Why You Should Get a Prompt Evaluation for an Ankle Injury on the Job

Common Types of Ankle Injuries Experienced on the Job

Ankle injuries are one of the most common ways that people get hurt while on the job. The incidence of ankle sprains and other types of injuries of the ankle ranges from two to 14 out of 1,000 people every year. Females are nearly four times as likely to experience an ankle sprain or similar injury compared to males, and adolescents are three to six times more likely to experience an ankle injury compared to adults.

On-the-Job Ankle Injuries

The ankle joint has to be flexible so that a person can quickly turn on their feet, ascend and descend steps, and bend their foot. This flexibility and the prominence of the bones in this area makes the ankle easy to injure. On-the-job ankle injuries can affect all workers. People who have active jobs are more likely to experience an ankle injury while at work. Some of the most common ankle injuries that a person could experience while at work include a sprain, tendinitis, ruptured tendon or strain. These are soft tissue injuries. It is also possible to experience a fracture of the tibia, fibula or talus.

Risk Factors for an Ankle Injury

Some people may be more prone to an ankle injury than others. People who have to move quickly in order to do their job have a higher risk. This includes assembly line workers, order fulfillment technicians and similar occupations. People who have had a past injury of the ankle may have scar tissue or degeneration of the soft tissues, which increases their risk of another injury in the area. People who have circulatory disorders, diabetes, arthritis or who are obese also have a higher risk of hurting their ankles at work.

Activities Most Likely to Cause an Ankle Injury

While an ankle injury can occur from something as simple as a missed step, there are a few work activities that are more likely to cause an ankle injury. Those activities include:

  • Running or walking on uneven surfaces
  • A sudden impact such as dropping an object or getting crushed in equipment
  • Twisting or rolling when coming off of a step or curb
  • Falling off of equipment such as a ladder or scaffolding
  • Landing awkwardly after jumping

Impact of an Ankle Sprain or Other Injury

In the immediate aftermath of an ankle sprain or fracture, a worker may be unable to stand or bear weight on the affected ankle. For many workers, this would have an instantaneous impact on their ability to perform their typical work activities. A soft tissue strain or sprain may cause difficulty with movement and swelling that makes it difficult for a worker to wear shoes. A fracture typically requires a cast or surgical boot, which could also interfere with the ability to perform required work duties. If an employer is unable to make on-the-job accommodations, such as a light-duty job that does not require movement, the person may be unable to work. A workers’ compensation claim is key for getting medical expenses paid and for collecting some of the lost wages that the worker would have earned if they were not injured.

What Workers Should Do After an Ankle Injury at Work

Anyone who experiences an ankle injury while working or on their employer’s property should seek a prompt medical evaluation by a physician who handles workers’ compensation medical claims. Walking on a sprained or otherwise injured ankle could worsen the damage and make the recovery take longer. People who are hurt on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation in order to account for their missed work time and medical bills. A nursing accident lawyer may be able to represent a person whose claim was denied by their employer.

For more information about workers’ compensation cases in Pennsylvania, contact the Vorhees Law Office, LLC at (908) 200-2297, or email craig@voorheeslawnj.com in order to schedule a consultation with a nursing accident lawyer.

Can Pennsylvania Interns Get Workers’ Compensation?

Do Interns in Pennsylvania Have a Right to Workers’ Compensation?

Internships are often an attractive option for students and even adults transitioning careers because it provides practical experience, and the rate at which interns are converted to full-time employees is more than 72% in the post-recession market. Internships may not generally be regarded as dangerous positions, but the rate at which interns suffer injuries usually does not deviate from the rate at which paid employees do in the same field. The issue is whether they have the same rights, and if so, it may require a workers’ comp lawyer to assert those rights.

What Is Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance. It protects employees by guaranteeing compensation in the event of an injury. It protects employers because employees surrender their right to sue, so employers accept some liability while avoiding negligence lawsuits. In the U.S., each state has its own Workers’ Compensation Act, but there are some federal laws at play as well.

