Filing an Injury Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal Tunnel in NJ

Serving Workers Compensation cases in Trenton, Princeton, Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor NJ

Filing an Injury Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal TunnelWorkplace injuries are more of a commonality than would be thought, given that employers are responsible for ensuring their employees’ safety through safe workplace conditions and training. However, despite an employer’s best interests and preparations, accidents and injuries happen. One way in which many employees get injured at work is by performing repetitive motions that the job requires. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of an impairment caused by repetitive motions, which creates inflammation in the arm’s tissues.

Although many employees develop carpal tunnel syndrome and other impairments due to on-the-job work and repetitive motions, it can be difficult to receive workers’ compensation benefits for this injury without supporting a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. Read on to learn why it is important to have the guidance of a workers’ compensation attorney and how to ensure that you receive fair compensation for a slow-building injury you developed on the job.

How do you receive workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease like a carpal tunnel?

Many workers, including doctors, nurses, dentists, dental assistants, mechanics, and countless others, use their hands and turn their wrists in repetitive motions throughout the day over the course of a long career. As one could imagine, this creates inflammation in the tissue or nerve damage and can create constant pain and difficulty in completing work tasks and regular day-to-day life tasks.

To receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical procedures and lost wages during recovery from the injury, as well as short- or long-term disability benefits if the injury keeps you from being able to perform your work and life functions to the extent that you had before, you must be able to prove that the carpal tunnel syndrome was caused specifically by your occupation.

New Jersey workers’ compensation law protects employers from being sued for worker injuries that occur on the job or due to occupation, provided they cover the costs of medical expenses an employee must take on, as well as any work lost. To receive these workers’ compensation benefits provided by the employer, one must file a workers’ compensation claim. Once you have reported your injury to your employer, which is wise to do immediately, you must file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer to set the process in motion. Without filing a claim – and then winning it –  your employer will not be responsible in any way for financially compensating you for medical expenses, time lost, and other related financial damages.

What is necessary to win a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome?

What is necessary to win a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome?To file a successful claim regarding carpal tunnel syndrome or any other occupational disease developed through repetitive movement, an employee must prove that the repetitive movement that occurred on the job specifically caused the physical impairment. A workers’ compensation judge will be looking to ensure that three criteria are met: 1) that the petitioner can prove impairment, as evidenced by medical documentation or the expert review of a medical practitioner; 2) that the impairment has caused a disability, and 3) that the carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by the repetitive use of your arm at work.

What if the symptoms of the carpal tunnel appear after work?

In many cases, the carpal tunnel symptoms don’t appear for months or even a year after the repetitive motions that cause it. The New Jersey Statute of Limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim states that an employee has two years from the injury’s onset to file a claim. Because of this occupational disease’s nature, however, a workers’ compensation judge may be open to when the ‘onset’ of the work that caused the pain and inflammation was. Even if you have since left the job at which you underwent this occupational hazard, you can file a workers’ compensation claim, assuming your timing falls within the limits of the Statute of Limitations.

Contact a member of our team today to seek support in your claim

Even if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, it can be appealed. If your injury resulted from the negligence of some other party outside of your employer, there are also other avenues to seeking compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages during recovery, such as a personal injury claim.

Whether you have yet to file a claim or are looking to appeal, we are here to help you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our Workers’ Compensation for a free and confidential consultation at our Trenton office. We are here to represent you as you focus on your full recovery.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, we successfully represent clients in Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor. Your rights and wellness are what we stand for.

Contact us by calling (609) 528-2596 or fill out an online form for a free consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ Compensation Responsibilities as an Employer in NJ

How do the laws affect you as an employer, and what are your responsibilities? Worker´s Compensation Attorneys serving Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, and across Mercer County

Workers’ Compensation Responsibilities as an EmployerAccording to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Resource Development, all employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance unless they are covered by a federal program or meet the requirements for approval for self-insurance. This necessity to protect one’s employees’ safety and security is at the heart of all federally- and state-mandated workers’ compensation laws.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Worker’s Compensation Insurance in New Jersey is the way employers are held responsible and resourced in meeting their employees’ safety and security needs. In other words, it’s the insurance system through which employers cover the expenses of an employee’s injury sustained while on the job. This system provides the employee with the security of knowing that if they are injured at work, resulting in medical expenses, time lost from pay for recovery, or other costs, including short- or long-term disability pay, the employee will be able to get those costs covered by their employer. As a result of providing this guarantee of support to their employees, an employer is protected from lawsuits in the case of injury on the job. One reason for this protection from lawsuits is that the workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system, meaning that the employer is not held liable for injury to employees sustained on the job, as long as they provide this protection of financial coverage for medical and other expenses.

As an Employer, What Responsibilities for Offering Workers’ Compensation Insurance Do I Have?

You, as an employer, are responsible for taking all of the precautions necessary to ensure the safety and security of your employees. This means keeping the grounds maintained, providing safety training in machinery use, and other preventive measures.

All corporations and limited liability corporations (LLCs) must have workers’ compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance. Workers’ Compensation benefits must include corporate officers in corporations, and LLCs must cover all employees who are not partners or members of the LLC.

If a sole proprietorship employees anyone besides the principal owner, it must also have workers’ compensation insurance or proof of self-insurance.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Five types of benefits providing workers’ compensation insurance for your employees provides them. They are as follows:

  • Medical benefits: These benefits cover medical expenses, prescriptions, hospital stays, and another injury- or illness-related costs. An employer, or their insurance provider, has the option of determining which medical providers their employees are allowed to use in order to receive these workers’ compensation benefits, as long as those options cover the full range of injuries or illnesses sustained while the employee was on the job.
  • Temporary total benefits: Temporary total benefits come into play if an employee is injured on the job and must miss work for more than seven days. These benefits cover 70 percent of their lost wages and are retroactive to the employee’s first missed day. Temporary total benefits continue until the employee begins work again or sees substantial improvement in their health. There is a 400-week maximum for an employer’s obligation to pay temporary total benefits.
  • Permanent partial benefits: If after the period of temporary total benefits is paid by the employer, the employee still has some functional loss, the employer is required then to pay permanent partial benefits weekly.
  • Types of Workers’ Compensation BenefitsPermanent total benefits: If the employee’s injury sustained on the job results in their inability to have steady employment in their field, they are eligible for permanent total benefits. The initial period for these benefits is 450 weeks, at which point the employee must prove that they are still unable to work in order to receive continued benefits. These benefits are also 70 percent of their average weekly wage.
  • Death benefits: If a work-related injury or illness results in an employee’s death, their family is entitled to death benefits through their workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits include up to $3,500 in funeral costs and 70 percent of the employee’s weekly wages paid to the family or beneficiary, for the full extent of the statutorily-mandated maximum time period.

Trenton Worker’s CompensationLawyers

The Attorneys at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson have years of experience handling injury and worker’s compensation claims and working with insurance companies to ensure the best possible outcome for clients in towns such as Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, and across Mercer County, New Jersey.

Call today or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation to review your case with one of our lawyers today.

Types of Workplace Injuries in Mercer County and Across NJ

Serving Accident and Injury Victims with all types of Workplace Injuries in Trenton, Lawrence, Princeton, Hamilton, and across Mercer County

Workplace Injuries in New JerseyWorkplace injuries are a reality that is difficult to avoid. Despite enhanced safety measures and enforced protocols to protect employers and clients, accidents happen. Understandably, a large portion of workplace injuries happens on construction sites. Workplace injuries happen in many ways – whether by falls, accidents involving transportation and machinery, exposure to harmful elements, or even workplace violence. 2019 statistics from the BLS report that there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses across the country. If you have been injured in an accident at work, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses, the time required away from work, and even permanent disability benefits if your injury caused long-term damage.

Read on to learn the most common causes of workplace violence, and use this awareness to keep yourself and your employees safe on the job, or receive the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.

Slipping

There are a multitude of reasons slips or trips could happen in the workplace. From inclement weather to liquids or obstacles in the way, slips and trips are a huge source of workplace injuries. This type of accident is merited insurance coverage by the employer under New Jersey workers’ compensation law. Over $2.3 billion has been paid out by employers across the country for workers’ compensation benefits as a result of injuries caused by slips and trips.

Falling

As noted above, falls are a huge source of workplace injury. Particularly in the areas of construction and maintenance, falling carries a higher prevalence. According to 2017 data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 17 percent of all deaths on professional construction sites were due to falls. The presence of construction equipment whose weight or malfunction could cause a fall, as well as industry-related risks for falls such as scaffolding and working in tall, sloping sites, contribute to the large numbers of injuries and deaths caused on the site. If an employer has not provided proper safety protocols and work conditions to prevent injury, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation insurance if you are injured on the job because of a fall.

Receiving a Blow by a Blunt or Falling Object

Another cause of workplace injuries is caused by items being precariously placed and causing injury when they fall. While this is more often found in construction settings where objects haven’t yet been reinforced, it can be found across any industry. If reinforcement measures and proper placement of items are not ensured by an employer and cause an injury when they strike an employee, the employee is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for injury-related expenses.

