Are You Aware Of What Constitutes A Work Injury?

Are You Aware Of What Constitutes A Work Injury?

Ever had a bad day at work? We all do, don’t we? But if you’re injured at work there’s no way to tell at that point on how bad things might get. Most people are aware that if there’s a work-related injury,  Workers’ Compensation has them covered.

Let’s take a look at what constitutes a work injury.

An injury or an illness can be considered work-related if it aggravates a pre-existing condition and/or exposure or an event at your work environment cause an illness or injury.

What is the “work environment”?

OSHA defines the work environment as “the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. The work environment includes not only physical locations but also the equipment or materials used by the employee during the course of his or her work.”

However, according to OSHA, there are some exceptions to what can be considered a work injury. Being aware of these exceptions is good. An injury is not considered work-related if:

  •       You were present at the site where the injury occurred as a general public and not as an employee.

 

  •       The signs of injury appear when you are at work but are actually due to a non-work related event or exposure that occurred outside the work environment.

 

  •       The injury came from something you had voluntarily participated in. Examples could be a blood donation drive that you participated in, or the flu shots you got, or injuries sustained while playing sports.

 

  •       You are injured or taken ill at work due to eating or drinking contaminated food bought from outside. Imagine you got food poisoning because of eating a contaminated salad that you brought to work. This will not be considered as a work-related injury.

 

  •       You are injured doing personal tasks outside your workspace.

 

  •       You self-inflict an injury or take medications for non-work related injuries.

 

  •       You have a common cold or flu.

 

  •       You have a mental illness unless a doctor certifies that the illness was caused due to the work you do.

 

  •       You meet with an accident on the work premises while commuting to and from work. This exception is not all black and white, as there have been cases where compensation has been awarded. It’s best to consult with a lawyer who specializes in work-related injuries to know if your case qualifies.

So you must be wondering what types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. You will most likely be covered by workers’ compensation if:

 

  •       You are injured in the company’s cafeteria while you are having your meal since it is on the company’s premises.

 

  •       You sustain injuries while on a company outing, annual meet or any other company sponsored event.

 

  •       You suffer an accident or injury while traveling for work related to the company.

 

  •       You have a pre-existing condition and your job aggravates or elevates it. For example, if you’ve had a lower back injury before and it is amplified, or sustain injuries in the same area because you were lifting heavy objects at work then you are most likely to be covered under workers’ compensation.

 

  •       If you lose your hearing because you work in a noisy environment like a construction site.

 

  •       You develop a mental condition because of trauma at your work.

 

However, it is very important that you report an injury immediately. Delay in reporting may affect the benefit amount you would be awarded. You should remember the fact that every injury is a unique one and you might not always be aware of the best possible outcome for your scenario.

That’s why you should always consult a work injury lawyer before taking any decision.  If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact The Offices of Goldberg & Wolf at (856) 651-1600.  

If you are in the Pennsylvania area and are in need of a workers’ compensation representative, contact the attorneys at Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo.

Top Mistakes to Avoid When You Get Hurt at Work

If you got injured at work, your mind would be flooded with many questions.

What should you do next? What will happen to your family, especially if you are the sole breadwinner? Who will pay your bills? How serious are the injuries and will you have to be admitted to the hospital? And possibly the most important question….Will you get workers’ compensation?

These questions are valid, and almost every one of them leads to the last question and whether or not you get workers’ compensation. Logically you should be eligible for workers’ compensation, but there are certain actions you could do without realizing that it can potentially ruin your chance for compensation.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you get injured at work is not to panic. Panic often fogs your mind, and it is possible that something that might seem harmless at the moment could affect your workers’ compensation benefits.

So if you or someone you know is injured at work here are six things you should avoid doing:

  1.    Delay in reporting the injury: Pennsylvania law requires you to report the injury within 21 days of the incident occurrence. If you’ve allowed 120 days to pass and still have not reported, anything then you risk forfeiting you workers’ compensation benefits.

