The city of Paterson, New Jersey, recently awarded a $275,000 workers’ compensation settlement to a public works employee. The employee had sustained workplace injuries on three separate occasions. In the first accident, the employee complained that he had hurt his lower back while lifting a garbage can. The second incident occurred when the worker allegedly injured his arm when the truck he was riding in backed into another vehicle, and he accidentally hit his arm on the truck’s side-view mirror. The third incident occurred in a similar manner as the first when the worker strained his lower back lifting a barrel. The Paterson City Council approved the settlement.
Public works employees are exposed to dangerous working conditions, which often leads to the occurrence of workplace accidents. Their line of work involves lifting heavy objects, operating potentially dangerous equipment and working in the outdoors-where they must deal with bad weather, animals and unsafe road conditions. There is a great deal of potential for workplace accidents in public works employment, as this case illustrates.
A workplace accident can have a tremendous financial impact on a person and his or her family. The affected worker must deal with medical bills, lost wages due to time missed and other financial issues resulting from the accident. For working Americans who may be struggling to make ends meet, this is a huge concern.
Fortunately, anyone hurt in a workplace accident is entitled to a workers’ compensation award. The state of New Jersey requires that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to protect employees. In addition, if the accident was the result of the negligence of another party, the victim of a workplace injury has the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible. Anyone affected by a workplace injury has the right to an appropriate compensation.