Four Most Common Workplace Office Injuries

If you have been catastrophically injured in an accident on the job or in the office, you need to talk with an experienced New Jersey workers compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your decision to get legal help from a lawyer who can walk you through all the phases of the process and help tell you more whether or not you are eligible for workers compensation can get you the benefits that you need.

While offices are typically secure and safe places to be employed, unlike industrial warehouses and construction sites, there is still the cause for serious injuries in the office. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in the insurance and finance industry, one out of every employee was injured at work every single year. When you are knowledgeable about the steps you need to take immediately after being injured and get help from a talented New Jersey workers compensation attorney, you will be much more likely to be successful with your workers compensation claim.

The injuries included in the study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that these workplace injuries expand a broad range of severity and type. While certain industries are prone to have particular types of injuries, such as falls on construction sites and back and neck injuries for nurses, particular workplace conditions and accidents are more common than others when it comes to offices. Upper management, office managers, and human resources can all cause accidents and improve the safety of the work environment by managing the most frequent office injuries and developing a plan for prevention.

The first category of most common office injuries in New Jersey has to do with slips, trips, and falls. This accounts for more workplace injuries and more workers compensation claims than any other cause. In many cases, employees have to take a long time off work and file a workers compensation claim. Office workers are 2.5 times more likely to slip and trip at work than anyone in other businesses or environment.

The second most common category for workers compensation injuries in the office is back, neck, and shoulder strains. While it might seem unlikely that an office employee would strain their shoulders, back, or neck at work, it happens quite often. This is because employees have to sit for long periods of time, and when an action is required, the body is tense, unprepared, and tight. Other materials kept in store rooms may cause office workers to have to bend over or reach high.

The third most common cause of workplace injuries are accumulative trauma and repetitive motion injuries often caused after a person has to do the same thing over a long period of time. The aggravated effect such as repeated motion is acute or general pain, soreness in a specific location of the body, or reduced range of motion. In many of the workers compensation claims associated with repetitive stress injuries has to do with sitting and typing. Office employees spend many hours of their day, if not all, doing this.

The fourth most common category of workers compensation claims associated with offices in New Jersey has to do with injuries in an office that do not involve work duties. Many workplace injuries happen when employees are at the office but not at their desk. Someone could get injured in the kitchen or near the elevator, for example. Proper training and organization are critical for avoiding these accidents and the resulting injuries. Office managers must be aware of the risks and as well as any appliances or equipment that could malfunction and any spill should also be managed in a timely fashion.

Many of the injuries associated with such accidents still fall under the umbrella of workers compensation but it can be harder to file for appropriate benefits. Consulting with a New Jersey workers compensation attorney as soon as you have suffered an accident like this can help you figure out whether or not you are within your rights to file a claim and can help you if your claim has already been delayed or denied by the workers compensation insurance company. Many people find the process of workers compensation overwhelming but having a lawyer in your corner can help.

Contact Us

Craig Voorhees is Certified by The New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.  Call to arrange a private meeting.  Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process

What You Need to Know About The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process

If you were recently hurt on the job, you probably thought you were doing the right thing by filing a report as soon as possible, getting medical attention, and making a timely claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the road for many people who have been seriously hurt in a workplace accident or those who have developed an occupational illness.

If your claim is denied or otherwise delayed, you may not be familiar enough with the process involved to get your benefits as soon as possible. In the meantime, you’re dealing with the enhanced stress of trying to figure out how you’re going to make things work as you pay your bills and remain focused on your medical treatments. The New Jersey workers’ compensation appeals process can be especially difficult if you don’t have an experienced attorney to help you navigate it. While New Jersey workers’ compensation is designed to provide eligible employees with the benefits they need to support themselves, it is not always easy to get these benefits right away. If your claim is accepted, you’ll be able to get benefits for time off work, medical coverage, and benefits for any permanent impairment. However, you may have to appeal your workers’ compensation denial.

If you’ve already been denied, having an attorney in your corner is one of the best ways to avoid problems. You have the right to appeal a workers’ compensation claim denial. You can go through an informal hearing with the request for the informal hearing or the formal hearing through a claim petition. It’s also important to know that a more informal and expedited route can be provided through the informal hearing which is submitted directly to the division of workers’ compensation.
You will get written notice about the time and date of the first hearing and multiple hearings may be required. You may also ask for the formal hearing by submitting a claim petition through the division of workers’ compensation. This has to be started no later than two years from the date of the incident or the most recent date on which you received funds from the insurance carrier.

Your case is then given to a judge in the workers’ compensation district office. A formal hearing is extremely difficult to understand if you do not have a workers’ compensation attorney at your side. Both parties are responsible for presenting witnesses and evidence to testify.

