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When does an injury arise from employment?

For you to collect workers’ compensation, your injury must be work-related. According to National Paralegal College, there are two criteria you must demonstrate for a work-related injury. One of these is that your injury must arise from your employment. In other words, an employment hazard must be the source and the cause of your injury.

You might think that it would be a simple matter to establish that your injury arose from your employment. It may be if your injury resulted from acute workplace trauma. However, there are circumstances in which it can be more difficult to establish that the injury arose from employment.

Repetitive stress injuries

Repetitive stress injuries do not result from a single traumatic event. Rather, they result from a series of microtrauma that has a cumulative effect over time. In the absence of a single acute injury, it can be easier for your employer or the insurance company to argue that the injury did not arise from your employment but has some other cause. Your treating physician may have to provide specific evidence showing that the injury did arise from your work.

Aggravation of a pre-existing condition

You may have an injury or illness that occurred or developed prior to your employment. The pre-existing condition may or may not have been work-related in the first place. However, if your job activities or an accident at work made it worse, then the new or worsened symptoms arose from your employment.

It can be a tricky business to determine the extent to which your current job contributed to your symptoms. Your employer may try to argue that your employment was not a factor at all.

How does drowsy driving factor into crashes?

Residents of New Jersey understand that drowsy driving is not always safe. But do you understand how much of a risk it is? Do you know how many people one drowsy driver may put at risk?

Today we will take a closer look at drowsy driving. We will see how it factors into car crashes. We will examine the true impact of drowsy driving on the safety of all drivers on the road.

The risks of drowsy driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take a look at factors of drowsy driving. For example, drowsy driving is one of the most common types of distracted driving. Many people do not even know that it is a form of distraction. People drive without getting enough sleep often. It is a somewhat normalized thing in many societies.

But drowsy driving impacts a driver’s abilities. This is similar to texting and driving or drunk driving. Many drowsy drivers cannot spot danger in time to avoid it. They have dulled reactions and slow reaction times. Rear end crashes are common. This is because drowsy drivers do not notice the car ahead stopped or slowed down in time to avoid hitting them.

Falling asleep at the wheel

They may even fall asleep at the wheel. This is the ultimate risk because it means a driver is unconscious. They cannot react to anything while asleep. This leads to many devastating crashes.

In 2013 alone, an estimated 6,000 fatal crashes occurred because of drowsy driving. Statistics likely rise as the years go on. One of the best ways to combat dangerous driving behavior is to stigmatize it. If drivers create a stigma around drowsy driving, will it help? It may discourage this behavior and make the roads a bit more safe.

What are New Jersey’s auto insurance requirements?

As in other states, New Jersey drivers must prove financial responsibility for accidents that occur. If you have a collision, you can seek compensation for injuries and property damages from your car insurance policy or a responsible motorist’s policy.

Before moving to the Garden State or getting your license here, make sure you comply with the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements.

Basic auto insurance policy

The state offers a basic policy with the bare minimum car coverage at an affordable price. This policy includes:

  • $15,000 in personal injury protection per person per accident, with up to $250,000 in coverage for certain catastrophic injuries
  • $5,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
  • The option to add $10,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • Optional comprehensive and collision coverage

The basic New Jersey auto insurance policy does not provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which pays for damages when you have an accident with a person who has no car insurance.

Standard auto insurance policy

If you want protection beyond the basics, New Jersey also offers a standard tier of coverage. This type of policy includes:

  • $15,000 to $250,000 in personal injury protection per individual per accident, with up to $250,000 in coverage for certain catastrophic injuries
  • $5,000 to $100,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
  • $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage, with available maximum of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident
  • Optional comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage available up to the level of your liability coverage

If you have a New Jersey driver’s license and choose the basic auto insurance policy, you have a limited right to sue for damages in an accident. Individuals who have standard state auto coverage retain the right to sue for damages that exceed the responsible driver’s auto insurance policy.

Workplace accidents and hand injuries

When accidents occur on the job, victims suffer in various ways. Some lose the ability to walk for a period of time and others are immobilized indefinitely. Back injuries, brain trauma, broken bones and lacerations occur far too often, but there are other injuries that create hardships for victims even though they do not receive as much attention. For example, hand injuries are debilitating for workers in many fields. 

From medical bills to pain and the inability to work, hand injuries disrupt life in a lot of ways. Outside of the workplace, these injuries create many challenges as well. It is pivotal for victims facing these hardships to explore their options. 

