Work Injury Lawyer: How to Prepare for Winter Workplace Hazards

How to Prepare for Winter Workplace Hazards

As winter rolls in, we feel relieved of saying goodbye to the heat. On the other hand, depending on what part of the country you live, a lot of your days might be snowed in. Not only does this pose a challenge for day to day life, but it also creates issues while commuting to work and also for people who’ve got to work outdoors.

 

The first snowfall is always something people are not so mindful of. Most people forget to slow down, and as a result, their vehicle skids trying to maneuver around the ice on the road. Brakes might not engage as easily as when the conditions were dry. At workplaces, there are multiple cases of slips and falls because of slipping on ice on the steps that was either not cleaned, or there weren’t any signs. Slips and falls account for the highest work injuries. Most workers who are hurt on the job employ the services of a work injury lawyer to get the best representation for their case.

 

To keep a workforce healthy and injury free, workplaces should think ahead and prepare beforehand. It helps in keeping workers aware of the hazards that come with the onset of winter. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind while putting together a safety checklist for a workforce when winter is just around the corner:

 

Safety While Driving: No matter whether you are driving to work or driving on the job, winter can add to your worries and you’ll need to be extra cautious. From vehicles not starting up, car breakdowns on remote highways, and ice covered roads, you should keep yourself prepared for emergencies.

 

It’s always a good idea to take your vehicle for a thorough winter check before the start of the season. Also, make sure the wiper fluids are undiluted; otherwise, they could freeze. It’s a good practice to keep a set of a scraper, a snow brush, and shovel with some antifreeze fluids. A winter survival kit might also be a good thing to invest in if your area has received heavy snow in the past.

 

Make sure your vehicle’s tailpipe isn’t clogged and also DO NOT keep the heater on for extended periods of time with all of your windows rolled up. Apart from that, make sure to check out the weather and road conditions on your local news channels before you head out.

 

Ongoing Safety Training At Work: There is a multitude of things that people need to be made aware of to keep them out of harm’s way.

 

Constantly remind your workforce through training and handouts about what is expected from each one of them. Designate people with responsibilities and also plan for backups in case of no-shows or people missing work in case of health issues.

 

Winter Gear: Depending on the type of workplace, companies might need to invest in winter gear like snow boots or gloves to be safe from frostbite or hypothermia. Scrapers and shovels also might be necessary if workers are going to be outdoors.

 

Power: Electricity is another critical element. Not only having provisions for backup power but also testing them periodically to make sure they are working is vital. Also, consider training supervisors to turn the power on in case it doesn’t switch on automatically.

 

Fluid Replenishment: There’s a common misconception among people about dehydration happening only in summer. On the contrary, it can also happen during the winter due to the layers of clothing people wear to keep warm which can lead to rapid dehydration. In severe cases, it may lead to dizziness, fatigue, and cramping.

 

Workers need to be made aware of the ill effects of dehydration and encouraged to keep themselves adequately hydrated.

 

In summary here are general guidelines to keep workplaces safe in winter:

 

  • Areas in and around the workplace where hazards like slips and falls could occur should be identified before the onset of winter.

 

  • Put systems and processes in place to make the potential hazard sites safe by marking, clearing up in the event of snowfall. If possible move operations to a safer site.

 

  • Review hazard areas regularly and keep workers aware of potential weather changes. Work areas should also be kept well lit and clean.

 

In the event of a slip, fall or severe injury at work during winter, you should reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you through the complex process of filing a claim and making sure that you get what you rightly deserve. Give Goldberg & Wolf a call at (856) 651-1600 or contact us to find out if your case qualifies, and the amount of compensation that you could claim.

The Importance of Knowing New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Facts

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Facts

 

How much attention do we pay to our rights as an employee while taking up a new job? We are not thinking about morbid things like accidents and injuries at such a time, right? So it is not uncommon for most workers to be completely unaware of their right to compensation or benefits if they get injured at work.

 

Workers spend a significant amount of time at work. Getting hurt while on the job is always a possibility. In the event you get a work-related injury, it is essential to know your workers’ compensation facts.

