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Medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since 2010, but most employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies have thus far refused to cover the costs of medical marijuana when prescribed to treat a work-related injury. That practice has been ruled a violation of law by a workers’ compensation administrative law judge, in a ruling handed down in February, 2017.

In the case before the administrative law judge, a worker at a lumber company sustained an injury to his hand, and experienced ongoing pain. His doctor prescribed medical marijuana and the man filled the prescription at a state-authorized dispensary. His employer and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider refused to reimburse him for the costs of the drug, so he stopped using medical marijuana and started using Percocet, which he claimed was less effective and had undesirable side-effects. He then brought legal action against his employer and the workers’ compensation insurer, asking for reimbursement of past expenses, as well as a ruling that all future prescription costs would be covered by workers’ compensation.

After hearing evidence from both parties, the judge concluded that the expense of the medical marijuana should have been reimbursed, as it was for prescription medication that was legally dispensed in New Jersey. Citing evidence that indicated that the medical marijuana was not “as debilitating” as the other medications the injured man had substituted, and that the medical marijuana had successfully treated his condition, the administrative law judge also ordered the workers’ compensation insurer to cover all future prescriptions for state-sanctioned medical marijuana.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

We handle all workers’ compensation claims on a contingency basis. We won’t charge you attorney fees if we don’t recover compensation for your losses.


When you’ve been injured on the job in New Jersey, you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. There’s a good chance, once your claim has been filed, that you’ll hear the terms “scheduled” and “non-scheduled” losses. If you’ve never been involved in a workers’ compensation claim before, you may be uncertain what those terms mean and how they might apply to your case.

Scheduled Losses

A scheduled loss derives its name from that fact that it’s a loss that is specifically listed on a state-approved “schedule” of the kind of injuries for which compensation is available. Furthermore, that schedule identifies a specific number of weeks of benefits for each type of injury. For example, an injury to your hand will allow you to recover for a certain number of weeks, but an injury to your knee or ankle may qualify you for a different number of weeks.

So-called “scheduled” losses typically involve appendages, including arms, legs, shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, fingers, toes, as well as ears and eyes. It important to understand, though, that scheduled loss payments are only available for what are perceived to be permanent injuries. If your injury is temporary, you will only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for the period during which your injury keeps you from working, or until you have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement.” If your injury is deemed to be permanent and it’s to a body part that is listed on the schedule, the amount of weeks you would receive benefits is calculated by looking at the degree of your disability and your “scheduled” number of weeks. As an example, if your injury entitles you to 150 weeks, but the medical opinion is that you only have 30% loss of use with the foot—you’d be entitled to 45 weeks of compensation.

Non-Scheduled Losses

Non-scheduled losses involve injury to other parts of the body, including internal organs or your spinal cord. As with a scheduled loss, you will probably get a disability rating from the treating physician, who will estimate the degree of your disability. The number of weeks you’ll be able to recover benefits (at a rate of up to 70% of Average Weekly Wage) will be the percentage of your disability times 600—the maximum number of weeks you can recover benefits.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to men and women throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.

We handle all workers’ compensation claims on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.

New Jersey waste and recycle giant Action Environmental Group has implemented company-wide measures to improve employee safety and minimize the risk of workers’ compensation claims.

According to the company’s Director of Safety, Ken Levine, the company has been using video cameras for more than a year, filming employees as they go about their duties on the road and during trash pickups. The stated objectives of the program—to learn from any accidents or incidents that do occur, and to provide training opportunities to all employees.

Levine said that the cameras, mounted on the dashboard of each vehicle, monitor both the driver and the road ahead, so that company officials can determine reactions to different situations. Company officials do not review the videos, but send them over to a third party for analysis and to determine if drivers are following safety guidelines and abiding by the laws, specifically with respect to seat belts and other safety measures. If the third-party vendor observes violations, the tapes are sent to Action Environmental and are used to coach employees to avoid safety risks.

