East Brunswick Workers Compensation Attorney

worker's compensation

Thousands of workers are killed or seriously injured every year in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “There were 5,486 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2022, a 5.7-percent increase from 5,190 in 2021. The fatal work injury rate was 3.7 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from 3.6 per 100,000 FTE in 2021.” Another 2.8 million workers suffered non-fatal injuries that same year.

Workers are exposed to a variety of hazards in every industry. But certain industries tend to be much more dangerous than others. For example, more workers die in construction every year than in any other field. When a worker is injured on the job, this can substantially impair their overall quality of life and ability to be gainfully employed. If you’ve been injured on the job, you may have legal recourse. The East Brunswick workers compensation attorneys at Beninato & Matrafajlo are here to help you. You can reach out to our office anytime at 908-248-4404.

Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents may occur in every industry. These incidents often result in serious injuries, loss of productivity, and financial strain on businesses. It has been estimated by the National Safety Council that work-related injuries and deaths cost employers, individuals, and taxpayers an estimated $171 billion in 2019 alone. What follows are some of the most common causes of workplace fatal accidents.

  • Falls: Around 36.5% of all workplace fatalities involve falls. This includes instances where workers fall from ladders, roofs, scaffolding, and off of large buildings.
  • Struck by Objects: An estimated 10.1% of deaths occurred due to workers being hit by objects. This predominately involved workers that were hit by falling objects.
  • Electrocutions: Approximately 8.6% of workplace deaths are due to electrocutions. Panels, wires, and equipment can all be energized without a person even realizing that this is so.
  • Caught-in or Caught-between: Another 2.5% of all workplace deaths involve workers who get compressed. For example, workers can be crushed by vehicles or heavy machinery.

Even when a worker isn’t killed, they can still be seriously injured by a variety of hazards. A number of workers have been injured after being exposed to harmful chemicals. It is also common for workers to be injured in workplace fires and explosions, often due to improper handling of flammable substances. Preventing these accidents should be a top priority for every business.

Liability For New Jersey Workplace Accidents

New Jersey law requires nearly all employers to purchase workers compensation insurance to cover their employees. This system operates as a no-fault insurance program. In other words, workers will be eligible to receive benefits regardless of who could be deemed at fault. Workers compensation can help cover many different things, including medical treatment, lost wages, disability benefits, and death benefits. When a worker is injured, they may also seek aid through a third-party liability claim. A third-party liability claim may be possible when an entity separate from a worker’s employer contributes to an accident.

  • Equipment Manufactures: If an employee is injured by a defective piece of equipment, the manufacturer or distributor could be held at fault. For example, the manufacturer of a forklift could be liable if the machine has a design flaw that contributes to an accident.
  • Third-Party Drivers: Work sites are typically made up of a blend of different companies that must work together. If a third-party driver hits a worker due to negligence, the company that they work for could be held at fault.
  • General Contractors: A general contractor could be liable for a worker being injured for failing to maintain a work site in a reasonably safe condition. They may have also failed to provide workers with adequate safety gear, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).
  • Engineering Firms: Many accidents involve buildings that collapsed because they were improperly designed or otherwise structurally unsound. When this occurs, an engineering firm or construction firm could be held at fault.

The presence of third-party liability can significantly impact the outcome of any workplace accident claim. Identifying and pursuing liable third parties can help injured employees receive full and fair compensation for all of their injuries. Unfortunately, however, companies will often do everything in their power to deny responsibility if they are accused of contributing to an accident that injured a worker. This is why it is so important to seek the guidance of an experienced workers compensation attorney.

Common Injuries From Workplace Accidents

Occupational injuries are very common and may result in many different injuries. These injuries can range from minor to very severe. They are often caused by overexertion and repetitive motions, not necessarily one particular event. This could include instances where a worker is consistently lifting heavy objects or performing one type of action repeatedly. There are many other types of injuries associated with workplace accidents.