You should ensure that you have the appropriate documentation and witnesses on your side to help you, including your medical records, your doctors, your family members and your coworkers. After all of the evidence has been presented in a formal hearing, the judge will give a decision. Your decision from this point is largely based on what the judge says you can do and need to do. However, you always have the right to talk through an appeal at the early stages of your case, and having a lawyer to do this with you is important.

The judge may award specific benefits or assess penalties. If the judge does not rule for you at this initial appeal stage, you may appeal that decision to the NJ state courts in the appellate division of the superior court. Given the high stakes associated with a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim appeal, it is imperative to have a lawyer who has extensive experience in this field to assist you with your next steps. The preparation and presentation of appropriate evidence can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case and should therefore be taken very seriously.

Contact Us

Craig Voorhees is Certified by The New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.  Call to arrange a private meeting.  Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

What Are the Two Paths for Workers Comp in NJ?

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New Jersey – 2 Paths.

No worker should have to be hurt on the job. This is the very premise behind workers’ comp claims in the state, allowing an injured employee to get help with medical bills and treatment when an on-the-job injury overtakes them. Your life could be changed in a big way following a workplace accident, making it vital to file a claim in a timely fashion.

An employee who is injured at work or believes they have contracted an illness tied directly to their job should tell an employer immediately about the incident, illness, or accident. Employers in New Jersey are responsible for maintaining workers compensation insurance that will payout benefits and reimburse you for your employee medical expenses following an injury. After an employer is aware of your injury, that company maintains a responsibility to initiate the claims procedures with an insurance provider.

In many cases, the employer will make phone contact with the insurance company and file the right paperwork. Some employees may encounter no problems in getting workers compensation benefits. But in other situations, you may experience delays or denials that should prompt you to hire an injury lawyer right away.
An employer that raises concerns about your New Jersey workers compensation claim might allege that the accident occurred outside of work or was due to recreational activities. Certain types of trauma, including repetitive stress injuries, can be more difficult to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for and this highlights why the right New Jersey workers compensation lawyer should be hired immediately.
The two options available to you as a hurt employee are an application for a formal claim and a filing for an informal hearing. An application for a formal claim is more like litigation or a court case. This requires filing an application within two years of the accident injury or two years from the date you had actual knowledge of the injury. The employer and employee can still reach agreement on workers comp benefit even after a formal claim is filed. Employers and insurance companies may have very different interest and have their own lawyers representing them.

Filing for an informal hearing happens with the New Jersey department of labor in the division of workers compensation. This is a legal process and one that should prompt you to hire a lawyer. If you are requesting complicated benefits such as determination of total or permanent disability, the advice of a New Jersey workers compensation lawyer is strongly recommended to support your interest.
After a workplace illness or injury, you do not want to leave your benefits unreceived or medical expenses unpaid. However, navigating in the complicated process of recovering benefits in New Jersey is not always easy. Many workers assume that the employer or the insurance company will be on their side because the facts of the accident seem relatively obvious. However, this is not often the case and if you don’t get help from an injury attorney immediately, you could expose yourself to numerous challenges in your claim.

Accepting a low settlement offer or giving up after your claim has been denied may make things much more difficult for you and your family members who are dependent on your paycheck that you have now lost because of a critical injury. Don’t wait too long to get help from an injury lawyer as this could be the only way to fight back and recover the compensation you will need to put your life back together and move on to a better future.

The right NJ workers’ comp lawyer can help you avoid challenges in your case so you feel more confident about next steps.

Contact Us

Craig Voorhees is Certified by The New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Call to arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

Is a Settlement Always Final in a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Case

Settlements in  New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Case | Somerville Workers Compensation Attorney

What happens if you already accepted a settlement for your case, but your injuries have suddenly gotten worse? If this has happened to you, you deserve to have a lawyer fighting for you.

There are numerous different phases to protecting you right to file a workers’ compensation claim and when you have an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer at your side, you are more likely to understand the various implications and to proceed in a knowledgeable fashion. However, there are some situations in which you need extensive legal assistance with your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim.

Can I Ever Fight Back After Settlement is Over?

If you submit a claim that you believe to be legitimate and do so under the necessary filing timelines but discover that it has been delayed or denied unfairly, you may have grounds to pursue the appeal process. You should never follow the appeals process without first consulting with an experienced lawyer. You may ultimately accept a settlement in your New Jersey workers’ compensation case but regardless, you need to understand your rights and responsibilities should you choose to do this.

Many questions may emerge about whether or not the settlement is final in your case. For most people, these settlements have a sense of conclusion and finality. However, an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney may have represented numerous clients in which the settlement was not the true end of the case. There are some circumstances where settlement is not final but it helps to understand those in which it is final.

When all parties agree to a single lump sum payment as settlement of a workers’ compensation case, the amount paid is final. This is because the workers’ compensation act in New Jersey dictates these one-off payments to be conditional and final. The amount cannot be adjusted even if a medical condition gets worse.

