Types of Workers We Represent
Workplace Injury Lawyers Representing Petitioners Throughout New Jersey
In the central New Jersey area, the healthcare industry is one of the biggest supplier of jobs. Hospitals and medical practices employ many workers for a wide range of services that one does not always think about. For instance, in the hospital setting, there are nurses, food supply workers, maintenance people, and security guards, to name a few. The medical profession is very physically demanding. Workers are often required to be on their feet for extended periods of time, whether it’s an 8-hour or 12-hour shift. These employees are often required to assist patients 24 hours a day, requiring them to lift the patients, walk with the patients, assist them to get showers, or to exercise injured body parts. The janitorial staff in the medical facilities will be required to work with chemicals and also be required to be responsible for physically demanding tasks such as cleaning and/or repairing certain parts of the physical structure of the medical facilities. As a result, the healthcare profession is one particular area that has a big impact on workers’ compensation cases in central New Jersey.
Teachers Workers’ Compensation
Teachers are another group of frequently injured workers that one wouldn’t normally think about. Teachers in New Jersey, and especially in the Central Jersey area, are a very large segment of the work population. While it’s not necessarily a physically demanding job, there are such a great number of school employees that even if an accident only occurs a small percentage of the time during the workday, that small percentage multiplied by a very large amount of workers will put teachers high up in the category of frequently injured workers.
Workers’ Compensation for Inherently Dangerous Work
Of course, there are also the normal trades that one would think of as being physically demanding and dangerous. Roofers, siders, concrete workers, iron workers, electricians, plumbers, glazers, and workers of all construction and construction-related trades often have very substantial injuries that are not particularly surprising to see. It is one thing to be injured in an office setting. It is an entirely different thing to be injured when you’re 30 feet above the ground working on a roof.
Roofers, tree trimmers, tree surgeons, and working at heights or depths
Any work class that requires working at heights or at depths raises the likelihood of a serious debilitating long-lasting injury. Roofers, tree surgeons, and tree trimmers all work in very hazardous conditions. Workers who are excavators or ditch diggers have a very dangerous job that many would not realize, but the risk of injury is great because of the risk of cave ins. It is very dangerous to be digging a 6, 8, or 10 foot trench when other construction is going on in the same general area vibrating and shaking the earth. Many times this will result in what is called a cave in, trapping these laborers doing the grunt work in the trench or the ditch.
Workers’ compensation for highway workers, roadway workers, police officers
Highway workers, roadway workers, police officers, and others responsible for patrolling and maintaining our New Jersey roadways also have very dangerous jobs. New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation and its residents are very reliant upon cars to access their places of employment and shopping areas. NJ’s highway system is overburdened, as anyone who’s ever tried to get to work riding on the New Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway, in the either early morning or late afternoon rush hours can attest to. As a result, many people resort to rather dangerous and unsafe driving practices. Those sorts of unsafe driving practices put at risk our highway workers, our police officers, and our other roadway maintenance workers who have no choice as to where they have to report to work. The highways and the roadways are their offices and unfortunately, the driving public often has little if any regard for their safety during the course of a normal workday.
Workers’ Compensation Case for Under the Table Employee or Non-Citizen
The worker’s compensation law in New Jersey treats all workers exactly the same. However, it is our firm’s experience that groups of workers that are most underrepresented happen to be those workers who are either day laborers, undocumented workers, or workers who are working “under the table”, not officially on the payroll records of a particular employer. All three of those categories of workers are entitled to the very same protections as any other worker, be it a police officer or an executive at IBM. However, most employees in those categories don’t realize that they’re entitled to the very same protections. In New Jersey, a worker doesn’t even need to be a United States citizen to recover workers’ compensation benefits. In fact, he or she does not even need to have a Social Security number to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, just because an employer has decided not to place a worker on the books does not impact his or her ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits in the unfortunate event that an injury occurs during the course of employment.
It is problematic that those categories of workers happen to be working in the most dangerous professions. It is not uncommon for undocumented day laborers to have jobs that are the most physically demanding – ditch diggers, tree surgeons, and heavy duty laborers at construction sites, for instance. These types of employees may not realize that they are entitled to the same worker’s compensation protections as other white collar New Jersey workers.
Worker’s Compensation for Employees of Small Companies
Worker’s compensation law does not treat employees from large companies any different than it treats employees from small companies. Experience, however, in this area has also shown that there is a difference in how these workers handle a worker’s compensation claim situation. Many workers who work for small mom-and-pop organizations or companies are very fearful of bringing a workers’ compensation claim because they do not want to lose their job. Most of the time workers employed by large, established companies don’t have the same hesitancy because those larger employers are aware of the law in New Jersey. Employers of smaller companies aren’t necessarily aware, or are more willing to bend the rules, so to speak, and retaliate against an injured worker who brings a workers’ compensation claim. The worker’s compensation law in New Jersey is crystal clear, however. Employers are prevented from retaliating in any way, shape, or form against any injured worker who brings a work-related injury claim.
Why to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The worst problem that the Workers’ Compensation Act in New Jersey does not address is that it does not provide job protection benefits to an injured worker. The worker’s compensation benefits that are provided under the law are very limited in scope. Workers’ compensation provides medical care, wage replacement benefits, and allows injured workers to receive an award of money for their permanent injuries. However, there is not any sort of job protection benefit. If someone suffers a significant injury in a highly skilled or a highly trained profession making them unable to continue to perform in that highly specialized industry, the employer has the right, with certain exceptions, to replace that worker with someone who is physically able to do the job. So, one of the main drawbacks in the workers’ compensation framework is to how to address that particular situation. The only way that the workers’ compensation act does address such a situation is that it does allow people to be found 100%, totally and permanently disabled. If that’s the case, that particular worker would be entitled to lifetime workers’ compensation benefits, which would be paid out per week. That is a rather high standard to satisfy, as the injured worker would have to be found unable to perform any work in any industry, even sedentary work. As a result, a very large population of workers that sustain significant injuries which would impact their ability to work in the industry or business that they’re accustomed to may lose their jobs, and their only hope is to then be entitled to get 100% disability through the workers’ compensation system. This is why it is so important to have a qualified, experienced workers’ compensation attorney like Daniel Santarsiero if you happen to be one of those unfortunate workers that suffers a very significant, long-lasting injury.
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CONTACT A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW ATTORNEY
At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall located in Freehold, Trenton, Toms River, Paterson, New Brunswick, Jersey City, Hackettstown, and Somerville our workers compensation attorneys and staff are committed to helping employees injured on the job, whether as a result of workplace accidents or occupational diseases. If you have been injured in a workplace accident it is important to have a lawyer review your claim to see that you are being treated fairly and to ensure that you receive full compensation for your injury claim. Please call 877-450-8301 or e-mail our office to arrange a free consultation.