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South Jersey Personal Injury Law Blog

What benefits does New Jersey workers' compensation provide?

Workers who become injured on the job in the state of New Jersey are protected under the state's workers' compensation system. While most people are vaguely aware that a system is in place, many never look at the details or inquire about how the system works until they are directly involved with it through a workplace injury.

The workers' compensation system can be complex at turns, and people encountering it for the first time often have many questions about how it works and what benefits the system provides. Here are the basics about workers' compensation in New Jersey, how to access it and whether you need to seek the professional assistance of a workers' compensation attorney:

What construction workers need to know about asbestos exposure

As a New Jersey construction worker, you probably are exposed to asbestos every day while at work. Even if you wear a protective dust mask, you likely constantly inhale innumerable microscopic asbestos fibers on every job site. Over time, these dangerous fibers build up in your lungs and eventually can cause asbestosis, a debilitating lung scarring condition.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in many construction products and material. It breaks down over time and also is easily disturbed by such things as saws, sanders, drills and other construction equipment. Unlike most minerals, however, asbestos does not break down into simple dust. Its sharp microscopic fibers become airborne at the slightest indoor or outdoor breeze and disperse over a wide area, getting past regular dust masks and into your lungs.

Am I entitled to workers’ comp from an accident off the job?

As you know, workers’ compensation insurance exists to compensate you for your expenses and lost wages resulting from an accident you sustained at work. It is also in your employer’s best interests, as it protects New Jersey companies in most cases from litigation from an injured worker. However, what if you suffered an injury in a work-related accident that happened while you were off the clock or not at your workplace? Would you still be eligible to receive benefits?

Recently, your office ran out of printer paper and your supervisor sent you to the office supply store to purchase more. On the way there, you were in a car accident and received a minor injury. You were not at the office when the accident occurred, but because the injury happened while you were running a work-related errand, workers’ compensation should cover you.

Workplace rudeness might create more problems than expected

As you know, it is not pleasant to work with someone who is rude, condescending or abusive. However, rudeness in the workplace not only undermines productivity but can cause problems that affect your own wellbeing. You and other New Jersey residents may benefit from understanding the consequences of working with people who project their unhappiness onto others.

In a study cited by the Harvard Business Review, abusive behavior by a superior potentially did more damage than merely making the workplace unpleasant. In the experiment, 24 neonatal intensive care unit teams worked on a hypothetical situation involving a critically ill infant. Half of those in the study received neutral comments by a medical expert. In the other half, an expert insulted team members and questioned their abilities and professionalism. It may not surprise you to learn that the teams which endured taunts and insults performed poorly in comparison with the other teams. In fact, the fictional infant had a reduced chance of surviving when the teams experiencing demeaning and critical comments cared for it.

What to do if you sustain an injury on the job in New Jersey

Workplace injuries are all too common. In New Jersey, the law has specific protections for employees who suffer injuries at work. Some professions are more physically hazardous than others, such as construction work and work with heavy equipment. Other times, a workplace injury occurs due to a simple and unforeseen case of negligence, such as a slip and fall injury or unsafe working conditions in general on the employer's premises.

No matter how you got your injury on the job, the important thing now is to understand your rights under New Jersey law. You need to move forward to collect damages to compensate for your injuries so you can pay costly medical bills and make up for lost wages due to time off work. Here is some information about workplace injuries in New Jersey that can help you understand your options.

3 tips for driving safely in icy conditions

Winter weather creates challenging and dangerous driving conditions in New Jersey. Ice often forms on the roads and is a practically invisible hazard. It takes preparation and skill to navigate icy roadways properly. 

As it gets into freezing temperatures here, black ice can develop on the streets, especially on bridges and overpasses. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you get behind the wheel this winter: 

Avoid hurting yourself in a fall this winter

Winters in New Jersey can be harsh. Snowy and icy conditions often spell danger, whether you are at work or running errands during your personal time. You can do a lot to prevent falls this winter, but there are factors - such as a premises liability issue - that could create a dangerous situation for you and others.

Here, we will discuss your precautions to have a safe and slip-free winter, as well as the measures employers and property owners should take to protect people.

5 common workplace illnesses

You expect your workplace to be a safe environment. Depending on your occupation, you may or may not be in love with your job, but you probably consider it generally healthy and safe. However, no workplace is completely safe from potential environmental hazards or improper maintenance. 

Workplace hazards can not only result in injuries, but also illnesses. But what illnesses can develop at your job? Here are five common workplace illnesses you could be at risk of contracting in a harmful environment: 

3 common railroad injuries

Being a railroad worker can be dangerous; you are exposed to multiple hazardous conditions and risky tasks every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the railroad industry has a significantly higher fatality rate than the average rate in the private sector. 

When railroad accidents happen, the ensuing injuries are often severe and deadly. These accidents can result in lost work, financial devastation and a reduced quality of life. Here are some common injuries you may experience as a railroad employee. 

New Jersey motorcycle safety tips

As a motorcyclist, you are uniquely vulnerable on New Jersey roads. Without the same amount of protections or visibility as car drivers, you are more likely to get into an accident. You also have a higher risk of getting injured or dying because of a collision. 

It is crucial for you to be aware of motorcycle crash statistics, safety tips and helmet laws. Below is an overview of all this motorcycle safety information from the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety. 

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