Not All Internships Are the Same

When determining whether an intern will be viewed as an employee and thus covered by workers’ comp, the kind of internship and the type of work both matter, as it provides context. You may think that a paid intern is guaranteed the protection, but this is not necessarily the case. Likewise, there are scenarios were an unpaid intern would be protected. Types of internships include:

  • Paid internships, which involve employee-like compensation
  • Partially paid internships, which generally come with a stipend
  • Unpaid internships, which provide value in terms of experience

Federal Labor Standards Act

While workers’ comp is generally controlled by the state, there are federal laws that influence it. Fearing that companies would abuse internships, the U.S. Department of Labor introduced the FLSA, which it based on various appellate rulings. This law provides guidelines through which a judge should consider a job not by its label but its characteristics. Evaluation factors include the extent to which:

  • The lack of compensation is clear
  • Training provided is comparable to education
  • The intern is academically rewarded
  • Duration of the position is limited
  • Intern work complements employee efforts
  • A paid position may await the intern

How the Courts May Decide

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act covers full-time, part-time and seasonal employees but does not explicitly protect interns. Whether an intern was or is being paid is a strong factor but usually not the determining factor. The law has a concept of a casual worker. This is generally a position that is more sporadic than formalized. If the judge deems you a casual intern, then you would not be entitled to workers’ compensation even if it were a paid position. On the other hand, if a judge deems an internship to having occupied a role that would have otherwise been filled by a paid employee, then you can receive compensation even though the position was unpaid.

Filing for Workers’ Comp as an Intern

It may be unclear at the onset whether you have a right to compensation. You have to start the process, and it is strongly recommended you seek legal counsel as early as possible. In Pennsylvania, you have 120 days to inform your employer. The employer then has 21 days to either accept or deny the claim. If the employer denies the claim, you then have up to three years to appeal that decision.

Receive Personalized Legal Advice

Are you an intern or perhaps someone involved in work research who was injured during those activities? You may have a legal right to worker’s compensation, and we’d like to help. Our law firm focuses on Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law. We offer a broad range of legal services related to the domain, have handled many such cases and can provide you with local representation. Our firm would welcome the opportunity to provide you an initial consultation with a workers’ comp lawyer at no charge. We are licensed in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and you can contact us online or by calling our office at 908-200-2297.

Employers Must Take Steps to Keep Workers Safe

Safety Rules Employers Must Follow at All Times

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, there were roughly 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2017. If you are not trained properly or don’t have proper protective equipment, you could be at risk of getting injured on the job.

Your Employer Must Identify and Mitigate All Potential Hazards

At a minimum, a person or team of people must be dedicated to finding and mitigating hazards on the job. If you see a potential hazard, you are allowed to report it without fear of retaliation or harassment on the part of an owner or a supervisor. You also have the option to refuse to perform a given task if you legitimately believe that it unnecessarily puts your health or safety at risk.

Your employer should have a written safety plan that has protocols in place to prevent hazards from occurring. The plan should also include contingency procedures that can be implemented in the event that a chemical spill or some other type of emergency situation occurs. For example, you may be directed to report an incident to a certain person or head to a central location to avoid further risk of injury or death.

You Have the Right to Protective Equipment

Falls from heights are among the most common reasons why workers get hurt. Therefore, if you are going to be working several feet off the ground, be sure that you have a safety harness or other equipment to guard against a fall. Examples of protective equipment could include footwear with nonslip soles or platforms that have guardrails you can hang onto.

Goggles, hard hats and gloves are other kinds of protective gear employers must provide to their workers if a situation calls for it. Eyewash stations and decontamination showers should also be readily accessible if you handle chemicals or toxic materials.

You Are Entitled to Training in Your Native Language

The company that you work for has an obligation to provide sufficient training to ensure that you can do your job safely. This training must be provided in a language that is familiar to you. Therefore, if you speak English, you must be trained using materials written in that language. If you speak Spanish, you must be given training in Spanish.