When an employee is barred from reopening the claim as is the case on receiving a lump sum payment, there may be a risk to taking these settlement offers and many New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers will advise against it. However, there are also circumstances in which your New Jersey worker’s compensation claim is not final. Section 22 of the workers’ compensation act outlines this.

If an employee injured a particular body part, the amount attributed to such an injury is based on the severity and what percentage of the limb or body part is affected. This settlement, however, could be opened after documents are signed and the claim completed, for specific reasons such as an increase in disability associated with that original injury.

An employee in this case is responsible for submitting evidence of additional medical expenses or time he or she is unable to work. This means that the division of labor in New Jersey is responsible for revisiting the claim. It is important to realize that you can only reopen your New Jersey workers’ compensation claim that has gone through settlement up to two years after the receipt of your last workers’ compensation payment under your original settlement agreement.

Determining whether or not it is worthwhile or whether you are eligible to open your workers’ compensation payment should begin with a consultation with your New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer. Accepting a settlement in any case should always require you to carefully consider the pros and cons of doing so. The right lawyer can have a big impact on the outcome of your case and can also assist you when issues arise after the settlement has been completed.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

Recovering Benefits for Mental Injuries in a New Jersey Workers Comp Case

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney | Mental Injuries

If you are stressed at work, it is natural to wonder whether or not you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. There are a few critical questions that need to be answered early on in the management of your claim to figure out if you are entitled to pursue a claim under the New Jersey workers’ compensation system.

The first question is whether or not you experienced stress that has led to a permanent impairment. You must then ask, whether it can be proved that the cause of your stress was related to your work. Finally, the third critical question for the management of your workers’ compensation claim is whether the stress for your position was above normal at the time you suffered an injury.

Stress based claims are not the typical basis for a workplace related injury and yet they can still form the basis of a legitimate recovery of workers’ compensation benefits. Stress related claims are psychological and not physical in nature. Because of this, there is higher standard of proof that must be delivered by the petitioner in order to recover New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits. These stress related claims can be vague at best and also present your New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney with a challenging and unique case.

How Stress Can Contribute to a Serious Injury

No matter what job you currently work in, there are levels of stress that may fluctuate over time and each individual may handle these levels of stress differently. This natural reaction from being in situations that cause heightened levels of mental distress or anxiety can lead to, in some cases, physical manifestations. In certain situations, stress could even lead to permanent impairment and this is where a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim may become viable.

What You Must Prove with a Stress-Related NJ Workers’ Comp Claim

Petitioners in New Jersey who believe they have a stress related claim have to establish that the injury caused a permanent condition where they have lost part or all use of a body part.

In the case of a physical injury pursuing a New Jersey’s workers compensation claim like that, this is usually not that hard to prove; however, with a psychological injury, the permanency requirement and the cause of the injury present unique problems of proof that should always be evaluated by a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney directly.

Medical evidence has to be presented to illustrate a compelling case. In many New Jersey workers’ compensation cases that are not prepared properly, job related stress claims may fall short of the necessary burden of proof. However, it is likely that if you have a severe case of stress related problems associated with your job in New Jersey, you may also have physical limitations that have emerged as well.

As soon as this is noted, you need to report your concerns to your employer and schedule a consultation with a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer. This is so that you have a better understanding of what is involved in filing a claim and to determine whether or not such a claim is viable.

Without a lawyer at your side, it is easy to make mistakes in your case and to fail to meet the standard of proof required in these comprehensive and difficult cases. Don’t wait to get help from an attorney as there is a lot on the line for you and your future. Whether you have grounds for a mental or a physical workers’ comp claim, you need help from an attorney immediately.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.  We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

New Jersey Postal Worker Faces Workers’ Compensation Fraud Charges

Allegedly Posted Photos of Zip-Lining Vacation While Collecting Medical Disability Payments

Worker Faces Workers’ Compensation Fraud ChargesA grand jury has returned an indictment against a former New Jersey postal employee, charging him with theft by deception and insurance fraud. The indictment came after the former postal worker posted online photos showing him ziplining and rappelling while on vacation in 2015.

According to prosecutors, the defendant first sought workers’ compensation in 2008 for what he alleged was a fall on the job. He obtained a medical opinion then that his injuries made him unfit to perform the requirements of his job as a letter carrier. He had been receiving workers’ compensation payments ever since, even though medical assessments in 2009, 2010 and 2012 all said he was able to return to work. He also turned down offers from the Postal Service to take less physically demanding jobs, regularly providing his employer with reports from a personal physician that attested to his inability to work.