According to Levine, during the first three months of the program, there was nearly a 50% drop in the incidents of risky behavior by drivers. He said the company has also seen a similar decrease in workers’ compensation claims filed by company employees. The company has also used videotape as evidence in workers’ compensation proceedings.

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-200-8989.

According to a statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), automatic nailers or nail guns are responsible for nearly 40,000 ER visits every year. But the risk is not limited to construction workers. The CDC found that almost a third (32%) of annual nail gun injuries are sustained by consumers.

Nail guns are generally one of two types: contact nail guns or sequential nail guns. With a contact nail gun, there’s a spring loaded safety mechanism at the tip of the “barrel.” You can hold down the trigger and the gun will automatically fire when you make contact with something, as it will disengage the safety mechanism. With a sequential gun, you must first depress the safety mechanism and then pull the trigger. If you have already pulled the trigger and try to depress the safety mechanism, it won’t work. Not surprisingly, the CDC found twice as many injuries involving contact guns.

The Principal Causes of Nail Gun Injuries

Researchers found a number of causes of nail gun injuries:

  • Unfortunately, in many instances, people are hurt because they have bypassed or permanently disengaged the safety mechanisms
  • It’s not uncommon for a gun to double fire, with the second nail coming out after the gun has been pulled away from the board
  • A nail can ricochet off a metal surface or even a knot in a board
  • A framing nail can easily penetrate a stud, causing injury if a worker’s hand is on the back side of the board
  • A worker may accidentally push the gun against a leg, hand or other body part
  • A worker may miss the board, even though the safety mechanism has been depressed

Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-200-8989.

According to an annual census compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 4,700 people (4,679) died in 2014 as a result of occupational injuries, an increase of approximately two percent over the previous year. The death toll equates to about three workers out of every 100,000 in the United States.

Here are some of the key conclusions from the 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:

  • Deaths from slips and fall rose approximately 10%, from 724 to 793
  • There were more deaths among people who were self-employed—also a 10 percent increase, from 950 to 1,047
  • Occupations that saw the greatest increases included mining (17%), agriculture (14%) and manufacturing (9%). Deaths declined for government workers (12%) and in private, service-related sectors.
  • Older workers suffered more occupational deaths—there was a 9% increase in fatal accidents involving workers over 55.
  • Among ethnic workers, Asians and African-Americans saw increases, while Latino/Hispanic workers saw a decline
  • Work-related deaths involving women increased 13% over the prior year

Types of Workplace Accidents

In 2014, motor vehicle accidents accounted for four of every 10 occupational deaths. More than half of those fatalities involved collisions, and 17% involved pedestrian deaths. There was also a 34% increase in rail vehicle deaths.

Deaths caused by workplace violence declined over the prior year, from 773 to 749. One telling statistic—in workplace homicides where the victim was female, the perpetrator was most likely to be a relative or domestic partner. However, in workplace homicides where the victim was male, the greatest likelihood was that the assailant was attempting to rob the business.

Less than 10 percent (372) workers were killed in so-called “catastrophic” accidents, where more than one worker was killed in a single accident.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.


Amputation Claims, Settlements and Awards

A woman crossing the street in Paterson New Jersey was struck by a bus. Her injuries required amputation of her left leg above the knee, and amputation of part of her right foot. New news reported that more than two years after she filed a claim, she reached a $7.7 million settlement with the transit agency.

A 24-year-old man entered the emergency room after the tip of his finger was severed in an accident. In a paper presented as part of the New Jersey Medical School Interesting Case Series, authors Hahn and Travato suggest that treatment options might vary depend on, among other things, the patient’s age.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission toddler chair was recalled after two cases of finger amputation or severe finger injury.

What is the value of an amputated leg, finger, or arm?

A person who loses a limb as the result of the negligence or intentional act of another is legally entitled to compensation. What wisdom do the courts and insurers employ to determine the value of a toddler’s finger or an athlete’s leg?