Employers Must Provide Tools That Are Free From Defects

Let’s say that you clean produce that comes down a conveyor belt or you use a machine to cut meat. Any machine or conveyor belt employed to perform such a task must function properly at all times. Furthermore, there must be specific procedures in place to ensure that machines, power tools or other items used at work can be cleaned and maintained safely.

You’re Entitled to Request an OSHA Inspection

OSHA is the agency in charge of making sure that employers follow safety rules and regulations. If you don’t think that a hazard has been properly identified or rectified, you can ask that this agency perform an investigation. In the event that an inspection takes place, an employee representative must be allowed to observe it. You and your fellow workers get to choose who that person is with no input from your employer.

Feel Free to Request Your Own Medical Records

OSHA rules allow workers to request their own medical records or any other information that an employer may keep on file. Furthermore, you have the right to see copies of workplace injury and accident logs that your company keeps on file. These records may be used by your workers’ comp lawyer to get you the compensation you deserve in a workers’ compensation or personal injury lawsuit.

If you have been hurt on the job, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer from the Voorhees Law Office LLC. You can contact our office in Somerville to arrange an appointment by calling (908) 200-2297 during normal business hours. Our firm can also be reached by sending a fax to (908) 704-7329.

How Nurses Should Handle Needlestick Incidents

Needlestick Injury: What Happens Next?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are nearly 400,000 needlestick incidents among nurses and other health care workers each year. Nursing accident lawyers warn that health professionals should take immediate and specific action in these events. Such actions can prevent illness and position the employee for compensation should that be necessary.

Needlestick Injuries

A needlestick injury can be scary, but it’s important to remain calm and let your training guide you. It is important to note that each hospital or other medical facility may have its own protocols to which you should adhere. Note also that your ideal actions may depend on the exposure type, but in most scenarios, the proper course of action includes:

  • Cleaning the wound
  • Reporting the event to a supervisor
  • Performing blood work and other lab work
  • Seeking counseling
  • Seeking legal representation if applicable

Clean the Wound

The first order of business is to clean the wound as soon as possible. If there are still professional responsibilities in the immediate area, another nurse should manage those. Clean the wound with soap and warm water. It is also recommended to milk the area in order to assist with bleeding. Viruses can multiply quickly once in the bloodstream, and milking helps ensure that they never get there. Additionally, if there was any splashing, then it is necessary to irrigate those areas well. These steps can help to prevent bloodborne diseases, which include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Human immunodeficiency virus

Report the Exposure

Among the most common mistakes nurses make in these scenarios is not reporting the event to a supervisor as soon as the wound is clean. This is a tremendous mistake because it delays the medical attention that the nurse receives, and it can put the employee in a difficult situation should damages arise from the event and compensation be required.

Blood Work and Other Medical Attention

At this point, the process will depend on the willingness of the patient. Blood work is ideal, but if the patient is not willing, then lab work will be performed. After, the nurse will receive medical attention from a doctor. The situation usually needs to be monitored in an ongoing fashion until all of the lab work is complete, and treatment must begin at the first signs of infection. It is important to comply with all examinations and treatments recommended by your doctor.

Seek Counseling

Nurses dealing with a needlestick incident often benefit greatly from professional counseling. This will often be provided by the employer. Not only is a needlestick stressful, but it also often results in a protracted period where nurses have to wait for test results and the like. Ensuring proper mental health at a time like this is imperative. Be mindful that you have the right to confidentiality with a therapist, so you can speak freely without fear that what you say could undermine a legal case.

Seek Legal Representation

There are many damages to which you may have a right to compensation in the event of a needlestick. It can help to seek legal representation early in the process. Prior to seeking assistance, never admit fault, and if at any point you feel as if your rights are being infringed, pause that discussion or other scenario and seek help. Many lawyers who specialize in such cases will take them on at no up-front cost to the nurse, and it can make a big difference to have an independent party in your corner.

