As we have noted on this blog many times, accidents can happen in any kind of workplace, to any kind of worker. Recent statistics show how widespread the problem is.
According to a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 69,000 work-related non-fatal injuries and illnesses reported by employers in New Jersey in 2019, the most recent year for which statistics were available. Most of these, about 40,900, were serious enough that the employee had to take off time to recover before returning to work. About 97% were injuries. About 2,100 were work-related illnesses.
Points of comparison
Two industry sectors accounted for most of the reported injuries and illnesses. These were the trade, transportation and utilities sector and the education and healthcare sector. Together, these sectors employ about 44% of all people in private industry in the state, but they made up 60% of all the work-related injuries and illnesses.
New Jersey’s statistics for 2019 look better than those of many other states. New Jersey’s injury and illness rate comes out to about 2.5 per 100 workers. The national average was 2.8.
Help for injured workers
When employees are injured on the job, or made sick from a work-related illness, they should be able to rely on New Jersey’s workers’ compensation program to get the benefits they need to pay for medical care and to help them with any loss of income while they are recovering. Most types of employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, and most types of employees are covered.
Unfortunately, it is relatively common for injured workers to have their claims denied, or to find their employer’s insurance company won’t give them the full amount of benefits they need and deserve. They may have to argue their case in hearings, or even beyond.
Attorneys with experience in workers’ compensation law can help employees at many points along the way. In some cases, they can help with initial claims, or securing second medical opinions. They can also represent workers at hearings and appeals.