In addition to the Facebook photos showing him ziplining, prosecutors also said they had documentary evidence of the man engaged in other strenuous activities, including climbing, using a chain saw and a hand saw, throwing large logs and participating in other types of yard work. The man allegedly signed a waiver just prior to going ziplining. The New Jersey Attorney General’s office says the crimes with which the man is charged can carry up to 15 years in prison, as well as more than $150,000 in fines.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.

We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you any attorney fees unless we are able to get compensation for your losses.

New Jersey Supreme Court to Consider Whether Employee Can Waive Right to Sue

Case Looks at Employment Contracts that Waive Third-Party Claims

New Jersey Supreme CourtWhen you’ve been hurt at work, and your injury is caused in part by someone other than your employer or a co-employee, the workers’ compensation laws in New Jersey do not prevent you from filing a “third-party claim” against that unrelated party. A number of employers have attempted to prevent third-party claims by employees by having them sign an employment contract that specifically waives that right. The New Jersey Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on a case that will determine whether such provisions in an employment contract are void as contrary to public policy.

In the case before the New Jersey Supreme Court, Schering-Plough (now Merck & Co.) filed an appeal, asking the court to overturn a ruling by the Appellate Division. In the lower court ruling, the court affirmed the trial court ruling denying Schering-Plough’s motion for summary judgment. Schering-Plough had asked the trial court to throw out a claim by a security guard injured at one of its facilities, arguing that the security guard had entered into an employment agreement whereby he agreed not to sue a third party for any injuries suffered on the job. The guard was not an employee of Schering, but worked for Allied Barton Security Services, a contractor with Schering-Plough. The Appellate Court concluded that the contract between the security guard and Allied Barton violated public policy, as well as the intent and spirit of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act.

In arguments before the New Jersey Supreme Court, Schering argued that the agreement between the guard and Allied Barton was an enforceable contract and should be honored. In response, the security guard’s attorney referred to the contract as an “adhesion contract,” one that the guard had no choice but to sign if he wanted the job. He noted that the courts have long discouraged the enforcement of contracts where one side has all the bargaining power.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.

We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

Toms River Business Owner Sentenced for Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Admits to Defrauding Insurance Carrier of $600,000

Business Owner Sentenced for Workers Compensation FraudA New Jersey business owner pleaded guilty to conspiracy and insurance fraud in connection with a workers’ compensation fraud scheme that allowed the company to reduce its workers’ compensation insurance premiums by nearly $600,000 over a three-year period. According to the criminal complaint, filed by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the business owner conspired with a local insurance agency to intentionally misclassify warehouse workers as office personnel in order to pay lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

State officials say that the company had as many as 72 employees at any given time, with most of them working in high-risk occupations where they were disassembling and refurbishing a wide range of electronics products, including computers and televisions. When filing its application for workers’ compensation insurance, and in subsequent reports to the workers’ compensation insurance provider, the company reported that most workers were office staff.

Workers’ compensation insurance premiums are based, in part, on the type of work being performed. The premiums are higher for jobs that are inherently more dangerous. Because the warehouse positions were more dangerous and required a higher premium, the misclassification cost the insurer approximately $600,000.

The owner of the company was sentenced to three years on prison on the fraud count, and the company was ordered to make restitution and pay a $100,000 fine. In addition, another employee of the company and three employees at the insurance agency were charged.

Contact Us

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.

We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

Can You Collect Workers’ Compensation and File a Personal Injury Lawsuit at the Same Time?

Can You Collect Workers CompensationIf you have been injured on the job, you may have been told by your employer, or by someone else, that your only recourse for your losses is to file a workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation laws are often the “exclusive” remedy for a work-related injury, but there are exceptions. Here’s how it works.

Under the workers’ compensation laws in New Jersey, a workers’ compensation claim is intended to operate as your sole means of redress for the negligence of your employer or a co-employee. Accordingly, if you were injured because your employer failed to provide adequate safety measures, or because a co-worker was careless in his or her duty, you must apply for workers’ compensation benefits to cover any losses.

However, if your injury was caused, in part or in whole, by the wrongful acts of someone other than your employer or a co-employer, you may be able to bring a civil suit (a personal injury lawsuit in court) against that person. Examples of situations where this option may be available include:

  • When you are injured because of exposure to or the breakdown of a dangerous or defective product
  • When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident where the at-fault driver was neither your employer, nor a co-employee
  • When you are injured by the carelessness or negligence of an adjoining property owner, a customer, vendor or other person not a co-worker

There is nothing to prohibit you from filing a workers’ compensation claim for the wrongful activities of your employer or a co-employee, and simultaneously filing a lawsuit for injuries caused by an unrelated third party. You cannot, however, recover twice for the same loss. If you have medical expenses paid by a workers’ compensation claim, you can’t seek to recover the same losses in a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Contact Our Office

To arrange a private meeting, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-200-2297. Evening and weekend meetings are available upon request. We take all major credit cards.

We handle all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

TALK TO A LAWYER TODAY