When a workplace accident results in serious injury, employees are typically entitled to worker’s compensation benefits, also known as workman’s comp. This state-mandated insurance program provides compensation for medical and hospital expenses related to the occupational injury, as well as disability payments while you’re out of work. Worker’s comp also covers diseases or illnesses that are the direct result of workplace conditions, in addition to work-related cumulative trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome that develop from repetitive motions and positions.
There is often some anxiety about returning to your old job after filing a worker’s comp claim and receiving benefits. Worker’s compensation laws do not require that employers hold your position open while you’re out of work on medical leave, but the vast majority of employers do. It’s always a smart idea to maintain open communication with your employer about your recovery process, ongoing care needs, and anticipated date of return.
The following are answers to frequently asked questions about returning to work after getting workman’s compensation benefits.
Getting medical treatment after returning to work
Depending on the nature of your workplace injury and your physician’s recommendations, you may still need medical treatments after returning to work. In most cases, the cost of prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital treatments will be paid under an ‘Intermittent Time Loss’ policy. With valid receipts in hand, workers can also ask to be reimbursed for travel costs related to medical treatment.
Missing days due to work-related injury
If lingering issues with your workplace injury cause you to miss time from work, you can still get paid for this time. You and your lawyer must inform your Workers’ Compensation Board representative and your insurer to claim benefits classified as Intermittent Time Loss.
Reduced earning benefits
If partial disability makes returning to your old job duties impossible, and your new duties involve a lower pay rate, you can qualify for a “reduced earning” benefit to make up for this discrepancy. If your employer is unable to provide alternative work duties that you can perform, rehabilitation staff at the Worker’s Compensation Board provide resources for vocational training, and can assist with future job placement.
Time limits for filing a worker’s comp claim
It’s important to note that employees have up to two years from the date of injury or diagnosed illness to file a worker’s compensation claim. Workers who are injured on the job, then take time off and return to work are still entitled to seek benefits within the appropriate time frame. It is illegal for employers to harass or fire personnel because of a compensation claim.
Legal assistance after suffering a work-related injury
Thousands of workers are injured on the job every year due to unsafe conditions, hazardous equipment, improper training and negligent conduct. Whether you were hurt in a scaffolding accident or suffered burns from defective machinery, it’s imperative to protect your legal rights. A knowledgeable lawyer can determine if legal action is the right course of action for recovering the compensation you deserve.
Learn more about your legal options by contacting the personal injury attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. If you have been hurt at work, we invite you to schedule a free case review by calling our New Jersey and New York offices toll-free at (888) 752-5018.
Additional “workplace injury” resources
- NY State Worker’s Compensation Board, Workers’ Compensation and Returning to Work, http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/ReturnToWork/RTW_Information_pamphlet.jsp
- US Department of Labor, Workers’ Compensation https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/workcomp
Scaffolding is one of the most hazardous elements to any construction site. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), falls are a leading cause of traumatic deaths on the job and scaffolding is one of the major contributors.It is imperative that one takes proper safety measures when working with scaffold in order to avoid accidents.
Here are some safety tips to avoid scaffolding accidents:
Scaffolds should be designed by a certified worker and should conform to all construction and safety regulations. Workers should be taught accident prevention measures and cover comprehensive fall protection training as well as other life saving details.
Proper protective equipment
It is the responsibility of the employer to equip all workers with a fall arrest system, including lifelines, body harnesses, guardrail systems and body belts. All equipment must be in good working order accompanied by a correct usage manual.
Regular inspection and maintenance
Daily inspections by properly trained representatives should be performed before initiating a job on a scaffold. Identify and keep an eye out for possible hazards. Inspect scaffold components and fall protection equipment for each job. Replace any scaffold accessories which are damaged or bent.
Scaffolds should be erected on solid footing
The scaffold should be leveled or plumbed and locking devices and ties should be secured. Base plates, sills or footers should be placed on solid grounds. If it needs to be moved, dismantled or altered, it should be done under the supervision of a certified representative.
Scaffold manufacturers load capacity should be enforced. Overloading it with equipment and materials should be avoided otherwise it will collapse.
Tie the scaffold to the building
The scaffold must be properly secured and protected from the elements. It should be tied to the structure using heavy wire. Only proper retention parts supplied by the manufacturer should be used.
Work on strong platform
Inspect each scaffold platform thoroughly and if wood plank is used, it must be a scaffold grade or metal catwalk. Before every job, make sure it is free of breaks, knots, cracks or warpage. Use double rails and toe boards on exposed sides at platform heights of 6 feet or more.