In New Jersey, the time you get to report an injury at work is 14 days from the day you have been injured. Timely reporting is the key to getting benefits through workers’ compensation. If you are unsure if your injury qualifies or any other doubts regarding workers’ compensation, then you must consult a work injury lawyer immediately.

  1.    Give anything in writing or recorded a sworn statement: Your employer may ask you to give a recorded or written statement after you report any injury.

You should avoid doing anything of this sort, as this could be used against you by your employer in a court of law. If you’re in doubt, a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer could be very helpful.

  1.    Pretend that you haven’t got injured: Pretending that you have not got injured will only worsen your injury and might even make you incapable of working. It can also impact your compensation benefits.

Legally an employer cannot intimidate you and make you retract your claim. Also, the workers’ compensation fund of an employer is separate from their financial assets, so it doesn’t affect their finances in any way.

  1.    Sign any document: Your employer or his agents might ask you to sign documents which look like a settlement or release.

Signing on the dotted line without knowing the legal implications or without prior consultation with your lawyer could hurt what you stand to gain financially as a part of workers’ compensation. Signing a settlement or a release might not keep your best interest first.

  1.    Publish anything about your injury on social media: We all have the habit of opening up our lives and sharing the day-to-day happenings on social media.

Your employer’s’ insurance firm could scrutinize your social media posts. They also might look through your posts for information that could be used against you. If they do find anything substantial, it could jeopardize your compensation claim.

  1.    Forget to document: Make sure you keep all records of doctor visits, hospital bills, and medical records. These will serve as evidence and will also be used to determine compensation that needs to be granted to you.

If you forget to document or preserve an injury related expense, it will be difficult for you to make your case for those expenses. Make sure you ask your workers’ compensation attorney on the types of documentation that are permissible.

 

To ensure the success of your case, contact Goldberg & Wolf today at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation!

Get The Facts on Workers’ Compensation So You’re In the Know

Know What to Expect When Filing a Claim in New Jersey

Have you been injured on the job? While it can be a scary time, these 21 workers’ comp facts can make this time less stressful for you!

FACT: An employer must provide medical treatment related to the accident that will provide a “cure.”

FACT: The injured worker must use a physician that is approved by the employer for treatment.

FACT: The employer is obligated to pay ALL of the medical bills, which includes co-pays, prescriptions, physical therapy, medical devic, s and deductibles.

FACT: If physical therapy fails, the worker may be referred to a specialist.

FACT: Temporary benefits will end when the physician declares the worker’s condition has achieved “maximum medical improvement,” the worker has returned to work or the worker has reached the statutory 400 weeks.

FACT: The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law provides medical benefits, temporary disability benefits, permanent partial benefits, permanent total benefits, and death benefits.

FACT: There are some circumstances where extended treatment is warranted. The worker must contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to see if he or she is eligible.

FACT: The labor law in New Jersey states that the worker is entitled to 70% of the worker’s gross weekly wage. The worker cannot receive more than $896 per week and less than $239 per week.

FACT: The worker must be under the care of an approved physician and unable to work for at least seven days to be eligible for wage replacement.

FACT: On the eighth day the worker is out of work, he or she is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Please note: The worker can be out of work for a total of seven days, and the days do not have to be consecutive.

FACT: The worker will receive benefits if the physician declares the worker is unable to work or can work in a limited capacity (light duty).

FACT: If the employer can provide light duty work, the worker must return to work and perform the job duties.

FACT: If the worker is left with a permanent disability and cannot perform his or her old job duties, the worker may have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

FACT: The employer is not obligated to create a new position for the worker if he or she cannot return to his or her old position due to the injury.

FACT: A worker will receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who is at fault.

FACT: It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim or the employee who testifies in a workers’ compensation case.

FACT: If the workers’ compensation claim is disputed, the worker may file a formal claim petition or an application for an informal hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

FACT: By law, New Jersey employers not covered by federal programs must have workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance.