 

Injuries are not limited to physically taxing work like construction jobs. They could happen anywhere, at any place of work. The damage could be minor, or it could be grave. It could be due to an accident, or it could be due to a repeated stress injury which manifests over a period.

 

Whatever may be the cause of the injury, if it occurs at the workplace, the claim for compensation is valid. If a worker needs medical attention or has to miss work while recuperating from a work injury, then he or she is eligible to get benefits that compensate for the losses incurred by him or her.

 

Know Your Rights

 

If employees are familiar with their compensation rights, the chances of being cheated out of receiving monetary benefits from the employer or the insurance company are lower. Lack of awareness could lead to being denied what is rightfully yours. This is why it is necessary for workers not to be ignorant and to educate themselves on such matters.

 

Division of Workers’ Compensation

 

In New Jersey, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has a specific division that looks into compensation for workers who have sustained injuries at work. The Division of Workers’ Compensation serves as a regulatory body when it comes to protecting the rights of workers as well as employers in the state of New Jersey.

 

Some of the objectives of this organization are ensuring that employers obtain insurance coverage for their employees and that the workers receive compensation if they get injured at work. The Division also levies fines or penalties on erring companies that do not have insurance coverage for their employees. It provides temporary benefits to employees who have been injured at the workplace.

 

What Should a Worker Do If They Get Injured at Work?

 

When workers get injured at work or discover that an existing injury has been caused due to a work-related activity, the first thing they must do is inform their employers.The employer then has to notify the insurance company after which a ‘first report of injury’ can be filed.

If medical treatment is required, the employer’s insurance company will have a list of pre-approved hospitals and doctors that can be consulted. If the worker goes to a doctor, not on the list, there is a chance that the insurance company may decline the compensation claim.

 

What If You Disagree With Your Employer?

 

While work injury compensation may seem like a straightforward matter, it is not always so. A lot of times there may be disputes on claims between injured workers and the company they work for. One of the primary reasons for dispute is if the company believes that the worker’s injury is not work-related.

 

In such situations, an informal claim can be filed by either party with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. A judge will preside over the hearing and will mediate between the opposing parties to arrive at a consensus. This exercise helps save time and effort involved in having to go the legal route. If the solutions that come up are not acceptable to either party, they can file a formal claim as well which will involve a pre-trial stage and subsequently a formal trial. Throughout this claim filing process, whether formal or informal, it is advisable to consult with a work injury lawyer.

 

If the case goes to trial, there is a chance that the company may try to pressurize their employee to withdraw the case or discriminate against the employee at the workplace. This is strictly against the law in the state of New Jersey. In case of the worker suspecting discrimination, he or she can file a complaint against the employer with the Division.

 

A competent lawyer at Goldberg & Wolf, in Cherry Hill, NJ, can help you through the complicated process of getting worker compensation. Contact us today at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation or to speak with a member of our legal team.

How a Shoulder Work Injury is Handled When Working in New Jersey

 

How Work-Related Shoulder Injuries are Handled in New Jersey

 

Workplaces are prone to a lot of mishaps. People get injured in various ways at work. Shoulder injuries are relatively common. Some of the most common causes of shoulder injuries are:

 

  • Holding a single position for an extended period
  • Experiencing ongoing, intense vibration
  • Static load, which is carrying your body weight or part of it for a duration of time
  • Experiencing extreme temperatures, and
  • Holding your arms above your head or heart for an extended period or on a consistent basis.

 

The types of work tasks that tend to cause wear-and-tear shoulder injuries include:

 

  • Sorting and assembly
  • Stocking and retrieving products
  • Loading or unloading materials
  • Typing or frequent use of a mouse

 

Employees who meet with any work injury are liable to receive workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is defined as “a remedial social legislation to ensure that employees injured on the job will be paid without regard to fault.”

