Workers’ Compensation Benefits And Job-Related Foot Injuries
For most people living in the United States, working is part of our weekly routine. We work so that we can afford to pay our bills, feed our families, and enjoy leisure activities. Although working is a necessary activity for most people, what most workers fail to realize is that working can sometimes put us at risk of sustaining physical injury. In certain occupations, sustaining foot injuries at work is more commonplace than others. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 52,070 job-related foot injuries occurred in 2014 alone. Given this rather high statistic, it is important that you know how to protect your rights in the event that you sustain a job-related foot injury and the injury impedes your ability to work.Construction Accidents
Common Causes of Job-Related Foot Injuries
Foot injuries can occur for a variety of different reasons at work. However, the most common causes of job-related foot injuries are as follows:
- Dropping heavy objects – In certain occupations, workers are required to lift heavy objects. Sometimes, accidents happen and workers drop these objects either on their own feet or another worker’s feet. If this occurs, injury to one or both feet may occur.
- Falling objects – Most commonly found in the construction industry, falling objects like loose scaffolding, tools, or building materials can be the cause of job-related foot injuries. However, foot injuries can be caused by falling objects in an office setting, if, for example, a box or items falls out of a storage closet or off a desk and lands on a worker’s foot or feet. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 80% of all job-related foot injuries are caused by coming into contact with objects that weigh 30 pounds or less.
- Inadequate footwear – Sometimes job-related foot injuries occur when workers do not wear appropriate footwear to perform their job duties. Consequently, it is important that you wear protective footwear commensurate with your job duties and job hazards.
- Constant standing – In the food and retail industries, workers are often required to be on their feet for 12 or more hours at a time. Overtime, this constant standing could cause stress injuries to the workers’ feet and, over time, could prevent them from performing job duties.
Workers’ Compensation for Job-Related Foot Injuries in NJ
Regardless of whether workers suffer job-related foot injuries due to one of the aforementioned reasons or another reason entirely, they are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits according to New Jersey law. Workers’ compensation benefits provide monetary assistance to workers who sustain injuries while working and, as a result, become temporarily or permanently disabled. To obtain workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey for a job-related foot injury, generally a worker has 90 days to submit a written claim to his or her employer. Otherwise, the worker’s right to receive workers’ compensation may be deemed waived. Once a claim is submitted, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance adjuster will investigate the claim and either approve or reject it.
If the claim is approved, a worker can receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover the costs of medical expenses and lost wages for a period of up to 450 weeks in New Jersey. The length of time the worker receives said benefits are based on whether the worker’s foot injury causes him or her to become permanently, temporarily, totally, and/or partially disabled. Moreover, with respect to compensating for lost wages, New Jersey’s workers’ compensation statute allows for workers to receive up to 70% of their gross average weekly wage.
If the claim is rejected, a worker can appeal the decision by either filing a formal petition with the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Division or by requesting an informal hearing with the same body. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Division will then review the claim and either affirm or reverse the insurance company’s initial decision.
Whether a claim is approved or rejected, however, it is important to keep in mind that New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. Accordingly, even if the worker is partially or fully to blame for his or her job-related foot injury, the worker may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as long as the injury exists and prevents the worker from perform his or her job duties. Consequently, if you sustain a foot injury on the job and are unsure as to whether to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer for the injury, it is best to contact an experienced workers’ compensation before proceeding with the claim.
Contact an Atlantic City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case
A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Brown Law represent clients in Atlantic City, and all across New Jersey. Call 609-336-4144 or email us today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 3123 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 201, Atlantic City, NJ 08401.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.