  • Fractures and Broken Bones: Falls and being struck by machinery can result in broken bones and fractures. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and recovery periods.
  • Cuts and Lacerations: Industrial equipment such as handsaws can result in very serious and life-threatening cuts and lacerations. Many victims will need stitches or surgery.
  • Burns: Exposure to fire, hot surfaces, and chemicals can all result in major burns. A burn injury can lead to first-degree and more serious third-degree burns, which require extensive and painful skin grafts.
  • Back and Neck Injuries: Slips and falls, improper lifting techniques, and many other types of accidents can result in back and neck injuries. Any type of injury to a person’s back and neck may result in short-term or long-term mobility issues, which may prevent people from continuing with certain types of work.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: A head or brain injury can result from any type of sudden jolt or head trauma. These injuries can have very serious, long-lasting effects in terms of physical and cognitive function.
  • Respiratory Injuries: Many workers are exposed to dust, fumes, and chemicals. When the right precautions are not taken, this exposure can lead to long-term respiratory illnesses, including asthma, bronchitis, and several other chronic lung conditions.

The vast majority of workplace accidents are preventable and involve safety violations. This may involve failing to give workers the required safety equipment. It could also involve workers operating machinery for which they are unlicensed or untrained to use. The common thread among most workplace accidents is that businesses are attempting to be as efficient as possible, even if this means neglecting safety standards.

Steps To Take After A Workplace Accident

It can be hard to know where to begin after any workplace accident. One of the first mistakes that people often make is that they fail to seek medical attention. Not every injury is immediately obvious after an accident. Moreover, many injuries could worsen over time without treatment. By seeking medical treatment, you can begin the process of healing and better understand the scope of your injuries. There are several other steps that workers should take if they were injured during the course of their job duties.

  • Report The Accident to Your Employer: It is best to notify your employer about any injury as soon as possible. Provide a detailed account of the incident, including how, where, and when it took place. Failing to report an accident can lead to serious problems down the road.
  • Document The Incident: It is important to adequately document any workplace accident. This includes taking photographs of the scene and preserving all related medical records.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Most workplace injuries will require follow-up care. Victims may need to attend rehabilitation or refrain from certain activities for extended periods.
  • Consider Legal Assistance: It is always a good idea to consult with a skilled workers compensation attorney after any workplace injury. An attorney can help protect your rights and take steps to ensure that you receive the benefits that you are entitled to.

One of the key advantages of hiring an attorney after any workplace accident is that there are no up-front costs. Workers’ compensation attorneys work entirely on a contingency fee basis and only get paid by the opposing party if they are able to successfully resolve your case. Many workplace accidents also involve third-party negligence. A workers’ compensation attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and help find all potentially liable parties. This can help ensure that you are provided with the greatest possible compensation for your injuries.

Getting Legal Help After A Workplace Accident

At Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC we understand how difficult it can be to recover after any workplace accident. An injury in the workplace may require a person to take long periods away from their job and undergo expensive medical treatments. This can be hard on individual workers and their entire families. Employers often claim to care about their workers. But the truth of the matter is that many companies will push their employees as hard as they can until those employees either burn out mentally or physically. This is the context in which a large number of accidents take place.

If you or someone that you care about has been injured on the job, there are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation. Our team of East Brunswick worker’s compensation attorneys is here to help you. We are dedicated to advocating on behalf of workers and holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. In fact, we’ve recovered over $100 million for our clients all across New Jersey. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney, we are here to help you. You can reach out to us anytime at 908-248-4404.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Falls remain one of the leading causes of workplace injuries in the United States.

Yes. Worker’s compensation operates through a no-fault insurance plan in New Jersey. A worker or their family may be eligible to receive benefits regardless of fault.

An injured worker could sustain a number of different injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, burns, and lacerations.

Every claim is different. But factors that will affect the value of claims will include the presence of lost wages and the cost of medical bills.

If you were injured at work, you may be able to pursue a negligence claim by an at-fault third party. This may include a driver who does not work for your employer.