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Surgery followed New Jersey worker’s industrial accident

A Bergen County employer should be informed as soon as possible after a work injury occurs, is suspected or becomes known. Making that report in a timely manner is important, so employers can file claims with workers' compensation insurers for employee benefits. If a worker is incapacitated by an injury or dies, someone else may file the report on the employee's behalf.

A New Jersey worker was hospitalized recently following an on-the-job accident. The man was injured while operating a high-pressure hose at Bayonne Dry-Dock & Repair, Inc. Water hoses are used regularly by the company in painting and blasting work.

Reports said an activated hose slipped from the 52-year-old worker's hands, causing a leg laceration that later required surgery. The industrial accident injury was serious but not life-threatening. A Jersey City hospital official said the man's post-surgical hospital stay was short-term.

Following hospitalization, victims of industrial accidents often return home to worries about physical recovery, a loss of income and the ability to go back to work. Workers' compensation insurance pays for medical expenses related to on-the-job accidents. Benefits also include coverage for wage losses, but typically the wage supplement is considerably less than full pay, placing a financial strain on many families.

Economic relief beyond workers' compensation is sometimes available when an accident at work is caused by negligence. Workers' compensation laws generally do not allow employees to file legal claims against employers. However, third parties sometimes are liable for a worker's suffering and hardships.

For instance, an injury or death may be caused by a defect in tools or machines used for work. In that instance, the manufacturer of the product might be faulted for negligence. A contractor, customer or property owner might be blamed if something they did or didn't do contributed to a dangerous work environment.

An attorney can help an injured worker and families explore legal sources of accident compensation.

Source: The Jersey Journal, "High-pressure waterblasting accident in Bayonne sends worker to hospital: police" Jonathan Lin, Aug. 26, 2014

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