 

There is workers’ compensation specific to shoulder injuries. Workers’ compensation for shoulder injuries are treated like any other work injury. There are five main benefits which can be enjoyed by the injured employee under the New Jersey workers’ compensation law:

 

  1. Medical benefits to pay for the treatment required to recover from any shoulder injury
  2. Total disability benefits to replace the wages lost while being off work or on light duty and thereby earning lower wages.
  3. Permanent partial disability benefits to compensate for any permanent impairment or loss of function to any body part (legs, arms, fingers, toes, lungs, etc.) as a result of the injury.
  4. Permanent total disability benefits to compensate the injured employee if he/she is permanently and impaired due to a work-related injury and cannot return to any productive employment
  5. Death benefits to be paid to the employee’s dependents if he/she is killed or dies; as a result, a work-related accident or injury.

 

A person’s shoulder can be injured in various ways, some which are long-lasting compared to the others. The most common shoulder injuries are:

 

  • Dislocation of the shoulder joint
  • Strain to the muscles around the shoulder and upper back
  • Impairment of range of motion
  • Damage to rotator cuff
  • Nerve damage
  • “Frozen” shoulder and
  • Bursitis

 

The rotator cuff tear is one of the most common types of work-related shoulder injuries. An MRI scan is required to diagnose this kind of shoulder injury. Surgery which is mandatory may still result in recurring problems with the shoulder. Chances of 100% recovery are slim.

 

A life-altering problem with your shoulder can make it difficult for you to return to work. If your job requires you to lift heavy objects or carry out repeated motion or exertion, continuing in that same kind of work would become difficult.

 

You may be out of a job until you are well enough to continue in the same position. In most cases, New Jersey workers’ compensation only provides wage replacement benefits for a fixed amount of time, which will then lead to a reduction in the amount of your total disability benefit.

 

Your workers’ compensation claim for a shoulder injury may be opposed by your employer. Very often employers or its insurer claim that a shoulder injury was a pre-existing condition or that it was not job-related. Work injury lawyers would be your best option in such a situation. If you have suffered a shoulder injury at work, trust your case to an attorney with a record of success.

 

They can help injured workers by proving that their shoulder injury was genuinely the result of an accident. Working with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney can ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment while maximizing the amount you receive as compensation for the wages lost.

 

Any resulting impairment you have as a result of your workers’ compensation shoulder injury can also be dealt with. Apart from recovering all the workers’ compensation benefits, you are entitled to, they also make sure you get an appropriate disability rating with an apt lump-sum settlement if you are not expected to fully recover from your shoulder injury.

 

In cases of shoulder-injury accidents in which a subcontractor, property owner or manufacturer has liability, you may be entitled to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit for compensation above and beyond workers’ compensation benefits.

 

 

The work injury lawyers at Goldberg & Wolf, in Cherry Hill, NJ, have compassion for your plight and real courtroom litigation experience needed to tell your story to the jury and win your workers’ compensation case. Contact us today at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation.

Important Workers’ Compensation Facts For Home Health Caregivers

Facts About Workers’ Compensation For Home Health Caregivers

 

Getting sick or frequently falling as you age happens to be commonplace. It is the caregivers who often have to be on the receiving side and end up being grievously hurt while on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the figure at 12%, a percentage that’s even higher than the injury of construction workers!

 

With the population in America aging rapidly, there is a tendency of the old and infirm individuals to remain at home instead of being put into a care facility. This has resulted in an unprecedented number of home health care workers today. The home agencies providing care has seen a huge spurt in growth that’s now over a $74.5 billion industry today.

 

Sadly, the percentage of people being hurt on the job continues to plague the in-home caregivers with many of them reporting work Injury during the course of their jobs. Yes! The healthcare workers attached to psychiatric wards may face assaults and violence from the patients too.

 

However, patients like this are usually confined to an institution. So the caregiver has every right to claim workers’ compensation for the damages both physical as well as psychological.

 

The issues of providing adequate compensation to in-home caregivers have not been considered by most authorities so far. However, that is all set to change now as the demand for health caregivers has been rising up considerably with every passing year. Some of the home caregivers make an abysmally low daily wage while remaining dedicated to their tasks.

 

Unfortunately, they have to work in unhygienic conditions and are subject to abuses frequently.  The latest report by AFL-CIO has revealed a 50% increase in work-related injuries due to violent behavior of patients since 2005.

 

However, it is not going to help to silently bear it all without a complaint. A home caregiver along with the nursing and caregiving staff working in a health facility needs to get in touch with a top work injury lawyer ASAP for claiming compensation.

