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Teenagers’ Rights After a Workplace Accident

Many teens across New Jersey decide to take part-time jobs for a variety of reasons, including earning money for a purchase (such as a car), saving up for college, or to help supplement their family’s income. However, teenage workers are just as likely as any other employee to suffer an injury in a workplace accident. 

Teenage Worker Statistics

According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, injuries to teenage workers, including fatal injuries, are by no means unheard of. Each year, an average of approximately 800,000 young workers suffered injuries on the job, many of them being injuries that required hospital treatment; in fact, injured young workers were twice as likely to visit the emergency room compared to their older counterparts. And approximately two to three dozen teenage workers will end up suffering a fatal accident on the job each year.

Studies show that most teenage workers who are injured on the job work in the restaurant industry. In a two-year period of one, study, over 44,000 teenage workers suffered injuries requiring a hospital visit, with over half of these injuries occurring in restaurants, particularly in the fast food industry. 

Read more: How Does Workers’ Compensation Work In NJ?

Common Reasons for Workplace Accidents Involving Teenage Workers

There are obviously many reasons why teenage workers suffer injuries in workplace accidents. Many teenage worker injuries are due to the hazards of their workplace — many teenagers work in restaurants, where hazards such as wet floors, hot cooking surfaces, and sharp utensils are ever-present. One study found that teenage workers in the restaurant industry were six times as likely to suffer burn injuries compared to teenage workers in other industries. 

Other common reasons why teenage workers are injured in workplace accidents include lack of training and experience, since teenage workers are often working in their first job and haven’t yet learned common methods for avoiding typical workplace injuries. Teenage workers may also be subject to workplace accidents due to their lack of maturity and experience that would otherwise help them avoid certain situations that put them at greater risk for accident and injury. Finally, some teenagers may lack the physical capacity or strength to safely perform various job tasks they are asked to do, including working with equipment or heavy objects.

Injured Teenage Workers’ Legal Rights

Teenage workers are entitled to the same legal rights as any other worker; in fact, many regulations at the state and federal level are designed to keep teenage workers from performing more inherently dangerous job tasks that only adults should be allowed to perform. Teenage workers can file complaints with state and federal regulators if they feel they are working in unsafe conditions or being directed to perform unsafe tasks. Injured teenage workers are also entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits that any adult employee injured on the job would be entitled to — workers’ compensation benefits are available to all employees, regardless of age or whether the employee is part-time, seasonal, or temporary. A teenage worker injured on the job and his or her parents should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to understand the full extent of their legal rights and remedies.

Read more: Can Temporary Workers Get Workers’ Compensation?

Contact a Rochelle Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients in Ridgewood, Paramus, Mahwah, Garfield, and all across New Jersey. Call 201-231-7847 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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