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Is My Injury Job Related?

New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney explains how injuries must arise out of the scope and in the course of employment

At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg, we advise our clients that to collect workers’ compensation benefits, their injury must be job related, though it’s not always clear what job related means. Courts have held that the injury must “arise out of your employment” and occur “in the scope” and “in the course” of employment. Do the circumstances of your injury fit this technical language?

Arising out of employment — This means that work-related activity must be a major contributing factor, such as lifting boxes causing a back strain or typing triggering carpal tunnel syndrome.

In the scope — The activity that was the contributing factor in your injury has to be something that an employee with your job would be expected to do. A receptionist who shoots herself with a nail gun must explain how that activity fits her job description.

In the course — The injury must occur while you are working. Break time injuries fall into a gray area. Regularly scheduled breaks in designated areas are generally covered.

Common challenges to proving an injury was job related

At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg, we encounter many injury scenarios that test the limits of the definition of “work related.” Examples include:

Social events — Company-sponsored social events are tricky, because the employer would argue that parties and softball games convey no benefit on the company and are strictly for the benefit of the employees. Employees, however, tend to think that attendance is expected, so these events are part of the job.

Commuting — Your travel from home to work is generally not covered by workers’ comp, because that activity conveys no benefit on your employer, but there are several exceptions. Travel from your regular workplace for an off-site meeting is covered, as are errands for the boss on the way to or from work.

Traveling — Business trips are covered; however, if you’re a traveling salesperson with no true worksite, you are covered when traveling directly to or from a sales call, but not for time spent deviating from the direct route.

Prohibited conduct — You may still collect workers’ comp benefits for your injuries even if your own misconduct was a contributing factor. The decision may ride on whether your employer knew of the misconduct prior to your accident and, though it was technically against the rules, did not discourage or discipline employees who participated.

Pre-existing conditions — If you have a pre-existing condition, and can prove that your regular job activities worsened it, you may be covered. The key may be to show that the previous injury had cleared up and your work activity caused a recurrence.

If your case falls into any of these gray areas, you truly need capable representation from an experienced workers’ comp attorney. The Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg provides diligent care whether you’re filing a claim for the first time, appealing a denial or trying to reach a disability settlement.

Contact our experienced workers’ comp attorneys to discuss your job-related injury

Act now to protect your rights to workers’ comp benefits for your job-related injuries. The Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg assists injured workers in Bergen County and throughout northern New Jersey. To schedule a free consultation, contact our dedicated and compassionate attorneys online or by calling 201.371.5276. Se habla español.

Personal Injury

Helping the Injured after Serious New Jersey Truck Accidents

Bergen County lawyers provide dedicated service after serious accidents
One in nine fatal accidents involves a large truck, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck collision because of a jackknifed or overturned truck because of an unsecured truck-load, or in any other type of truck accident in Bergen County or northern New Jersey, the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg is prepared to help you. Our lawyers have decades of experience assisting the injured, a commitment to sensitive, client-focused representation and a strong record of proven results.

What are common causes of truck accidents in New Jersey?
Large trucks are more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents than other vehicles. More than 80 percent of truck accidents involve passenger vehicles. While many of these collisions involve overturned trucks and trucks striking passenger cars, trucks are frequently rear-ended by other vehicles. Using their hands-on experience, practical skills and sensitivity, our lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg help victims recover compensation for injuries resulting from a wide range of causes, including:

Driver negligence
Trucking company liability
Violations of safety regulations
Overloaded or improperly loaded vehicles
Oversize trucks
Improper vehicle maintenance
Defective trucks or truck parts
Dangerous or defective road conditions
Who is at fault in a truck crash in New Jersey?
In many cases, an accident is caused by truck driver negligence from fatigue, distraction, drug or alcohol use, inexperience, speeding and unsafe turns, lane changes or other maneuvers. When a commercial truck driver is at fault, the trucking company that employs the driver may also be responsible for injuries if the driver caused the accident while acting within the scope of employment. The trucking company may also be responsible for inadequate driver training, failure to enforce safety regulations or negligent hiring — for example, hiring a driver with a poor driving record or history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Injuries caused by serious truck accidents
Because of their enormous size and weight, large commercial trucks, such as semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers, are highly likely to cause catastrophic or fatal injuries when they’re involved in accidents. Our attorneys help victims of all types of serious injuries, from amputation injuries to internal injuries and paralyzing spinal injuries to head injuries, recover compensation to make up for immediate and ongoing medical costs, rehabilitation, lost income and earning capacity, pain, suffering and other losses. If you lose a loved one in a truck accident, we help you through each step of your wrongful death claim with integrity and compassion.

Understanding commercial truck regulations
The trucking industry is heavily regulated by both federal and New Jersey state regulations. There are strict rules about the size and weight of trucks, proper vehicle loading, proper maintenance and required vehicle inspections, driver logs, driver rest periods, overweight vehicles, hazardous loads, safe road access, licensing and registration, and much more. Truck drivers are also specifically banned from using cell phones and other handheld devices by New Jersey law. When a truck driver or truck company violates these regulations, it may be unsafe for everyone and provide grounds for a lawsuit.

Personal Injury

What to Know about Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey

motorcycle accident attorneysBergen County lawyers guide victims through claims for motorcycle injuries & fatalities
When motorcycle riders are involved in accidents, they can suffer seriously, and even deadly, harm. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg in Bergen County, we help you obtain the compensation you need for your injuries or the loss of a loved one after a severe accident. Through experience, we understand that motorcyclists are often unfairly blamed for accidents that are caused by the negligence of other drivers. We personally investigate crashes to gather evidence of the likely cause and guide you through each step of your claim to help protect your rights and interests.

What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents in New Jersey?
With 2,000 motorcycles involved in crashes each year in New Jersey, riding can be extremely dangerous. Nearly 27 percent of fatal accidents involve alcohol, 22 percent involve inexperienced riders without motorcycle endorsements on their driver’s licenses, 23 percent involve riders who have a previous license suspension or revocation, and 21 percent involve speeding. Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

Negligent or reckless drivers of cars, trucks and other vehicles
Manufacturing or design defects of motorcycles, motorbike parts or other vehicles
Dangers and defects in or on the roads
The negligence of other drivers poses a serious problem for motorcyclists. Many drivers fail to watch for motorcycles and seriously can harm relatively unprotected motorcyclists. More than half of all motorcycle crashes that involve other vehicles occur at intersections, and more than two-thirds of accidents occur when the driver of a larger vehicle does not see the motorcycle.

What types of injuries can you suffer in a motorcycle crash?
Accidents involving motorcycles can be extremely serious, involving broken limbs, severe spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injury. The most common nonfatal injuries are reported to include:

Leg or foot injuries
Neck or head injuries
Injuries to the upper trunk, including the chest or back
Arm or hand injuries
Lower trunk injuries, including the lower back or stomach
Other injuries
An estimated 1,222,000 people needed emergency treatment for nonfatal injuries, and more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed between 2001 and 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While fatal accidents involving cars and light trucks reached a low in the United States in 2008, motorcycle fatalities reached a record high. If you were injured or have lost a loved one in a serious or fatal motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another, our attorneys will help you seek the compensation you need through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

What can you do to prevent serious motorcycle injuries?
With head injuries the second most common motorcycle injury, you should follow New Jersey law by wearing a protective helmet. You should also wear eye protection, jackets and pants resistant to tears and scrapes, protective footwear and gloves. In addition, make yourself visible and watch out for larger vehicles that have drivers who are distracted, reckless or just not watching out for you.