If you’ve been injured on the job in Pennsauken, navigating the complexities of worker’s compensation can be overwhelming. At Cuneo & Leonetti, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that a work-related injury can impose on you and your family. Our seasoned Pennsauken worker’s compensation lawyers are committed to guiding you through each step of the process, ensuring you receive the benefits you’re entitled to. From initial claims to appeals, we’re here to protect your rights and secure the compensation you need to heal and move forward. Contact us today for your free consultation and get the justice you deserve.
What is Worker’s Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is a state-mandated insurance program designed to provide financial benefits and medical care to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. In Pennsauken, the worker’s compensation system operates under the broader framework of New Jersey state laws governing worker’s compensation.
In general, worker’s compensation provides a range of benefits, including:
- Medical Benefits: Covers the cost of treatment, including hospital stays, prescription medications, and rehabilitation services needed for the work-related injury or illness.
- Temporary Disability Benefits: Provides a portion of your wages if you are unable to work while recovering from a job-related injury or illness.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: Compensates you if you have a permanent partial loss of function, even if you can still work in some capacity.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits: Provides long-term benefits if you are unable to return to any form of employment due to your injury or illness.
- Death Benefits: Offers financial support to surviving family members if a worker is killed on the job or dies due to a work-related illness.
Common Types of Worker’s Compensation Injuries
While the specific injuries eligible for worker’s compensation can vary based on a myriad of factors, including the nature of the job and circumstances surrounding the incident, there are some types of injuries that are commonly reported and often eligible for worker’s compensation benefits in Pennsauken. An experienced Pennsauken personal injury lawyer can identify and navigate common types of injury cases, specialized Pennsauken workers compensation attorneys are prepared for the following:
- Repetitive Strain Injuries: Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other musculoskeletal disorders are often caused by repetitive motion or overuse.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: These can lead to various injuries like fractures, sprains, or head injuries.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Usually common in environments where employees are handling sharp objects, machinery, or materials.
- Burns: These can occur in many different work settings but are especially common in jobs that involve handling chemicals or working near open flames.
- Heavy Machinery Accidents: Crush injuries, amputations, and other severe traumas can happen, especially in industrial settings.
- Chemical Exposure: Respiratory issues, skin conditions, or more severe health problems can arise from exposure to hazardous chemicals.
- Electrical Injuries: Electrical shocks can lead to burns, cardiac arrest, and other serious injuries.
- Falling Objects: Injuries commonly occur in warehouses, construction sites, or other environments where objects may fall from a height.
- Vehicle-Related Accidents: These can occur for those who drive as part of their job and may include collisions and other road-related incidents.
- Workplace Violence: Physical assaults and other acts of violence can also lead to injuries that may be covered by worker’s compensation.
- Stress-Related Illnesses: While harder to prove, stress-induced conditions like heart problems or mental illnesses might be covered under specific circumstances.
Common Causes of Worker’s Compensation Injuries
The causes of worker’s compensation injuries can vary widely depending on the industry, the work environment, and the specific nature of a job. However, some common causes of workplace injuries in Pennsauken and other parts of New Jersey include:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: Wet floors, uneven surfaces, or cluttered work areas can contribute to these types of injuries.
- Equipment Malfunction: Machinery that is outdated, poorly maintained, or improperly used can lead to severe injuries.
- Lifting and Manual Handling: Inadequate training or lack of equipment for lifting heavy objects can result in musculoskeletal injuries.
- Falling Objects: Items falling from shelves or during the movement of goods can cause head injuries, fractures, or other traumas.
- Repetitive Movements: Jobs requiring repetitive motion can lead to strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.
- Vehicle Accidents: For those whose work involves driving, vehicle accidents are a notable risk.
- Chemical Exposure: Lack of proper ventilation, protective gear, or safety measures can lead to injuries from hazardous chemicals.
- Electrical Hazards: Inadequate wiring, lack of protective equipment, or failure to follow safety protocols can lead to electrical shocks.
