According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.9 million people were hurt on the job in 2015, and nearly 5,000 people died either immediately or from workplace sicknesses or conditions in the same year. That number is too high, especially when one considers that most workplace injuries can be prevented. Of course, New Jersey is not immune from those accidents and there are still way too many workplace injuries that are very common in the workplace. Learn more about common workplace injuries and how to file a suit by contacting a professional attorney today.
Working in any environment can be physically taxing, and this is why overexertion remains one of the most common workplace accidents. Whether an office worker is hauling boxes of paper over to the photocopier or a construction worker is trying to push a beam into place, overexertion is more dangerous than it may sound at first. Any time a person lifts or pushes a very heavy object there is a chance of spraining or pulling a muscle. Most commonly it is the muscles in the back, shoulders or legs that suffer from overexertion.
Falls are another type of common workplace injury, and there are two different types. A person can fall on level ground, which is often called a slip, trip, and fall. These falls are most often from wet floors, partially hidden objects such as objects that are partially sticking out from a wall or barrier, even a counter. Another type of fall is a fall to a lower level, sometimes called a fall from a height. These falls occur when someone is up high and falls to a lower level. These are most common in construction areas and even make up what the United States Department of Labor calls the “Fatal Four.”
Struck by Objects
Another workplace injury that is common on construction sites and also part of the “Fatal Four” is being struck by an object. This occurs when something falls onto someone. But construction sites are not the only place this can happen. A worker can slip on a wet floor in a kitchen they work in, for instance. If they are holding something at the time, especially something dangerous or potentially fatal such as a knife, they could drop it during the fall and that object could fall on them and injure them.
Who to File a Suit Against
When a worker is injured by any one of these, or any other workplace injuries, in New Jersey, many people wonder if they can file a lawsuit against their employer. And the short answer is no. New Jersey has a workers’ compensation program that employers must be a part of, and it is workers compensation that will provide any compensation needed for medical bills or lost income. Extreme cases, such as willful negligence or placing an employee in an intentionally dangerous situation may present a case for a valid lawsuit, but in most cases, this is not a possibility.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance, and just like any other insurance company, they often do not have the claimant’s best interest in mind. Because of this, injured employees are advised to speak to a lawyer before speaking to workers’ compensation to ensure that they receive a fair settlement.