Legal Assistance for Health Care Professionals

At the Voorhees Law Office, workers’ compensation is an area of focus for us, and that extends to nurses and other health care workers who often have specialized needs. You can sit down with a nursing accident lawyer to discuss your case, and we’ll provide that initial consultation without obligation. If you choose us as your legal team, you’ll receive local representation. To schedule, contact us online or call our office in Somerville at (908) 200-2297.

Restaurant Workplace Hazards Create a Need for Workers’ Compensation

Reasons Restaurant Workers Might Be Denied Workers’ Compensation

From 2014 to 2017, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a steady increase in annual fatalities among food service workers. On-the-job injuries and illnesses among restaurant employees occurred at a rate of three per 100 full-time workers in 2017 for an overall total of 138. As with workers in most other industries, these injured employees or their surviving family members qualified for workers’ compensation in most cases.

Timing Is Important to Successfully Filing a Claim

Many workers who have been hurt on the job get adequate benefits in a timely manner. However, it’s important to take a few steps to better ensure a successful claim. Reporting a workplace injury to your employer establishes that the problem happened at work. Your supervisor or person in authority should be informed as soon as possible. In New Jersey, the report does not have to be in writing. If you need immediate medical treatment, however, request it right away.

Top Reasons Workers’ Comp Claims Are Denied

Unfortunately, not all workers’ compensation claims are accepted. A letter from the agency managing the claim will explain the reason for the denial. The most common reasons are:

  • Missed deadline for reporting the injury
  • Missed deadline for filing the insurance claim
  • Employer disputed the claim
  • Injury did not qualify for payment
  • No medical treatment was needed
  • Lack of evidence that injury happened at work

The advice and attention of a workers’ comp lawyer could resolve problems with your claim. With legal support, you may be more likely to win a workers’ comp denial appeal.

What Motivates Employers to Fight Workers’ Comp Claims?

Employers pay insurance premiums based on the hazards associated with their specific industries. Claims upon their workers’ compensation insurance policies will likely raise their premiums.

In some cases, owners or managers might discourage reporting injuries and applying for benefits. In addition to financial concerns about higher premiums, they might want to avoid safety inspections triggered by accidents.

Servers, hosts, bartenders, chefs, cooks, and dishwashers might also experience other problems when trying to report an injury or seek benefits. Common issues include:

  • No clear way to inform management
  • Lack of information about workers’ compensation
  • Irregular work schedules
  • Language barriers
  • Workplace culture that promotes “sucking it up”

Many Hazards Surround Food Service Workers

Restaurant employees face many workplace hazards. When accidents occur, they often need to rely on workers’ compensation benefits to pay for medical care and lost wages. Common sources of injury include:

  • Slips and falls on wet or greasy floors
  • Burns or respiratory distress after exposure to cleaning chemicals
  • Cuts and lacerations from using knives and slicing machines
  • Serious burns from hot ovens, grills, boiling water, and hot oil
  • Repetitive motion injuries from carrying trays, chopping food, and scrubbing pans
  • Attacks by angry customers
  • Robberies

Any of these hazards could leave you hurt and in need of food service workers’ comp.

Benefits Provided by Workers’ Comp

The medical treatment and recovery time away from work that you need will determine the amount of benefits. Because cases vary in severity, the insurance program in New Jersey is designed to accommodate different levels of need. You might only get medical benefits to cover treatment. If you miss work for a certain amount of time, you might qualify for temporary total benefits that would pay for medical care and replace some of your lost pay. Disabling injuries might meet requirements for either permanent partial benefits or permanent total benefits. In the event that a worker dies, a surviving beneficiary might receive a death benefit.

Discussing your case with a workers’ comp lawyer could clarify what types of coverage you should receive. Your case does not have to prove that anyone was at fault to qualify for workers’ compensation.

Get Legal Advice

Understanding your rights could help you access the benefits that you deserve after an accident at a food service workplace. Contact a lawyer the Voorhees Law Office at our practice in Somerville, NJ, at (908) 200-2297.