The first and foremost concern of an insurance company is keeping the award low. Typically, the insurer will offer a quick, simple settlement for an amputation injury. A victim is advised to consult with a personal injury attorney before speaking with insurance company representatives about the accident or any settlement. There will be no legal fees for a consultation. The lawyer, experienced in dealing with insurers, will handle the claim while the amputee deals with pain, recovery, and grief over the loss. An appropriate personal injury law firm will have a proven record of successful representation, and have the resources to arrange for investigations, medical and rehabilitation evaluations.

A broad range of factors may affect the outcome of an amputation claim. The judge, jury, or insurance adjuster awarding damages or negotiating the settlement will consider circumstances surrounding the accident, age of the victim, any permanent loss of function, cosmetic effects of the amputation, cost of future treatment, disability accommodations, and any other issues brought to light at trial or in negotiations. The quality of legal representation is critical—insurance companies have entire legal departments employed to contest claims.

A personal injury attorney will file claims for damages against all negligent parties. Causes of accidental amputation and related liability claims may include dangerous conditions on property (premises liability), defective toys, tools, auto parts and other manufactured products (product liability), doctors’ errors and hospital negligence (medical malpractice), construction accidents, and all types of motor vehicle accidents.

If the amputation was due to a work-related injury, the state of New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law provides a schedule that outlines in specific detail compensation for loss of an eye, loss of the thumb to the first joint, loss of a tooth, amputation of a leg at the knee, and other amputations. Compensation is defined in terms of weeks of work.

Contact us for a free attorney consultation, or visit our Practice Areas page for more information about Taylor & Boguski.

Workers’ Compensation Claims – Do I need to See My Doctor?

Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident, your employer’s worker’s compensation insurer will likely ask you to see one of their doctors to verify your injuries and condition. While this may seem reasonable and simply part of the worker’s compensation process, don’t assume the doctor who exams you is primarily interested in making sure you are okay and being taken care of. A doctor that works for an insurer is interested in determining if your injuries are due in part to a prior condition or as serious as you claim.

In this capacity, an insurance doctor is in part an agent of the insurer and has an incentive to protect the interests of the insurer. As a result, the severity of your injuries may be questioned or downplayed while your length of recovery shortened by recommendation of the doctor.

Consult Your Doctor | Protecting Your Interest after a Work – Related Injury

Under New Jersey’s worker’s compensation laws, an employer (or the employer’s insurer) can select the doctor you have to see. However, you can elect to consult your own doctor if you tell your employer (or their insurance carrier) that you are under the care of a particular doctor. If your employer requires you to see a particular doctor you should be able to see your own doctor after a certain amount of time has passed or to get a second opinion. However, you may be responsible for any expense incurred in seeing a doctor of your selection.

Getting a Second Opinion | Disputes and Worker’s Compensation Claims

When you see the insurance doctor, you’ll likely be asked a series of questions about your medical history and the accident that injured you. If the insurance doctor has reason to believe your injuries are due completely or in part to a prior condition, you benefits may be reduced or denied altogether.

For example, suppose you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome after being on the job for a year and a half. The insurance doctor might ask if you’ve ever had trouble with your wrist or arm before. Suppose you play guitar and tell the doctor that you’ve struggled on and off with pain and soreness for a few years. He might conclude that your injury is due to your guitar playing and constitutes a prior condition.

At this point, if your claim is denied or you contest the benefits offered, you’ll have to file a Claim Petition or Application for an Informal Hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Being prepared with a second opinion from your doctor may provide grounds for honoring or increasing your claim if the court is persuaded by the facts.

Contact Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Taylor & Boguski

Employers don’t always inform their employees about their rights, nor do they always treat them fairly when it comes to protecting their job and returning to work. If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected. To learn more about your rights under New Jersey workers’ compensation laws, contact Mount Laurel workers’ compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski.