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Study: Average New Jersey workers’ compensation costs rising

According to a recently released study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) – a nonprofit workers’ compensation research organization – New Jersey experienced a rise in the average cost of a workers’ compensation claims following the most recent recession.

The study, which reviewed worksite injury claims that resulted in more than seven days out of work, specifically discovered that a 10 percent increase in 2010 in medical payments primarily attributed to the overall cost per claim increase. According to the study, various medical costs per claim rose more quickly in New Jersey than any of the other states examined.

These increases in medical costs merely illustrate just how important it is for injured workers to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to – after all, these rising medical costs will simply be passed on to the injured employee if workers’ compensation is not acquired to cover the expenses.

New Jersey workplace accidents

Almost daily, workplace injuries occur throughout New Jersey; some minor and some severe. In some of the more inherently dangerous workplaces, such as in the construction industry, simple missteps or mishandling of heavy equipment can have deadly consequences. Some of the worksite accidents typical to construction sites include:

  • Crane/forklift accidents
  • Accidents caused by improperly braced trenches
  • Scaffolding/ladder falls
  • Accidents caused by falling debris or building materials
  • Falls caused by loose boards or unmarked holes

If a worker is unfortunately injured in any such accident, it is important to seek workers’ compensation benefits as this may be the only way many workers are able to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. However, some injured workers may have additional relief in the form of a third party claim.

New Jersey third party claims

Generally if a worker is injured on the job due to the actions of their employer or coworker, workers’ compensation is their main recourse. However, if the injury is caused by a third party, the injured worker may have a third party claim in addition to workers’ compensation. For example, if a delivery driver or a subcontractor creates a dangerous condition that leads to a worker’s injury, the worker can seek to establish liability for the third party’s actions.

Ultimately, workers’ compensation law in New Jersey is ever-changing and complex. Even the slightest difference in workplace accident circumstances can determine what remedies may be available to an injured worker. Consequently, if you have been injured while working, you may want to speak with an experienced workplace accident attorney to learn what your rights are given your situation.

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