Implementing Workplace Safety Strategies for Construction Sites

The Importance of Workplace Safety at a Construction Site

Did you know that if you’re a contractor, carpenter or electrician working regularly on a construction site, you face a one-in-10 chance of getting injured on the job over the course of a single year? That statistic was put forward by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA.) If you’ve been hurt while working at a building site in New Jersey, a seasoned construction accident lawyer could help you obtain workers’ compensation, which can cover medical expenses and other bills while you’re unable to work.

Implementing Safety Strategies

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why a construction employer should have some strategies in place that will help cut down on the risk of job-related injuries. These strategies should include:

  • Creating a safety plan: A site-specific safety plan is an OSHA requirement. Such a plan can go a long way toward protecting workers and visitors to the job site. This plan should outline the hazards that exist on-site as well as the proper steps needed to minimize those hazards.
  • Making appropriate safety gear available: When protective gear is required, employers must apprise contractors and subcontractors of this fact as part of the safety plan. Such gear typically includes items like hard hats, goggles, masks, earplugs and safety boots. If workers are required to purchase these items themselves, employers must tell them so.
  • Emergency drills: The best way to prepare for worksite emergencies is to practice for them. This takes safety planning out of the realm of the purely theoretical and identifies areas in which being prepared may be beneficial.

The Elements of a Site-Specific Safety Plan

If the construction site you’re working on does not have a safety plan in place, it’s not in compliance with OSHA regulations. Here are some of the issues a safety plan should address:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Information about the company that’s behind the construction project and the names of key contacts who must be informed if an accident takes place
  • Description of the scope of work being performed at the construction site
  • Names of the contractors and subcontractors on site and information about their safety training
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) that’s required on-site
  • Task-specific hazard analyses

All on-site personnel should be required to sign off on the safety plan. This essentially acknowledges that they have read it and are acquainted with the information it contains.

Task-Specific Hazard Analyses

A task-specific hazard analysis is the most important part of any construction workplace safety plan. A good safety plan will address:

  • The environment in which a hazard is most likely to occur
  • The workers most likely to be injured by the hazard
  • Triggers with the potential to precipitate the hazard
  • Consequences should the hazard occur

Drafting a safety plan presents managers and employees with a great opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue. In the best-case scenario, every task should be analyzed for hazards. If a manager has to prioritize, however, the jobs with the highest accident rates should be analyzed first.

Meeting With Employees

Employees are the best resources for breaking tasks down into their component parts. It may be useful to video an employee while he or she is performing a task. This is because some parts of the assigned task may have become so automatic that the employee could forget to describe them. Once the initial data collection is through, the manager charged with putting the safety plan together should meet with all the employees who perform that task to get feedback.

Every single thing that could possibly go wrong must be identified. How likely is it that those things will go wrong? Causative factors must also be pinpointed. How might those causative factors be mitigated? This information must be aggregated in an orderly, logical manner.

Even when strategies are in place that aim to limit workplace injuries, accidents can happen. If you’ve been injured while working on a construction site, a construction accident lawyer can prove to be an invaluable resource. For more information about your rights in this situation, call Vorhees Law Office in Somerville, New Jersey, at (908) 200-2297 for a no-cost initial consultation.

Some Workers Are More at Risk for Injury Than Others

What Occupations Have the Highest Risk of Injury?

In 2015, 34,500 New Jersey workers filed new claims for workers’ compensation benefits. While no workplace in the Garden State is entirely free of hazards that have the potential to cause injuries, certain workplaces pose a higher risk of injury than others. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, a workers compensation lawyer in New Jersey may be able to help you attain benefits that will help you focus on your recovery more effectively.

What Occupations Present the Highest Risk of Injury?

