vehicles. However, every driver is responsible for his or her actions when it comes to watching out for other vehicles -- including motorcycles.

Slip-and-fall accidents commonly cited in personal injury claims

It does not matter how comedy movies or sitcoms portray them, there is nothing funny about slip-and-fall accidents. Suffering a personal injury during a fall is actually quite serious, and victims may suffer broken bones and even brain injuries. Falls can even happen outside even though they are most commonly associated with indoor accidents. Here are a few things that holiday shoppers should keep in mind when visiting stores.

A lot of people in New Jersey are spending the last month of 2019 shopping for others, which means they are visiting stores more frequently. It is important that these shoppers pay careful attention to both the conditions inside the store as well as in the parking lot. If a property owner does not fill holes, patch cracks or perform other necessary maintenance, then it is very likely that someone will get hurt.

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
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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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