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Cherry Hill Law Blog

OCCUPATIONAL STRESS CLAIMS

1. Establishing Stress Claims

N.J.S.A. 34:15-30 provides that an employer is responsible for an occupational disease resulting in injury or death to an employee. This section does not differentiate between an occupational disease as a result of an exposure to deleterious substances or cumulative trauma. This Section contains an exception if the injury or death by occupational disease is caused by willful, self-exposure to a known hazard or the employee's willful failure to make use of reasonable and proper guards or personal protective devices furnished by the employer. However, the exception is an affirmative defense that must be proven by the employer who must show that use of protective devices is a requirement of the employment and the employer properly documents that despite repeated warnings, the employee has willfully failed to use the devices. This exception does not apply to emergent situations, though emergent circumstances often suggest a traumatic event and one that does not occur over time. Most occupational claims are for exposures to circumstances or stressors that occur over time.

New Jersey business faces millions in OSHA violation penalty fees

A company that operates in New Jersey is facing $1.9 million in penalties from the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The violations are many, a total of 51 safety and health violations were cited.

Why is the company facing such high penalties? Part of the reason for the steep fines is the fact that these violations were deemed “willful.” This was supported by the agency’s contention that the business had repeatedly been warned and yet failed to comply with federal safety and health standards. 

What is the difference between SSDI and SSI benefits?

If you live in New Jersey and need to pursue disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration, it is important to understand the differences between the two main types of disability benefit programs. Many people confuse Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income because the acronyms commonly used to reference them are so similar, but there are important distinctions between the two types. 

Social Security administers two disability programs. Social Security pays disability benefits (SSD) to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits using the same definition of disability but instead of work credits you must meet certain income and resource limitations. SSI is based on need. 

What to say (and not say) to claims adjusters

After you are injured in an accident, you will be getting a call from the other driver's insurance company. This person is the claims adjuster, and their job is to estimate the right amount of compensation for your injury.

If you don't have a lawyer yet, BE CAREFUL. How you handle this conversation matters a lot. You have been injured, but you can be injured again if the insurance company lowballs you.

How many workers are hurt per year?

For those employed in a variety of occupations, different hazards are present on the job. For example, construction workers in Cherry Hill and other parts of New Jersey may suffer an injury after falling, being struck by an object or electrocuted. In office spaces, wet floors may cause a worker to slip and sustain an injury, while repetitive stress could leave an employee unable to carry out their job responsibilities. Regardless of the field you work in, it is vital to watch out for potential risks and you may want to realize just how widespread work injuries are.

You should also be aware that New Jersey Workers' Compensation is a no-fault statute. Therefore, even if the employee was at fault for his or her injury they are still entitled to full benefits. There are only few exceptions to this rule which can be explained to you by our attorney.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in the private sector reported that roughly 2.9 million illnesses and injuries occurred at work over the course of 2015 (this number only accounts for non-fatal illnesses and injuries). Fortunately, 48,000 less non-fatal illnesses and injuries were reported during 2015 in comparison to the year before, but a devastating number of workers still sustained injuries which, in some cases, likely interrupted workers' lives.

Fatal crash on turnpike has police investigating the accident

A car accident earlier this morning between two different vehicles is being investigated by the police after one of the drivers died after the impact. A Honda Accord and a Honda CR-V collided on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury just before 6 a.m. this morning. The 22-year-old driver of the Accord died after being taken to a hospital after the crash. A passenger in his car, another 22-year-old, suffered injuries that left him in critical condition. The 80-year-old driver of the CR-V and his passenger did not suffer injuries in the crash.

Though charges are not expected to be filed in the case, the police have not completed their investigation into the matter, and it will likely be some time before an official report is released. If they find any evidence of negligence or recklessness on the part of one of the drivers, that would be noted in the police report.

Workers' Compensation Medical Benefits

NJSA 34:15-15 controls the provision of medical benefits available to an injured worker under the New Jersey Workers' Compensation Act. This section of the statute provides that an injured employee is entitled to such medical treatment as is necessary to "cure and relieve" the injured worker from the compensable injuries. There is no definite time limit set for the medical treatment. The treatment is required to restore the function of the injured worker as completely as possible. When the authorized treating physicians determine that the injured worker has reached "maximum medical improvement" treatment generally ends. 

Contact

Jacobs, Schwalbe & Petruzzelli, P.C.
Woodcrest Pavilion
Ten Melrose Avenue, Suite 340
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Phone: 856-375-1028
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