Malfunctioning Equipment

One of the most dangerous risks for injury is equipment that has the potential to malfunction. Heavy or even light-weight machinery that ceases to properly function carries a heightened risk because the employee is depending on the machine functioning, and in some cases is placing the entirety of their weight and balance in the hold of this equipment. Even if the machinery is not physically supporting the employee, a malfunction can cause serious damage, because it can take the person by surprise, catching them off-guard. For example, even a malfunctioning staple gun can cause deep lesions if the person using it is expecting it to work and it backfires. This element of surprise, in addition to the obvious dangers such as causing a fall or getting clothing caught in equipment that causes greater injury, can all be consequences of malfunctioning equipment, and the reason that employers are 100 percent responsible for ensuring that their equipment is ready for employers’ use.

Musculoskeletal Misalignment Injury

Musculoskeletal Misalignment InjuryThe above injuries generally occur in industries in which physical injury carries a heightened risk, such as construction sites. However, there is a quieter, much more prevalent industry that affects millions of employees each year, and that is musculoskeletal injuries. Massive amounts of people work at a computer all day, and the angle with which they sit and type causes damage to muscles, joints, and ligaments, as well as nerves.

The majority of employees who have sought workers’ compensation benefits for musculoskeletal injury due to extended time working complain of back problems, hip problems, neck and shoulder issues, and carpal tunnel.

No Matter the Type of Workplace Injury, if Negligence has Occurred Contact a Trenton NJ Personal Injury Lawyer Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our experienced team of attorneys represents clients in Trenton, Lawrence, Princeton, Hamilton, and Mercer County in all workers’ compensation claims.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our firm today to discuss your case, please contact us online, or through our Trenton office at 609.528.2596. We look forward to working with you.

Essential Workers and Workers’ Compensation for Contracting COVID-19

Typically, to receive workers’ compensation in New Jersey, an employee must prove they suffered a job-related illness or injury.

Essential Workers and Workers’ Compensation for Contracting COVID-19A recent law creates a presumption during the ongoing public health crisis that essential employees’ illnesses are related to their work. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill (SB) 2380 into law. SB 2380 creates a rebuttable presumption of workers’ compensation coverage for COVID-19 cases contracted by “essential employees” during a public health emergency declared by the executive order of the governor. The law is effective immediately and retroactive to March 9, 2020.

The law defines an essential employee as an employee in public or private sector who during a state of emergency

Public Safety Worker or First Responder

  • including any fire, police, or other emergency responders

Providing Care Related Services

  • medical and other healthcare services, emergency transportation, social services, and other care services, including services provided in health care facilities, residential facilities, or homes

Essential Roles in Close Proximity to the Public

  • performs functions that involve physical proximity to members of the public and are essential to the public’s health, safety, and welfare, including transportation services, hotel, and other residential services, financial services, and the production, preparation, storage, sale, and distribution of essential goods such as food, beverages, medicine, fuel, and supplies for conducting essential business and work at home; or

Deemed Essential Employee by Public Authority

  • Any other employee deemed an essential employee by the public authority declaring the state of emergencies such as grocery store workers, pharmacy employees, medical supply stores, gas station attendants, convenience store employees, cashiers and store clerks, childcare employees, or construction workers.

What Does the Law Say?

Under the law, in a public health emergency declared by the governor, if an individual contract COVID-19 during a time in which the individual is working as an essential employee in a place of employment other than the individual’s own residence, there will be a rebuttable presumption that the contraction of the disease is work-related and fully compensable for workers’ compensation benefits.  A rebuttable presumption is an assumption made by a court taken to be true unless someone comes forward to contest it and prove otherwise. For example, a defendant in a criminal case is presumed innocent until proved guilty. A rebuttable presumption is often associated with prima facie evidence.

An employer may rebut this presumption by a preponderance of the evidence showing that the worker was not exposed to the disease while working in a place of employment other than the individual’s own residence.

Establishing a presumption of compensability for certain essential workers during the pandemic has become a growing trend among states that significantly lessens an employee’s burden of proving that a COVID-19–related illness is compensable under workers’ compensation laws. Details of these state law amendments vary. In states that have implemented a rebuttable presumption, such as New Jersey, employers will face the difficult burden of proving that an alleged COVID-19 contraction is not work-related. However, while employers in these states may be faced with an uptick in workers’ compensation claims, employers will also likely be insulated from civil liability pursuant to the workers’ compensation bar, absent some exceptions to the bar, such as the intentional injury exception.