Construction and office jobs 

Hand injuries are problematic for workers in a wide range of fields. Construction workers who injure their hands are often unable to keep working, especially if they lose the ability to use machinery or tools. However, hand injuries also sideline office workers. For example, many employees cannot type or write anymore because of hand injuries. In fact, repetitive strain injuries occur very often and some office workers injure their hands after typing for many years. 

Recovering 

Moving on after sustaining a hand injury (or any other work-related injury) is crucial. Our law firm breaks down various issues related to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, which play a key role in an injured worker’s ability to recover. From assistance with training for work in a different field to help with medical bills and lost wages, these benefits are essential for eligible workers who cannot perform their job duties after an injury. 

What benefits are available under workers’ compensation?

In New Jersey, workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides certain benefits if you sustain job-related illnesses or injuries. The insurance is “no-fault” insurance, which means that it does not matter who is responsible for the accident, you will still receive benefits. 

Additionally, it provides death benefits to children or dependents of workers who die as a result of their job. 

Available benefits 

According to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, workers’ compensation provides the following benefits. 

  • Temporary total benefits 
  • Medical benefits 
  • Permanent total benefits 
  • Permanent partial benefits 

In exchange for receiving these benefits through the workers’ compensation program, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for other damages, such as pain and suffering. There are exceptions, however, if it was an intentional act that hurt you in the first place. 

What to do if you sustain an injury 

If you sustain an injury, you should report it to your employer right away. You may give the notice of your injury to anyone in charge at your workplace. The notice does not have to be in writing, although your employer may want you to fill out an accident report if you are able. If you require medical treatment, you should make a request as soon as possible. According to the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, your employer and their insurance carrier can choose which physician will treat you for your injuries. It is also important to note that in NJ it is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. 

Does New Jersey award punitive damages?

If you sustain an injury in an accident that a negligent party causes, you may file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. When you file a personal injury claim, you typically file for compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are those designed to compensate you for actual injury and loss you sustained as a result of the defendant’s misconduct. In contrast, punitive damages are those the court awards as a means of punishing the wrongdoer and to deter the wrongdoer from engaging in similar actions in the future. In your pursuit of compensation, you may wonder if New Jersey allows you to recover punitive damages. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

The courts allow punitive damages in exceptional cases

Per the New Jersey Courts, the state does not award punitive damages as a matter of routine. Rather, the courts will only seriously consider punitive damages in exceptional cases in which the defendant acted in an especially outrageous or reckless manner.

If you hope to recover punitive damages, you must file a separate claim for them, and you may only file such a claim if you recovered compensatory damages. To support your claim for punitive damages, you must show, through clear and convincing evidence, that the loss, injury or harm you suffered was the result of the defendant’s acts or omissions. Furthermore, you must show that the defendant’s conduct was malicious in nature, or that he or she acted in a willful and wanton manner.

The law further clarifies what constitutes as “malicious” or “wanton and willful.” Malicious conduct refers to intentional wrongdoing that stems from an evil-minded motivation. Wanton and willful behavior is behavior in which the defendant engaged despite knowing that said behavior was likely to result in the harm of another person.

: Is there insurance for bicycles?

You get auto insurance to cover you for a car accident and homeowner’s insurance to protect your home, but what about your bicycle? Do insurance companies offer bicycle insurance? This may be an important thing if you ride your bike a lot and face the potential of an accident or other issue with your bike.

According to Progressive, you usually do not need an insurance policy specifically for your bicycle because your other insurance policies will typically cover any needs you have. As long as you have auto insurance and either renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, you should have coverage for a variety of issues you have with your bicycle.

Coverage

In the event you have an accident on your bicycle, you can usually make a claim to your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance and get money to fix any damage to your bike. If you cause an injury accident, these policies may also payout on any claims against you.

When your accident involves a vehicle and injuries to you, your auto insurance will usually pay for some medical care. It may also pay for lost wages. If the other driver has no insurance, you may also get paid on a claim if you carry uninsured motorist coverage.

If you damage your bike in some way other than an accident situation, then your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the damage.

One note

You should note that some companies may make you specify that you want coverage for your bicycle. Policies may also have exclusions for bicycles. It is imperative to know what your policy says and covers to avoid not having coverage when you need it.