 

The hazards that most healthcare workers face every day include but are not limited to:

  • Overexertion and stress
  • Physical or verbal abuse
  • Risk from bloodborne pathogens
  • Injuries while handling medical wastes and sharps
  • Developing allergies due to latex sensitivity
  • Having to work in unhygienic conditions for long hours
  • Being subject to extreme temperatures
  • Back and shoulder pains from having to push heavy wheelchairs or gurneys

 

A worker who is injured or suffers disabilities while on their caregiving job can hope to receive adequate workers’ comp by filing it at the opportune moment! While it may not be necessary to hire a lawyer for filing a claim, it is recommended to do so say the experts.

 

A qualified attorney who has both the skills as well the expertise in handling workers’ comp can assist his client effectively in filing the claim properly without errors. The legal jargon is almost impossible to comprehend for a lay person and trying to file a compensation claim can prove to be a costly affair when it gets rejected outright due to errors in filing.

 

You may be wondering if there will be additional expenses when contacting a lawyer.  You can always get a free consultation from qualified attorneys and many of them will charge their fees when you receive the amount due to you after the claim has been granted.

 

Do not wait for long periods before making a claim though! Talk to an experienced work injury lawyer and they will handle it on your behalf while you remain focused on retaining your health after suffering damages.

 

You are sure to receive the required amount for the following from the insurance carrier of your employer or settle for a lump sum without having to go to court.

 

Types of Compensation that are taken into account to calculate your claim:

  • For Lost wages
  • For Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Reimbursement of all medical expenses
  • For Regular Exposure To Biohazards
  • For Disabilities both permanent and temporary

 

Health care workers who are eligible to file Workers’ Compensation claim:

  • Nurse / Nursing aid
  • Home Health Worker
  • Medical Assistant
  • Ambulance Driver
  • Physical/Occupational Therapist / Aide
  • Paramedic

 

Goldberg & Wolf is an experienced workers’ compensation law firm that can help you with your case. If you have a workers’ compensation case, you will require a team of seasoned lawyers by your side to claim the fair amount. Contact us at (856) 651-1600 for a free consultation and to get all of your queries regarding your case answered.

Workers’ Compensation & Occupational Disease Statute of Limitations

Workers’ Comp & Occupational Disease Statute of Limitations

 

If you get injured at work, the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim may be vaguely familiar to you. However, there is a similar condition that can arise from performing repeated job-related motions over a period of weeks, months or years, called occupational disease. Occupational disease differs from a workplace injury in that the onset of the disease cannot be backtracked to a specific incident or date of an accident; rather, it develops gradually as a direct result of performing some repetitive motion or being exposed to certain conditions, at your place of employment over an extended period.

Examples of an occupational disease can include carpal tunnel syndrome from typing at a computer, lung cancer from being exposed to dangerous chemicals or secondhand cigarette smoke, and arthritis from performing repetitive manual labor at a janitorial job. If you believe you have developed an occupational disease from a previous place of employment, it’s important to file your workers’ comp claim after being evaluated by a medical professional and receiving an official diagnosis and potential cause of your disease within the statute of limitations set forth by New Jersey labor laws.

Definition of Occupational Disease Statute of Limitations

New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Law states that all occupational disease claims must be filed within two years of the plaintiff discovering the nature of their disease or disability, its relationship to their work conditions or job duties and that the disease is severe enough to be compensable by your employer. It is advised that you visit a medical professional related to your specific disease or disability, receive an official diagnosis, and then file your claim within the two-year period to solidify that you’ve received written proof that your occupational disease is in fact directly related to your work.

When filing a claim, the employee must notify their employer and employer’s insurance provider that they were diagnosed with a disease that they believe to be work-related and request a medical evaluation from an employee-selected healthcare provider. The employer can refuse the employee’s request for evaluation, and if this happens, the employee may need to pay for their own medical treatment while informing both the employer and insurance provider that they are seeking their own medical treatment.

