Workplace Injury: A New Jersey Accident Attorney Outlines Your Options
Even if you are employed in an environment that seems extremely safe, there is always the possibility for a workplace injury. That’s why it is so important for you to know your rights.
Be aware of the steps you need to take in case you are hurt while at work. Knowing the steps to take after an injury at work will alert you to when you should contact a New Jersey accident attorney.
Safety Standards are Required for All Employers
In order to make sure workplaces across the country follow certain standards, there is a federal agency called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, better known as OSHA, was passed in 1970 to protect workers from getting hurt or killed while on company time.OSHA looks after all workers except for the following groups:
- the self-employed;
- farmers who only hire family members; and
- workers who are protected by a different federal agency.
If you qualify to be shielded by OSHA in your workplace, you are given several rights. Among these privileges are:
- information from your employer about job dangers and potential injuries;
- the right to ask your employer to fix a hazardous condition;
- the right to contact OSHA and file a complaint anonymously; and
- the right to file a complaint about a danger in the workplace without retaliation from your employer.
Once OSHA gets involved, they are able to perform any inspections and conduct investigations without notifying the employer in advance. In fact, OSHA can even go beyond the specific area in question and examine the entire workplace if they feel it is warranted.
Types of Workplace Injuries
There are many different kinds of workplace injuries. From mild to the most serious, employers are held accountable for exposing any of their workers to possible harm. Here, we outline some of the most common types of workplace injuries.
- Slip and fall – wet or oily walkways can create conditions that facilitate this type of injury. Even just a food spill that hasn’t been cleaned up, a torn piece of carpeting or a broken step can lead to a terrible fall.
- Office Injuries – The strain of repetitive office work can lead to workplace injury. Poorly maintained office equipment may be the cause.
- Driving injuries – forklift accidents, lack of vehicle maintenance and excessively long hours can all contribute to this type of workplace injury.
- Machinery injuries – Of all the workplace injury claims, this one can be the most serious. Construction jobs carry the highest number of injuries, which can often be fatal. Defective machines may cause wounds that range from cuts and burns to limb loss or even fatalities.
If it is determined that an employer failed to keep the workplace safe, thereby effectually causing an employee to suffer some sort of injury, a compensation claim can be filed. An injured employee then may ask the company to cover medical bills and any lost wages because of being unable to work.
Unfortunately, even if injuries occur because of the employer’s own negligence, a company may try to intimidate an employee to prevent him or her from filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. This is because such a claim could make their insurance premiums more expensive, but such actions are illegal. Employers do not have the right to pressure employees not to file claims for workplace injury.
Determining Fault in a Worker’s Compensation Claim
Certain insurance companies may decide not to pay a claim because they feel the employee was at fault. That’s why it is so important to collect evidence of the existing conditions that were in place when your accident occurred. Be sure to take photographs and get the names of any coworkers who may have witnessed your accident. While it may seem unfair for you to be the one to gather proof of your workplace accident, the more evidence you have, the better chance your injury will be covered.
Contact a New Jersey Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has a workplace injury, contact the attorneys at Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. LLC. We represent good, honest people in work accidents and Workers’ Compensation claims. Check out our Workers’ Compensation page today and find out how we can help you, or call us at 1-973-285-1100 for a free consultation.