The most dangerous jobs are in the construction fields

Workers on construction sites face the highest risk of accidents causing life-altering injuries. Whether counting incidents in the roofing, demolition or extraction industries, statistics show that accidents in construction have increased. 

Serious workplace injuries have become more predominant since the rise of the gig economy. Companies hiring temporary or “gig” workers may forgo providing adequate training. This is a dangerous omission that can place inexperienced workers in hazardous situations. 

Employers may expect gig workers to have had past experience and training before hiring them, but may not always take steps to be certain. In cases where a gig worker fully understands how to perform a job safely, however, it does not absolve a company of its responsibility to provide the required safety equipment. 

The highest volume of serious injuries take place on construction sites 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction site accidents accounted for the highest volume of incidents resulting in serious injuries outside of the service industries. During 2018, at least 22,000 accidents resulted in construction workers sustaining injuries because of a fall, slip or trip. The number of incidents of falls from a high to lower level reached 11,960. Weak scaffolding and an open surface reportedly caused the most serious injuries related to falls. 

As reported by CNBC, vehicles caused the most catastrophic injuries to workers on construction sites. Without adequate training, an inexperienced worker operating heavy equipment may strike other vehicles or construction site workers. Whatever the cause, a worker suffering an injury should seek immediate medical attention regardless of whether he or she is working under the terms of a temporary gig arrangement. 

Recovery may require legal action 

By law, a Garden State employer must provide its construction sites with the proper harnesses, ladders and properly maintained safety gear. If a worker suffers from an injury while on the job, he or she may file a claim against a company that has failed to comply with safety regulations. A legal action may provide compensation for medical treatment, rehabilitation and loss of wages. 

 

What should you do after a dog bite?

In the aftermath of a dog bite, you may feel frightened or disoriented. However, it is important to take care of your injury as soon as possible. There are a few things you should do right after the bite occurs. 

After a dog bite, it is important to get away from the animal. Healthline says that once you are not near the dog, you can assess the severity of your injury. If an injury is not serious, you may sometimes be able to care for it at home. You should typically use soap and water to wash the bite. Sometimes a dog bite breaks the skin and in this situation, you may want to put some pressure on the bite so it bleeds a bit. This is because a bit of bleeding can help remove germs from the wound. Once you clean the wound, it is a good idea to cover it with a bandage. 

Sometimes you may think that if a dog bite does not look serious, you do not need to worry about it. However, it is important to remember that dogs typically have bacteria in their mouths. These bacteria might cause an infection. Because of this, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the wound as it heals. You should usually look at it every day to make sure the bite spot does not get swollen or turn red. Additionally, the wound should not become tender. If you notice these developments, it is a good idea to go to the doctor. 

Sometimes you may need to seek medical care immediately after the bite. You should generally go to the doctor if you can see muscle, tendons or bone. If the wound is very painful or will not stop bleeding, it is also a good idea to get treatment. Sometimes the dog that bit you may look sick or behave oddly. In this situation, it is important to seek medical attention. 

Can you recover compensation for PTSD after a car accident in NJ?

A car accident can be an extremely traumatic event. In fact, because of the increased frequency of car accidents and the devastating injuries they can cause, car accidents are one of the leading causes of post-traumatic stress disorder. If your car accident was severe enough to trigger PTSD, you may wonder if you can recover compensation for the ways the behavioral disorder negatively impacts your life. According to FindLaw, the good news is, you can. 

When you file a personal injury claim, you may notice that damages fall into one of two categories: Special or general. Special damages refer to losses that are easy to value. Those include medical expenses, property damage and lost wages. General damages, on the other hand, are not so easy to translate into dollars. Damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish fall into this category. 

Because the effects of PTSD are difficult to value, the judge would consider the condition and the symptoms as general damages. To ensure the judge understands the full implications of the condition on your everyday life, you may need an expert to testify on your behalf. The testimony should establish the following: 

  • Whether or not you have a confirmed PTSD diagnosis 
  • Whether the condition is the result of the car accident in question, or if you lived with it prior to the incident 
  • The prognosis of the condition, such as for how long a medical expert expects it to last, and how that would translate in dollar amounts 

One factor to consider when filing a claim for damages is the time it took you to obtain a diagnosis and request treatment. Because the condition is not fully understood, victims and their families often do not notice the warning signs until the symptoms have grown increasingly worse. This results in a delay in diagnosis and treatment, both of which may negatively impact a victim’s case. 

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