Workplace injuries are on the rise according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and some of these injuries even lead to a loss of life. Certain occupations are also associated with higher numbers of workers’ compensation claims. Those occupations include:

  • Construction work
  • Health care
  • Driving

Common Injuries Associated with Construction Work

Construction sites can be hectic environments where safety rules are often bent in the interests of expedience. Some of the most common injuries on construction sites are:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Falls: Construction workers are often called upon to climb ladders or scaffolding. Should workers fall from such perches, they can incur broken bones as well as serious back and neck injuries. Back and neck injuries can be tricky because often their initial presentation makes them seem less serious than they are. If you suffer a fall at a building site where you are working, it’s important to see a health care provider as soon as possible. If your health care provider places any restrictions on your ability to work, it’s important to get these instructions in writing.
  • Lifting and turning injuries: Back injuries are also associated with lifting, turning, pushing and pulling, which are all very common activities on a construction site. If you pivot the wrong way while you are hoisting a heavy load, you can rupture a disc. This is another situation where at first, the injury may not seem to be as serious as it actually is.
  • Electricity-related injuries: Many construction site injuries are related to the temporary wiring that’s often put into place so that power tools can be operated. Workers may shock themselves or trip over unsecured wires and injure themselves by falling.

Common Injuries Associated with Health Care

Working in the health care industry can be physically demanding. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20 percent of all nonfatal occupational injuries affect nurses, nursing aides and other ancillary medical personnel. Some of the riskiest activities are:

  • Needle sticks: Nurses and nursing aides are often required to draw blood and to administer intravenous medications. Occasionally, this results in a situation where a health care worker sticks himself or herself with a contaminated needle. This situation is particularly risky if the worker has been caring for a patient with a bloodborne infection such as Hepatitis C or HIV.
  • Maneuvering patients: Hospital patients often have limited mobility and rely upon aides to help them out of bed and assist them when they perambulate around the halls. If a patient begins to fall, and a nurse breaks that fall, that nurse can sustain a serious back injury.
  • Lifting: Lifting heavy loads can be a routine part of a health care worker’s job. If you underestimate the weight you’re lifting, though, you can also injure your back.

Common Driving Injuries

According to occupational data collected by the U.S. Census in 2010, nearly 3 percent of all Americans drive for a living. They work as truck drivers, bus drivers, cabbies and part-time Uber chauffeurs. Drivers may suffer broken bones, whiplash, and other back and skeletal injuries if they become involved in traffic accidents. If lifting heavy freight is also a part of their job descriptions, they can injure their backs or sprain their muscles while loading or unloading heavy boxes.

The Vorhees Law Office in Somerville, New Jersey, has a proven track record when it comes to helping clients get the workers’ compensation they deserve. Let an experienced workers compensation lawyer advocate on your behalf. Contact us today at (908) 200-2297 to schedule a no-cost initial consultation.

What You Should Know About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ Compensation Benefits and the Injuries That Are Covered

Whether you tripped and fell at your workplace or were struck by some type of moving machinery, you may have a case that would qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. In 2016, nearly 4,700 worker fatalities occurred in private industries, which shows just how dangerous some occupations can be. If you were injured in an accident at your workplace, reach out to our job accident lawyer so that we can help you determine what legal options you have.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that’s designed to provide employees with certain coverage in the event that they become injured while on the job. This coverage typically extends to any medical expenses as well as wage replacement. When an employee obtains this type of coverage, they relinquish the right to file a lawsuit against their employer for perceived negligence. Some types of compensation that typically aren’t included in any workers’ compensation policy include punitive damages plus pain and suffering.

When you’re thinking of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Somerville, the types of benefits that you may receive will depend on the extent of your injury. In most cases, more serious injuries bring with them higher benefits. This policy may pay for standard medical care caused by a work-related injury immediately after the injury has occurred. In other situations, the injury or illness may take longer to fully diagnose and comprehend, which means that the payment of any possible benefits may also take longer to receive.

Medical Only and Temporary Disability Benefits

If the injury that you’ve suffered while you were on the job has resulted in the need for medical care but hasn’t caused a disability, the types of benefits that may be provided in this type of case are considered to be medical-only benefits. In these types of cases, the lost time at work that has occurred from the injury will range from several days to a week. There are times when caps are placed on how much benefits are provided for medical costs. Medical-only cases are easily the most common type of workers’ compensation claims to be filed.