Don’t take chances
Use a scaffolding climbing ladder and do not climb braces. Avoid riding on moving scaffold.Rope off unsafe areas and when work is being done overhead, use wire mesh or canopy to protect workers on lower work levels.
Contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C.Today
If you or a loved one is injured in a scaffolding accident and you are in need of an experienced attorney, contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C. You can call us at (845) 459-0001/(201) 690-7735 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also visit our website www.kgglaw.com
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction workers are more prone to eye injuries. The report says thousands of construction site workers are either blinded or suffer other preventable eye injuries each year. More than 2,000 construction workers injure their eyes at work each day. 10%-20% of the eye injuries cause temporary or permanent vision loss. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are more than 15,000 welding equipment-related eye injuries a year. Power tools contribute to nearly 10,000 eye injuries a year.
Causes of Eye Hazards at Construction Site
- Particles producing work such as hammering, grinding, sanding and masonry work.
- Chemical spills
- Wet or powdered cement
- Exposure to arcs and flashes while welding
- Particles such as flying dust, concrete and metal Falling or shifting debris, glass and other construction materials
- Smoke and noxious or poisonous gases
How to Prevent Eye Hazards at Construction Sites
- Inspect work areas, access routes and equipment. Identify operations and areas that present eye hazards.
- Prevent particles from flying by using machine guards or screens.
- Label hazardous areas “No Entry Zone” for those not assigned to work there.
- Select protective eyewear designed for a specific duty or hazard. Eye protection must meet the OSHA requirement for Z87.1 certification by the American National Standards Institute. Z87.1 description will be given at the lens or frame of the eye protection.
- Have the eyewear fitted by an eye care or trained professional.
- Conduct awareness programs to create, maintain and support the need for protective eyewear.
- Safety glasses provide coverage and side protection to guard your eyes from flying particles or objects. Some styles also have brow protection along the top of the glasses.
- Use goggles while performing tasks such as sawing, chipping, grinding, doing masonry work, using a nail gun, pouring cement, chemicals and liquid or fine dust hazards.
- Use a face shield when you are spraying, chipping, grinding or welding. Always use your safety glasses and goggles when you wear a face shield because particles and chemicals can get around a face shield and into your eyes.
- Carefully remove your safety equipment. Brush, shake or vacuum dust and debris from your hardhat, hair, forehead and top of your safety glasses or goggles.
- Don’t rub your eyes with dirty hands or clothing.
- Always keep your equipment and eyewear clean.
Don’t Neglect an Eye Injury. Call Us!
Did you know that you have rights in New York and New Jersey if you are injured in a workplace accident?
When you acquire a serious personal injury in any work setting, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Each state has its own laws about qualifications and how much workers’ compensation benefits are paid out. To determine if you have a workers’ compensation claim, it may be wise to speak to an attorney following an injury accident. We say this because you may be entitled to more than just workers’ compensation following an accident, so having your incident investigated may prove to be critical in obtaining maximum compensation.
Keep in mind, in addition to workers’ compensation, if you are injured at a job site, you may want to look into a lawsuit or a third-party liability claim. By having an attorney review your case, he or she may be able to determine the best way to move forward for a successful claim. Remember, often, multiple contractors or subcontractors are working at construction sites—when an accident occurs, several parties could potentially be held liable.
The laws surrounding workers’ compensation and personal injury claims are incredibly complex, as numerous factors can lead to accidents. Injury incidents on the job can include transportation accidents, slip and falls as well as construction accident events.
Worker Injured in Ridgewood Construction Accident
We bring up workplace accidents because recently a Rockland County man suffered a broken collarbone and unspecified shoulder and head injuries in a Ridgewood construction accident in February.
According to NorthJersey.com, the man was injured while working inside a McKinley Place home. He was reportedly working on the second floor of the home when a newly installed ceiling gave way, crashing down on him. The man had to be assisted by police, firefighters and ambulance crews, and was transported to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson for treatment.
Working with an Attorney Following a Construction Accident
As we stated above, following a construction accident, it may be wise to contact an attorney if you want to maximize your opportunities for damages. Our firm offers free consultations regarding personal injury cases and works on a contingency fee basis.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Injury Lawyers
If you are ever involved in a workplace or construction accident that results in serious injuries, it may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney.
