New Jersey Workplace Injury Lawyers
Fighting for New Jersey Workplace Accident Victims
Since the enactment of 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act more than 594,000 American workers’ lives have been saved. The U.S. is committed to ensuring the right to safe working conditions, however there is still much work to be done. In 2017, there were 5,147 workplace fatalities and approximately 2.9 million injuries and illnesses in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. In New Jersey, one in 34 workers, or about 92,000 people were injured at work or experienced a job-related illness. In addition, violence on the job is a huge concern and is the third-leading cause of workplace death, with women suffering over 60 percent of workplace violence injuries.
The Main Causes of Workplace Injury and Illness
The top 10 causes of non-fatal workplace injuries in the U.S.were documented in Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Workplace Safety Index. In order of rank they are:
- Overexertion involving outside sources
- Falls on the same level
- Falls to a lower level
- Struck by an object or equipment
- Other exertions or bodily reactions
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles
- Slip or trip without fall
- Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects
- Struck against other equipment
- Repetitive motions involving microtasks
The Most Dangerous New Jersey Workplaces and Occupations
Transportation and Warehousing
The transportation and warehousing industry is the most dangerous sector for workers, scoring the highest injury and illness rate almost every year since 2003. This is driven by the explosion of online shopping and the drive to satisfy consumers’ expectation of on-demand delivery. For example, Amazon who has nine New Jersey distribution centers was recently named to to the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health’s 2019 Dirty Dozen Employers list for hazardous working conditions, high-stress culture and failure to protect workers from preventable injury, illness and death.
Healthcare and Social Workers
The New Jersey incidence rate for the health care and social assistance sector has been the second highest of all private industry sectors in most years since 2005. Healthcare workers face a number of serious safety and health dangers including exposure to toxic and radioactive substances, ergonomic risks from lifting heavy weights and performing repetitive tasks plus incidents of workplace violence. Social workers are often placed in harm’s way when helping clients because they must travel alone to unsafe neighborhoods, serve people with mental illness and contend with family violence and domestic disputes.
First Responders–Police, Firefighting, EMS, Correctional and Other Municipal Employees
People who serve the public in law enforcement, firefighting, emergency services, and corrections place themselves in dangerous situations every day on the job. Fires and explosions, attacks by people or animals, falls, slips and trips, car crashes, exposure to harmful substances, being hit by heavy objects and overexertion are just some of the risks police officers, firefighters and correctional officers may encounter in a normal workday. In New Jersey, five protective services workers were killed on the job in 2017,and there were 32,000 occupational illnesses and injuries among correctional officers alone.
Some of the most dangerous jobs you can work in New Jersey are found in the construction industry. Large and heavy equipment and machinery and continually shifting worksites pose inherent risks. Falls from scaffolding and ladders, head injuries from falling or flying debris, trench cave-ins and machinery entanglements happen all too frequently. Most of these accidents and their resulting injuries and fatalities are preventable and construction company and contractor negligence are often the culprits.
A knowledgeable New Jersey workplace accident lawyer will help you understand your rights and options for obtaining financial compensation
At Keefe Law firm, we have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards for people hurt by injuries and illness from on the job:
“I am very appreciative of all you have done for me. You were honest, worked hard and fought diligently to help solve my case. Thank you Keefe Law Firm for providing excellent people to work with.” –Sheila R., Monmouth Junction, NJ
Workplace Injury Cases
Paul Nese, a construction estimator, was employed by Commercial Construction Services (“CCS”). One day, CCS’s owner asked Paul assist a crane operator in hoisting trusses to the roof line for a Quick Chek convenience store under construction in Bayville, New Jersey. Mr. Nese went inside the building’s to clean up straps. Suddenly the trusses collapsed into the building and crushed him.
Mr. Nese sustained substantial orthopedic, neurological and psychological injuries and will suffer for the remainder of his life. After multiple mediation sessions and settlement conferences, John E. Keefe, Jr. and Stephen T. Sullivan, Jr. were extremely pleased to get nearly $6 million for Mr. Nese. “This was a wholly preventable accident and reminds us that, even today, construction workers face substantial risks while performing their trades”, commented John E. Keefe, Jr.
Workplace Accident FAQs
What should I do if I get hurt at work?
If you get hurt at work in New Jersey, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. According to the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, this notification does not have to be in writing. However, to protect yourself put it in writing or be sure to verbally report the incident in front of a reliable witness. If you are a union member, use your union’s accident report form. If you need medical treatment, inform request it immediately.
Do I have to use my employer’s doctor if I get hurt on the job?
Yes, under the New Jersey workers’ compensation law, your company can select the physician to treat you. When you are brought to a hospital, urgent care or doctor’s office be sure to tell the treating healthcare professionals the details of how you were injured and where you feel pain.
What is workers’ compensation insurance?
In New Jersey, workers’ compensation insurance was designed to protect workers and/or their families in the event a worker is injured, becomes ill or dies while on the job. Workers’ Comp provides medical, disability and death benefits in these situations. When a worker takes advantage of workers’ compensation insurance, he or she cannot then bring a civil action against the employer, except in cases of intentional acts.
What are my rights if I am injured or get sick from something at work?
Contact Keefe Law Firm immediately if you have suffered injury or illness while at work. We can help you fully understand your Workers’ Compensation rights. We can also determine if there is a case to be made for negligence or if a third-party such as an equipment manufacturer can be held liable for your damages.
Can I sue if I was hurt at work?
A serious workplace accident, injury or illness creates immediate and long-term hardships on both the victim and their family. Your ability to work may be temporarily or permanently hampered and combined with medical expenses your financial strains and emotional stress can be overwhelming.
New Jersey Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits for medical treatment, wage replacement and permanent disability compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, and death benefits to dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment. While ensuring that workers receive medical treatment, these laws also prevent employees from suing their employers for work-related injuries.
However, in some cases there are exceptions. You may be able to sue your employer if your employer:
- Intentionally Caused Your Injury – If you can prove that your employer intentionally caused your injury, then you can seek full compensation for your injury-related losses.
- Denied Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in Bad Faith – A bad-faith denial of workers’ compensation benefits provides grounds to sue your employer. However, you may need to exhaust your other remedies (such as filing an appeal with your state’s workers’ compensation board) before filing a lawsuit in court.
- Manufactured the Product that Injured You – If you were injured in an accident involving a defective product manufactured by your employer, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit.
- Has a Relationship with a Contractor or Subcontractor – If you suffered your injury in an accident involving a contractor or subcontractor, your employer may ultimately be liable based upon its business relationship with the contractor or subcontractor.
Important: You may be able to file a third-party personal injury claim against a contractor, subcontractor, property owner, negligent driver, or any other person or company that was at fault in your accident.
Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. This is why it is critical to consult with a local work injury lawyer. An experienced, competent attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine whether you have grounds to sue your employer.
How much time do I have to sue my employer if I was injured?
If you have a claim against your employer, you will need to file it within the applicable “statute of limitations.” For New Jersey injury claims, this is usually two years from the date of the accident. However, you should discuss your case with a local injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact A Workplace Injury Attorney Today
At Keefe Law Firm, we stand for our injured clients to attain nothing less than the compensation they deserve. Talk to a lawyer today about your options.