A temporary disability is one where the injury or illness prevents the worker from returning to their job for an extended period of time. The amount of the benefit with a temporary disability will differ depending on the extent of the injury as well as how much work was missed. The benefits may last until the worker has returned to their job after the injuries have been healed.

Permanent Disability and Fatality Benefits

A permanent disability is considered to be an injury or illness where the worker is unable to return to work because of the condition. It’s possible for these benefits to be paid once the individual has reached the maximum amount of medical improvement that they’re expected to achieve. When it’s deemed that the worker’s health will no longer improve, it’s possible that an individual may be able to qualify for permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits. Partial disability cases are ones where the worker has physical impairments that will never get better but don’t completely inhibit their ability to work.

Workers’ compensation programs also pay benefits for work-related fatalities that have occurred because of an illness or injury. These benefits usually include cash payments for the worker’s dependents as well as funeral expenses. In general, workplace fatalities are rare, which is why this type of claim makes up only .5 percent of workers’ compensation cases. No matter the severity of your work-related injury, consider contacting our job accident lawyers to help you understand more about the claims process and all that it entails.

If you’ve recently been involved in an accident at your place of employment, call our job accident lawyer in Somerville today at (908) 200-2297 so that we can take a look at your case and advise you on the available actions you may be able to take.

Nursing Home and Hospital Exertion Injuries Exceed Other Industries

Overexertion Injuries in Nursing Homes and Hospitals Top Other Industries

A back or spinal injury can end the nursing or health care career that you have worked hard to achieve. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manual lifting poses the greatest risk for work related injuries in health care. Nursing accident lawyers can help health care employees with Worker’s Compensation claims for a patient handling injury.

Nursing and Health Care Job Injury Hazards

Transferring and repositioning hospital patients and nursing home residents put experienced and well-trained health care professionals at risk for a variety of injuries including:

  • Muscle strain and sprains
  • Stress fractures
  • Ligament, tendon, and joint injury

Work-related injury is a hazard in facilities where understaffing, long shifts, and time constraints abound. Here are some things you need to know about injuries to nurses and other health workers.

Patient Lifting

Surprisingly, body weight is not the greatest factor in determining your ability to manually lift a patient or client. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ensuring safety in manual patient lifting depends on several other factors.

  • Is the patient combative or resistant or experiencing tremors or muscle spasms?
  • Is the patient able to follow instructions you give during lifting and transferring?
  • Is the patient able to perform weight-bearing movements with minimal support from a nurse or aide?

Further, the maximum recommended lifting capacity for many occupations, including health care is between 35 and 50 pounds, far below what most patients weigh.

Handling Patients Safely

Nursing and patient care staff can find themselves with many tasks to complete in a short amount of time. Cutting corners on personal safety may seem like an easy solution but can result in sudden or worsening injuries over time. Take the time to be mindful of your work conditions and how you get things done. Here are some tips to remember to help prevent a patient handling injury.

 

  • Keep the patient care area free of clutter
  • Use equipment to assist with lifts and transfers
  • Focus on good body mechanics
  • Ergonomics is key

A clutter-free work area helps reduce the risk of slipping or falling for both the worker and the patient. Hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities have lift devices to help lift and move patients. These are not just for bariatric patients. Anyone providing patient care should have access to and be trained in the proper use of patient lift devices. Good body mechanics means taking a few extra steps to pick up something rather than trying to reach too far and straining a muscle. Prevent foot and leg injuries with ergonomic shoes. Back and posture supports can be valuable for CNAs who lift patients.