If you decide to file an occupational disease claim against your employer, the burden of proof for any type of workplace negligence falls to your employer. If negligence is not the case, you’re tasked with the burden of proof when it comes to showing beyond a reasonable doubt that you have a disease that resulted heavily from the work you did during your time of employment under your employer and that this disease was caused by a particular set of skills, movements, or a certain workplace environment specific to your occupation or type of job performed.  

Agreement of Compensation by Employers

Generally, once a workers’ compensation claim is filed in the State of New Jersey, an employer and employee will draft an agreement where the employer will give the filing employee some sort of financial compensation, in the form of either necessary medical treatment or lost wages due to absence from the place of employment on the condition of disability. If the employer and employee cannot come to an understanding, a decision will be made by an arbitration forum appointed by the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Division. Under this type of mutual agreement, a claimant has two years from the date of the last payment of compensation granted by their employer to file a workers’ compensation claim or two years after their employer’s failure to pay due to compensation.

Statute of Limitations for Filing an Occupational Disease Claim in NJ

The statute of limitations for filing an occupational illness or disease claim in New Jersey is defined as two years from the date of official diagnosis of the disease, or the date the plaintiff was made known of the nature of their illness and its relation to their job duties. The actual start date of the statute of limitations period can be difficult to determine because every claimant’s situation is vastly different. However, the statute is said to begin at the point the claimant understands the severity of their condition, which includes noticing and experiencing the most characteristic symptoms of their specific illness, and that medical treatment and disability resulting from their illness is eligible for compensation from their employer.

Take into consideration the case of Earl v. Johnson & Johnson (1999), where the claimant, Joan Earl, filed a workers’ compensation claim with her employer, Johnson & Johnson, after learning that her significantly reduced respiratory function over a period of four years was a direct result of her time of employment there. She worked in their file room for twenty hours a week, and the room contained such health and occupational hazards as poor air ventilation and drawers insulated with anhydrous gypsum powder, which is believed to cause respiratory irritation if inhaled.

Although she suffered several breathing attacks during her employment period dating back to 1989 which required hospitalization, she was not officially diagnosed with asthma and COPD until April 1993, the year she filed her claim. Johnson & Johnson argued that since Earl knew about her breathing and pulmonary problems in 1989, she should have filed her claim before 1991, the end of the two-year statute of limitations.

The court ruled in Earl’s favor, stating that she was not aware of the severity of her pulmonary and respiratory conditions until she underwent pulmonary function tests in 1993, which made her cognizant of her permanent disability. Even after she started experiencing these problems, she was still able to perform her job duties reasonably and only left the company in 1993 to accept Johnson & Johnson’s offer of early retirement. Therefore, the statute of limitations was still underway when she filed her claim, as she was not aware of the compensable and serious nature of her illness until 1993.

File Your Occupational Disease or Workers’ Comp Claim with Confidence

Although it’s not mandatory to recruit legal representation when filing your claim, it is strongly advised to hire a work injury lawyer who understands the complexities of the workers’ compensation process and can assist you with filing an occupational illness claim within the two-year statute of limitations set forth by the New Jersey Department of Labor. An experienced attorney can help you submit an appeal if your employer denies your claim or fails to provide necessary medical treatment and lost wages due to your work injury or occupational disease.

It’s not worth losing the medical and financial compensation you deserve for your employer’s negligence by filing your occupational illness claim after the statute of limitations expires. If you suspect you have an occupational disease that arose from specific duties or environments related to your job, you want to hire a workers’ comp lawyer who will listen to your concerns, help you file your claim or appeal in a timely fashion, and fight for your case. Goldberg & Wolf LLC has been helping employees earn compensation for workplace injuries in the Cherry Hill and surrounding areas since 1992, and it’s time we do the same for you. Contact us today by calling 865-651-1600 or visiting our office at 1949 Berlin Road in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Use Social Media Wisely If You Are Filing For Workers’ Compensation

Use Social Media Wisely If You Were Hurt on the Job

Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be daunting and exhausting, especially if your work injury requires medical care or rehab. Your primary focus is on healing up and receiving your well-deserved insurance payout. During the process of submitting your claim, it can be easy to get caught up in sharing your ordeal with friends and family and broadcasting your life on social media.