How Will This Impact Employers?

Contact Trenton NJ Workers Compensation Lawyers TodayThis law will encourage the filing of workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 infections. It makes defending an occupational infection case much harder for employers. This law provides that losses associated with workers’ compensation claims are not be included in calculating an employer’s Experience Modifier Rate or otherwise affect an employer’s insurance premium rate for the employer’s workers’ compensation policy. This would provide some protection to employers against any increased premiums.

It is not new for New Jersey to take such proactive measures to protect its public safety employees. New Jersey was at the forefront in creating protection for first responders, including first aid and rescue squad members, police, correction officers, nurses, medical technicians, and other medical personnel with the Canzanella Act‘s passage in July 2019, which created a rebuttable presumption of workers’ compensation coverage for those who can establish evidence of exposures to communicable diseases in the workplace. This Act was already being applied to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this latest presumption greatly expands the definition of “essential employees” to many individuals working in the private sector.

Contact Trenton NJ Workers Compensation Lawyers Today

Our team’s skill, and dedication to your family, can make all the difference in securing compensation for the unwarranted loss of your loved one in  Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area.

It is good to know that protection for essential workers and compensation is available if needed.  If you have a workers’ compensation case, feel free to contact The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson online or through our Trenton office at 609.528.2596. We look forward to working with you.

 

Emotional Distress and Monetary Compensation in New Jersey

Emotional distress is a type of mental health temporary disorder or anguish experienced due to an incident caused on purpose or by negligence.

Emotional Distress and Monetary Compensation in New JerseyThe court accepts emotional distress as a personal injury that can be eligible for compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. You would need to provide sufficient evidence or proof that someone else is responsible for causing your emotional distress or trauma to validate your claim.

In most scenarios, for an emotional distress claim to be approved, you would be required to have sustained physical injuries due to an incident. However, cases of victims suffering emotional distress damages have recently been deemed valid, even if there is no evidence of physical harm or visible injuries.

Is Emotional Distress Considered Part Of A Claim?

Insurance coverage will cover a portion or all of the damages, depending on the liability determined for each case. Still, there are sometimes left-over out-of-pocket expenses that you also need to consider and honor. You can quickly calculate how much income you have stopped receiving or paid out towards fully recovering from an injury or accident by just adding up receipts, medical bills, invoices, and pay-stubs.

Yet other expenses are less obvious and trickier to predict. When the injury extends to mental wellbeing, it is far more difficult to calculate how much you will require to invest in the future to make a full recovery. When is it advisable to file for monetary compensation to recuperate from emotional grievances in New Jersey?

There are two widespread scenarios:

Emotional and Physical Distress (Pain and Suffering)

Whenever a car accident or slip and fall are due to negligence, the mental health and emotional injuries caused by the event will usually fall under the “non-economic” damages portion of the insurance coverage, which would, of course, include what is known as pain and suffering. No limit or highest rate (“cap”) has been established in New Jersey regarding the total amount of damages you deem suitable.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)

In New Jersey, if another party deliberately provokes a scenario to cause you an emotional wreck, it is thus classified as an unlawful act or tort known as IIED or “Intentional infliction of emotional distress.” However, negligence is easier to prove in court than this tort. In the case of Buckley v. Trenton Saving Fund Society, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed that to presume another party as liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the injured subject is obligated to prove one of the following:

  • The other party performed a reckless or intentional action to cause emotional distress.
  • The other party’s actions were “so flagrant in character, and so severe, as to surpass any possible limits of decency, and therefore considered heinous, and ultimately intolerable in a civilized community.”
  • The other party’s actions caused emotional distress,
  • The emotional distress experienced was “far greater than what any reasonable person is expected to endure.”

Contact our Woodland Park, NJ Pedestrian Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers for a Free ConsultationEmotional and psychological harm, such as but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are as equally detrimental and disabling as physical injuries. Stress-related symptoms such as feeling overwhelmed, fatigue, poor problem-solving, social withdrawal, changes in behavior, feelings of sadness, loss of emotional control, and frustration are a few of the many ways in which PTSD may affect your life and therefore be eligible for monetary compensation.

Contact our Woodland Park, NJ Pedestrian Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have suffered from extreme emotional distress caused by somebody else’s intentional act or negligence, talk to an experienced New Jersey personal injury compensation lawyer who can assist you in better comprehending and exploring your legal options.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our experienced team of attorneys is ready to stand in your corner.  If you live in Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area.  You can call us at 609.528.2596 or contact us through our online contact form.