FACT: Partial permanent disability benefits are based on the percentage of certain “scheduled” and “non-scheduled” losses. For example, a “scheduled” loss involves arms, fingers, legs, feet, eyes, ears or teeth. A “non-scheduled” loss involves an area or system of the body not identified in the schedule (i.e. the lungs and heart).

FACT: If the worker is permanently disabled and cannot be gainfully employed, the worker may receive permanent total benefits for a period of 450 weeks. These benefits can extend beyond 450 weeks provided the worker is able to prove he or she cannot work anymore. A permanent total disability is when the worker has lost two major members of his or her body (i.e. hands or legs). It can also mean that a combination of injuries has rendered the worker unemployable.

FACT: An employer or its insurance company is responsible to pay up to $3,500 in funeral expenses for the worker who was killed from a work-related injury.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, contact The Offices of Goldberg & Wolf at (856) 651-1600!

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions

Away from all the gloomy news that’s been doing the rounds, retired coal miners finally have some good developments to cheer about. Congress recently reached a deal to fund United Mine Workers’ health care benefits with around $1 trillion in federal funding.  More than 22,000 coal miners will breathe a sigh of relief, who were negatively affected by this ailing industry.

Almost along the same lines, lawmakers are exploring options to secure health benefits for a workforce that are increasingly moving towards freelance type work, away from the traditional full-time employment. Challenges like healthcare, and on the job injuries are difficult to plan for and require a creative approach.

With the government health care bill getting house approval, there’s a lot of debate on how pre-existing conditions will affect healthcare not just relating to workers’ compensation but as a whole, and what consequences it might have on workers’ compensation for states.

Benefits under New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Act include Medical benefits for treatment and hospitalization services and related expenses. The employer can appoint a specific physician, with whom you would consult for treatment.

You’re free to choose a physician in case your employer refuses to pay expenses for treatment or in the case of an emergency.

Disability Benefits in New Jersey:

  • You’ll receive temporary disability benefits when you’re injured at work and can’t work for more than 7 You’ll receive 70% of your average weekly wage but not more than 75% of statewide weekly average wage. With maximum benefit rate being $896 and minimum rates being $239, these are 2017 wage rates. Once you’re deemed fit to get back to work your benefits will cease.
  • If you have a job-related injury in one of the following body parts such as arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth, it’s termed as a “scheduled loss”. You’re eligible for partial permanent disability on a weekly basis after the payout of temporary disability benefits has completed. The maximum and minimum benefits rates in 2017 are $896 and $35.
  • If a person is permanently disabled due to a work-related injury, weekly benefits are provided for a period of 450 weeks. If the person is unable to return to work and earn wages beyond a period of 450 weeks, the compensation will be in line with temporary disability benefits.

 

Now, insurance companies would always want to keep the ratio of relatively unhealthy people as low as possible, so they don’t lose a lot of money. Two ways of achieving this would be to either increase premium rates or disallow people with pre-existing conditions.

In spite of that fact, according to a recent survey, the national median for Workers’ Compensation Insurance premium is about $1.84 per $100 of payroll. New Jersey ranked second in the US, only after California with compensation rates of $2.92 per $100 in payroll.

 

Are You Aware Of These Facts About NJ Workers’ Compensation?

  • Employers in New Jersey are required to cover workers’ compensation if they aren’t covered by Federal programs. Employers who are out-of-state employers must abide by the state’s workers’ compensation if they employ people from the state or if the work is performed in NJ.
  • New Jersey law fines employers $5,000 a day over a 10-day period if they fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

 

With the recent changes in laws surrounding healthcare, it may be difficult for you to keep track of its effect on local laws.

In that case, it becomes all the more important to consult a work injury lawyer if you’ve suffered a work-related injury for your workers’ compensation case.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

Need Help?

If you or someone you know was injured at work or has pre-existing conditions and needs helps or simply has questions, the good attorneys at Goldberg and Wolf are more than happy to help. You can contact us or call 856-651-1600.