Special Considerations for Home Health Care Workers

Home health workers face some extra challenges when trying to prevent injuries. First, lift devices are not an option in most home care settings. Second, driving to multiple clients during a day, and getting into or out of a vehicle, can cause fatigue and injury to your neck, back, shoulders, hips, and legs. Finally, walking and climbing stairs to reach a client’s residence is another source of potential injury for therapists, aides, and nurses. Health care professionals can minimize personal injury risk by:

  • Using elevators and ramps to enter apartment buildings or homes that have accessible equipment.
  • Slowing down on stairs. Avoid running up or down to reduce shock to legs and feet.
  • Wearing proper shoes and clothing and using body, wrist, and ankle supports.

Help for Nursing Accidents and Injuries

If you are a nurse, CNA, therapist, or patient care worker and have been injured, you might want to take a personal or vacation day to relax. Next, you may want to make an appointment with your primary care doctor for a wellness check-up. Also, you can talk with your supervisor or human resources department about your job hazards, and ask them to work with you to find ways to minimize overexertion and fatigue. Finally, if your injuries are interfering with your ability to continue working, causing disruptions in your life away from work, or have resulted in a disability, you may want to contact an attorney to find out what your rights are. You can schedule a consultation with a nursing accident lawyer at Vorhees Law Office LLC by calling (908) 200-2297 to determine if you have an injury claim or are eligible for Worker’s Compensation.

An Impairment Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Disability Benefits

An Impairment Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Disability Benefits

Social Security disability benefits are only granted if you can’t work for 12 months because of a condition. Therefore, simply having a medical condition may not be enough to qualify for payments.

How to Provide Proof of Impairment

Roughly 35 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cases are approved on the first application. This can be because there is a lack of information provided or because there is a chance that the condition could improve. What can do you do help yourself get the SSDI benefits that you may be entitled to?

Obtain Recent Medical Records

The person who examines your case generally cannot approve it unless there are recent medical records verifying that you are disabled. Generally speaking, recent means anything within 90 days of an application being sent in for review. If you haven’t seen your doctor or another treatment provider within that period of time, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment.

Otherwise, it may be necessary to undergo a consultative examination. While this has little bearing on whether an application is approved, avoiding this step could reduce the necessary processing time.

In some cases, an examiner may request additional information from your doctor or other treatment providers. However, if you know where these records are or how to get them, you can obtain them on your own. This can also work to reduce the amount of time it takes to process your application.

Don’t Minimize Your Pain

During an examination, you may be asked to describe the specific ways in which your condition impacts your life. If you experience constant pain while walking, it is important to mention that. If you can’t sleep because of neck or back pain, you shouldn’t hesitate to mention these issues as well. The more detail that you can provide to a doctor or your case examiner, the easier it will be for the application to be approved on your first try.

Get Statements From Friends or Colleagues

When the examiner is reviewing your case, he or she will be looking for specific details regarding how a condition may impact your ability to work or live a normal life. A statement from your boss saying that you get tired easily or can’t walk more than 50 feet without limping may help your cause. Statements from friends or family members saying that you can’t go outside or be near lights without complaining of blurred vision could also bolster your case.

Get a Letter From Your Doctor

A letter from your personal physician saying that you can’t walk or remember names because of your condition can be helpful. Your doctor should also include a full list of the medications that you take as well as anything that has been done to help improve your condition. If there is no evidence that you have taken medication or gotten surgery to improve your condition, the examiner may deny the application or delay approving it until such steps are taken.

File an Appeal in a Timely Manner

Typically, you get 60 days from the date that an application is denied to file an appeal. You may also get an extra five days to mail the application to the office where the case is being reviewed. It is important that you file an appeal as opposed to filing a new initial application.

If you have any questions about the case, you can consult with a Social Security disability lawyer. It is important to note that an appeal that arrives late may still be considered if you didn’t have access to medical records. Other valid reasons for filing an appeal late include having a mental impairment or losing records because of a natural disaster. However, it is always best to be as timely as possible with your filings.

Working with a Social Security disability lawyer could help you get the compensation that you need to make up for lost wages because of your physical or mental impairment. You can contact the Voorhees Law Office, LLC in Somerville, NJ, by phone at (908) 200-2297. Alternatively, you can send a fax to (908) 704-7329.

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