- Lack of Training: Employees who are not properly trained to operate machinery, handle materials, or follow safety protocols are at a higher risk for all types of injuries.
- Workplace Violence: Conflict between employees or encounters with hostile individuals can lead to physical injuries.
- Inadequate Safety Measures: A lack of safety measures like guardrails, harnesses, or personal protective equipment can lead to various types of injuries.
- Human Error: Simple mistakes, lapses in judgment, or moments of inattention can lead to accidents and injuries.
- Fatigue and Overwork: Overworked employees are more likely to make mistakes that can lead to accidents. This is especially relevant in the truck driving industry. A Pennsauken car accident attorney is specialized to help reach your legal goals in the event of a car accident.
Understanding the common causes of workplace injuries can help in implementing preventive measures.
Reporting Requirements for Worker’s Compensation Claims In Pennsauken, NJ
Here are the reporting requirements for Pennsauken worker’s compensation injuries:
- Immediate Reporting: Employees are encouraged to report any work-related injury or illness to their employer as soon as possible. Delaying the report may result in delays in receiving benefits and could potentially jeopardize your claim.
- Employer Notification: The notification can be verbal or written, but it is generally advisable to follow up with a written notice for record-keeping purposes. Make sure to include details such as the date, time, and circumstances surrounding the injury.
- Medical Treatment: Your employer has the right to choose your healthcare provider for the initial treatment. Failure to use an employer-approved provider could result in your being responsible for medical bills.
- Follow-up Documentation: Be sure to document all subsequent medical treatments, lost work time, and other pertinent details. These records can be important if your claim is disputed.
- Formal Claim Filing: For long-term or severe injuries, you may need to file a formal claim with the New Jersey Division of Worker’s Compensation. The statute of limitations for filing a claim in New Jersey is generally two years from the date of the injury or the last payment of compensation, whichever is later.
- Employer’s Responsibilities: Upon receiving notification of the injury, the employer is generally required to file a First Report of Injury with the insurance company and the state worker’s compensation agency. The employer’s insurance will usually then begin the process of evaluating and processing the claim
- Retaliation is Prohibited: Employers are not allowed to retaliate against an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim. Retaliation can include termination, demotion, or any form of harassment.
Worker’s Compensation Retaliation Laws In Pennsauken, NJ
Pennsauken prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing a worker’s compensation claim. Retaliation can manifest in several ways, such as:
- Firing or laying off the employee
- Demoting the employee or reducing their responsibilities
- Giving unjustifiably poor evaluations
- Harassment or creating a hostile work environment
- Cutting hours or altering the work schedule in an unfavorable manner
An employee who faces retaliation may have remedies available by bringing legal action against the employer. These remedies may include:
- Reinstatement to your job
- Recovery of back pay
- Reversal of a demotion or other adverse employment action
- Payment of attorney’s fees and other costs
Statute of Limitations for Pennsauken Worker’s Compensation Claims
Pennsauken is governed by New Jersey’s state laws on worker’s compensation. The statute of limitations for filing a worker’s compensation claim in New Jersey is generally two (2) years. This means that you have two (2) years from the date of the injury, or from the last payment of compensation (whichever is later), to file a formal claim petition with the New Jersey Division of Worker’s Compensation.
However, it’s essential to note that the initial report of the injury to the employer should be made as soon as possible, ideally immediately after the injury occurs. Delaying this initial report could jeopardize your eligibility for benefits.
If you fail to file your claim within the two-year statute of limitations, you may lose the right to receive worker’s compensation benefits.
Contact Our Pennsauken Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Today
Don’t navigate the complex waters of worker’s compensation alone. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury or illness, the stakes are too high to risk handling it without experienced legal support. At Cuneo & Leonetti, our skilled Pennsauken worker’s compensation lawyers are committed to fighting for the benefits you deserve. We understand the intricacies of New Jersey’s worker’s compensation system and can help ensure your claim is properly filed, effectively argued and justly resolved. Time is of the essence, especially with stringent statutes of limitations in place. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step toward securing your future.