According to recent Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been a steady increase in annual workplace fatalities in the food services industry. In addition, restaurant workers were exposed to various on-the-job injuries and illnesses. As with workers in other industries, these injured workers and/or their surviving family members qualified for workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey. Here’s what you need to know before applying for a restaurant workers’ compensation claim:
What Hazards do Restaurant Workers typically Face?
When accidents occur at work, restaurant workers often rely on workers’ compensation benefits to cover their lost wages and medical bills. Some of the commonly reported workplace injuries include:
- Injuries from robberies
- Physical attacks by angry customers
- Repetitive motion injuries from scrubbing pans, chopping food, and handling trays
- Serious burns from hot oil, boiling water, grills, and hot ovens
- Cuts and lacerations from operating slicing machines and handling knives
- Respiratory distress or burns due to exposure to cleaning chemicals without personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Slips and falls on greasy and/or wet flooring
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Each case tends to vary in severity and insurance programs in New Jersey are designed to accommodate different levels of need. Oftentimes, a worker’s recovery time away from work and cost of medical treatment will determine the amount of benefits he or she needs. For example, if one misses work for a certain period of time, the worker might qualify for temporary disability benefits that would be used to pay for medical care or replace lost wages. In the unfortunate event where restaurant workers lose their lives, their surviving beneficiaries might receive a death benefit.
Common Causes of Restaurant Workers’ Compensation Claim Rejections
Unfortunately, not all restaurant workers’ compensation claims are accepted. Their applications might be rejected because of the following reasons:
- The claimant could not submit sufficient evidence that the injury occurred at work
- The claimant didn’t require medical treatment
- The claimant’s injury did not qualify for payment
- The claimant’s employer disputed the claim
- The claimant missed the deadline for filing the insurance claim and/or reporting the injury
Perhaps the above-mentioned mistakes were made because of a lack of clear instructions to inform management, language barriers, irregular work schedules, or zero knowledge about workers’ compensation. While these things have to be improved over time, employees can seek the immediate advice of a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to resolve problems with their claims. With solid legal support, the chances of winning a workers’ comp denial appeal tend to be significantly higher.
Timing Is Important
Injured restaurant employees have to act fast if they want to receive adequate benefits in a timely manner. It is important for all to take the necessary steps to achieve a successful claim, e.g., informing any person in authority as soon as possible to establish that the injury happened at work. If you need immediate medical treatment, don’t hesitate to request it right away. Fortunately, these reports do not have to be in writing if the worker works in New Jersey.
It is highly recommended that you discuss your case with a Team Law workers’ compensation attorney to clarify what types of coverage you qualify for. Simply contact our teams by calling 1.800.832.6529.