 

However, posting on your social media profiles while your claim is processing may hinder your workers’ compensation case, get your claim denied, or possibly incriminate you for insurance fraud. It’s imperative to exercise the highest level of caution and place your social networking profiles on the most restrictive privacy settings just as a general practice, but in the case of filing for workers’ comp, the reason is more important: any insurance company can find what you post online and use it against you, including information posted on now-defunct sites such as MySpace.

 

Let’s say you slip on a wet floor in your office lobby and suffer a leg injury. Even if you’re not active on social media while recovering from this injury, your employer’s insurance company will be on the hunt for any piece of evidence to disprove your workers’ compensation claim. A photo of you at a bar, a video of you playing football, or a Facebook status about how much fun you had at that concert, even if it was posted last year, can all be used in court to prove you’re not in as much pain and suffering as you claim.

 

Insurance companies are looking for high profits and low payouts for themselves, and as unfortunate as it sounds, they can admit something you posted on Facebook several months before your work accident as evidence that you’re over-dramatizing the severity of your injury, which they may consider insurance fraud. If this sounds like a stretch, consider the case of State of North Carolina v. Antonio Delontay Ford.

 

Even though this particular example was a criminal case, the court ruled an original song and photos posted by the defendant on his MySpace page as admissible court evidence that aided in their guilty verdict of his pit bull murdering his next-door neighbor. They stated in their verdict that the defendant knew of his dog’s aggression problems, which was determined by the photos’ captions and should have known not to let the dog roam free around the neighborhood.

 

How Can Internet Posts Incriminate You?

Just like how courts can get a hold of private emails you send to a select predetermined recipient with a subpoena, claims adjusters and private investigators can access anything you’ve posted on the internet, meant for a blanketed, undetermined audience, with a subpoena or during court proceedings.

 

When it comes to Facebook and Twitter posts submitted publicly for a wide viewership to see, there’s no way of knowing exactly who will end up viewing your statuses, photos or videos, even if your privacy settings are at the highest level. Posts can get shared and spread across the profiles of friends, and then friends of friends, like wildfire, and there’s not really anything you can do to stop this from happening. Social networking sites also have backups of their uploaded data stored on their servers, making it even easier for a claims adjuster to request any information on you if they feel it will help their case.

 

Anything you post on the internet, no matter how innocuous it may seem, can potentially deny you a claim. According to the American Bar Association, it’s important to follow precautionary steps and hire a work injury lawyer who can assist you with managing your online presence throughout the process of filing for your workers’ compensation.

 

Restrict Your Social Media Profiles’ Privacy Settings

While anything you post online is never actually private – Facebook and many other social media networks’ terms and conditions state that they’re allowed irrevocable, perpetual rights to any type of media posted on their sites without compensating the original poster—there are a few steps you can take to reduce the chance of your personal posts spreading very far.

 

It’s generally in best practice from a safety standpoint to restrict your personal social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to the highest possible privacy settings. On Facebook, this means restricting your posts so that only people you’ve “friended” can see your photos, statuses, and videos. On Twitter and Instagram, this means privatizing your accounts so you have to approve people to follow you before they can see your posts.

 

Google Yourself

To get a solid idea of what your employer’s insurance company can possibly discover about you with a quick online search, Google your name and look at the results that generate. If you spot anything in your search results that you suspect could get your workers’ comp claim denied, it’s advised to contact a work injury lawyer who can help you sift through your problem information and address it accordingly.

 

However, this doesn’t mean you should delete old posts of yours from years past. Anything you post online can come back to be used against you, and deleting old posts can actually do more harm than good. Often sites like Facebook and Twitter store backups of the data their users upload, and this seemingly deleted data can be requested for use in court by a claims adjuster or other legal party. Also, deleting old posts of yours may bring up suspicion as to what you may be trying to cover up about your workers’ compensation case.

 

What to Do If You’re Filing For Workers’ Comp

You don’t have to take a full social media hiatus during the process of filing your work injury claim, but you should exercise caution when messaging friends in apps, posting photos or statuses to Facebook, so nothing you upload gets taken out of context and warped in favor of your employer. Don’t delete old posts without first consulting a work injury lawyer. Throughout this process, they will truly be the only party you can trust.

