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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.

Notify your employer as soon as possible

Your top priority should be gaining medical attention for your injury, but after you do this, notify your employer of your work-related injury in writing. Even if they are skeptical of the origin of your injury, they have the legal duty to provide you with workers’ compensation insurance forms.

Show that the flare-up of your injury was caused by work activity

As with any workers’ compensation claim, you will need to show that the injury was caused by work-related activities. In the case of an aggravated condition, you should be able to provide enough information to show that if it were not for your work activities, you would not have experienced a flare-up of your condition. Gaining a statement from your medical provider could be very useful in this pursuit, because they may be able to confirm that the working activities were to blame.

Be prepared for a fight

Claims for the worsening of a pre-existing condition are often denied by workers’ compensation insurance providers. Be prepared to make an appeal and have all the documentation that you need.

It is important to take early action when making a workers’ compensation claim in New Jersey. Doing so will help you speed up the process of gaining the reimbursement that you deserve.

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 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.

On the low end, New Jersey is one of only four states in the country that does not mandate a certain number of supervised driving hours for new drivers. It was also found to have weaker seat belt laws than many states with the requirement for seat belts being a primary law only for people in the front seat.

On the high end, the Garden State was found to have the strongest distracted driving laws. It also ranked well for its laws governing the use of helmets for bicyclists and for its speed limits. Overall, New Jersey came in tenth for the strictest driving laws in the U.S.


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.

Signs of work-related asthma that you should watch for include difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing, challenges breathing, and a tight feeling in the chest. These symptoms may be less apparent when you are not at work and not exposed to the substance or environment that caused or exacerbated your condition.

If you would like to learn more about work-related asthma or other types of medical conditions that a person might develop due to their job environments, please feel free to visit the help for workers with workplace illnesses page of our New Jersey workers’ compensation website.

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