Keep in mind, when a serious personal injury occurs at a construction site, you may qualify for financial compensation related to your accident through a lawsuit. This is in addition to potential workers’ compensation, as you may be able to obtain damages relating to pain and suffering through a third-party liability claim.
Third-party claims are not uncommon among injured construction workers. When you file a third-party claim, you are attempting to hold a party other than your employer liable. An incident that may occur on a worksite where this type of claim would be possible could include an instance where faulty scaffolding causes a fall or defective construction equipment results in a mishap.
Additionally, if multiple contractors or subcontractors are working at a construction site and it leads to an accident, you may be able to hold the company or unit liable. For example, if you are injured in a vehicle accident at a construction site, and the vehicle is owned and operated by another entity other than your employer, you may be able to hold it liable.
Because the legalities surrounding workplace or construction accidents are complex, it might be wise to speak to an attorney about your case, so he or she can help you pursue damages in the best possible way.
Crane Accident Injures New Jersey Man
We bring up workplace and construction accidents because we recently read a scary story about a crane accident in Carteret, New Jersey. According to NJ.com, the crane accident took place at an industrial site near 1400 Federal Boulevard and Milik Street.
The crane involved in the incident reportedly toppled over and a worker was expelled from the machine, leaving him hanging in the air approximately 20 to 25 feet above the ground in an emergency harness. The man suffered head injuries and a broken leg.
The incident remains under investigation.
Speaking to a Lawyer Following a Construction Accident
Again, if you are ever injured in a construction or worksite accident, it may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney. Remember, we offer free consultations regarding personal injury and work on a contingency fee basis.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Injury Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: In 2013, nearly 300 American workers were killed in construction accident falls.
Unfortunately, every year hundreds of workers are injured in construction accidents in New York and New Jersey. Recent statistics for the Empire State show that the number of construction accidents in New York City increased by 31 percent over the last two years.
Because the areas surrounding New York and New Jersey are heavily populated, construction accidents are more common than they are in other areas.
Sadly, on August 20, a construction worker was injured in an accident on the Upper East Side, after equipment fell on him where Second Avenue subway construction is taking place.
The victim reportedly suffered a severe leg injury and was taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He was conscious at the time he was transported for treatment.
Should I Talk to an Attorney If I Am Injured in a Construction Accident?
Our attorneys hold contractors and property owners accountable when oversights at a workplace lead to an employee’s injuries or death. Since 1975, our firm has successfully represented many workers hurt in construction mishaps in the Rockland and Bergen County area.
These cases include workers injured in scaffolding accidents, fires, explosions, crane accidents, forklift accidents and those who have been injured by violent co-workers.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Rockland County Injury Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: New York Labor Law 240 protects workers who are injured in scaffolding accidents.
Whenever you encounter a work or construction zone on a highway, you should proceed with caution. Each year, hundreds of workers are killed in work zone accidents—with most of the accidents being avoidable.
If you encounter a work zone, you should always follow posted speed limits—keep in mind, the failure to do so could result in increased fines and penalties. Additionally, you should give your vehicle plenty of space to make unexpected stops and avoid sudden lane changes.
Remember, you should never use the shoulder of the highway to pass other vehicles. In many instances, construction workers are working in shoulder areas and this can result in fatal accidents.
Sadly, on August 27, a construction worker from North Bergen died in a crash on the Garden State Parkway in Aberdeen. According to WABC-TV, the victim was identified as Cesar Desouza-Caetano.
According to the network, an SUV hit two construction workers in the northbound lane of the highway at about 1:20 a.m. The other worker involved in the crash, 60-year-old William Heise, of Rockaway, was transported to the hospital for injury treatment.
A preliminary investigation showed that 21-year-old Marc Senatore, of Nutley, crossed over the center lane and into an area marked by construction cones, hitting several pieces of equipment that struck the workers.
The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.
Can I File a Lawsuit If My Loved One Is Killed in a Car Accident?
Aside from death, accidents in construction zones often result in serious personal injuries like spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and broken bones.
Contact us toll free to schedule a no-charge initial consultation or complete the form on this page to let our skilled attorneys review your case if your loved one has been killed or you have been injured in a vehicle accident.
Drivers who are responsible for devastating vehicle accidents must be held liable. This can be achieved through a lawsuit, which can help pay for injury treatment or burial costs, along with pain and suffering.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Bergen County Injury Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: Sixty-seven percent of work zone injuries are the result of a pedestrian worker being struck by a vehicle.