 

As long as you stay prudent about your online presence while filing your workers’ compensation claim, use a doctor recommended by your employer and file within 14 days of your workplace accident, you should be able to earn the compensation and medical bill assistance you rightfully deserve for being hurt on the job.

 

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

You have the right to appeal your claim if it’s been denied. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at work, you need an experienced team of lawyers who will take the time to understand the nuances of your case and offer professional, expert advice.

 

The Law Offices of Goldberg & Wolf are ready to assist you in every stage of the workers’ compensation process, and we will fight for you. We proudly service Cherry Hill and the surrounding areas. Contact us today at (865) 651-1600 for a free consultation or if you have questions regarding your case.

Workers’ Compensation: Why Hiring a Lawyer to Help is the Best Option

Workers’ Compensation: Why Hiring a Lawyer to Help is the Best Option

If you have been injured at work and are wondering if you should hire a lawyer or represent yourself, you must consider the complexities of your case before deciding.

In a case where your injuries are minor (a sprain, a twisted ankle, a few stitches) and you have not missed many days at work, your employer confirms the injury at the workplace, you do not have any pre-existing conditions, and your case is not complicated, you can represent yourself.

Most often these are ideal situations where your case is likely to get approved in a workers’ compensation court. But, that’s seldom the case. The moment there are complexities in your case you need to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for the following reasons:

 

Denial of your claim or failing to receive benefits:

Many employers and insurance companies deny benefits claims because they are confident that about 80% of employees would not appeal. Sadly it’s true. People just accept the fact that they cannot get compensation for whatever reason was stated to them. There could be many reasons behind your claim getting declined; from not seeking proper medical attention, a discrepancy in medical reports, improper filing, or not reporting your injuries right away. But, appealing by talking to a lawyer gives you a greater chance to get what is rightfully yours.

Your employer’s settlement offer may not be the best: It is true that you need a judge to sign off on your settlement, and judges will sign off most things as long as they think it is a fair offer. Employers try to give you a settlement which acts more like a benefit for them than it is for yours. Sometimes these settlements may not even cover your all your medical bills. This is one more reason for you to consult a workers’ compensation attorney who knows whether the deal that is being offered is in your best interest.

 

Medical issues that prevent you from getting back to work:

You may be entitled to a lifetime of weekly compensation or a one-time settlement if you have suffered an injury that has permanently disabled you. Since insurance companies have to pay significant amounts for these cases, it turns out costly for them. Hence they try their best to get you to settle for a much lower benefit. This is all the more reason that you should hire an attorney.

 

Your boss turns against you:

Many employees find themselves in a grave situation when they file for workers’ compensation. Bosses may suddenly fire you, demote you, reduce your working hours, reduce your pay and can discriminate you with other employees. Though none of these behaviors should be meted out to anyone, in case, such a situation arises only a good lawyer can help you sort out your workers’ compensation case.

 

Social Security Disability Benefits:

If there is a problem with the structure of your workers’ compensation benefits, then Social Security can receive a chunk of your total profits. Only an attorney will be able to prevent this from happening with a structured benefit plan.

 

You have a third party claim:

Though workers’ compensation has been designed in such a way to keep work injury cases out of the civil tort system, you are still allowed to sue a third party whose negligence caused you the injury in the first place. For example: if a delivery truck man was hit by a recklessly driven car while he was out making deliveries, then the delivery truck man has the right to sue the owner of the vehicle for a third party negligence. Most of the times third-party claims are much higher than workers’ compensation benefits. Only an experienced attorney can help you file for both cases.

 

What can an attorney do for you?

An attorney can:

  • Help you meet all your deadlines
  • Make sure you file your forms error-free
  • Help you document your medical records to prove the severity of your condition
  • Estimate how much your case is worth and evaluate your settlement offers
  • Guide you to make sure you don’t get cheated by your employer or insurance company

 

Goldberg & Wolf is an experienced workers’ compensation law firm that can help you with your case. If you have a workers’ compensation case, you will require a team of seasoned lawyers by your side to claim the fair amount. Give us a call at (856) 651-1600 to get all of your queries regarding your case answered.