While many injuries occur in the workplace suddenly as part of a traumatic accident, others take place more gradually over a period of time. Examples of traumatic incidents at work include falling off a ladder, cutting part of a hand while using a saw or a sudden increase in bodily pain caused by lifting a massive item. Such injuries frequently occur at work, and are usually recoverable under New Jersey workers’ compensation law.
However, the type of injury that happens over time is a kind of wear and tear of certain parts of the body, especially the lower back, neck or shoulders. A waiter or waitress who constantly lifts heavy trays may be prone to sustaining such an injury. While no one movement results in considerable harm to the worker, an accumulation of several movements over a period of time can prove injurious to the worker.
A wear and tear injury can progress over several months or years. An example of such an injury is the slow, progressive trauma endured by the wrists and hands of a worker who engages in data entry at a desk every day, and develops carpal tunnel syndrome. Another instance is the trauma experienced by an operator of heavy machinery at a construction site. These kinds of gradual injuries can be just as harmful to the body as a sudden, traumatic incident that causes injury.
But if you speak with an insurance adjuster about a wear and tear injury, the adjuster may not take your statement seriously. You may receive a response to the effect of we are unable to pay such a claim because it is only part of the normal aging process.
Nevertheless, you can prevail in a workers’ compensation claim that alleges wear and tear. With the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits, which include payment for medical care, physical therapy and lost earnings. If you suffered an injury at work, call the workers’ compensation attorneys at Petrillo & Goldberg.