How to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Camden County Lifting Accident Work
Lifting heavy objects or repeatedly lifting lighter objects is a regular part of many workers’ jobs. However, even when done correctly, lifting can cause wear and tear in your body. Over time, it’s common to experience neck, back, and shoulder pain that can worsen to the point where you can no longer perform the necessary functions of your job. At this point, you’re put in a challenging position. On the one hand, your body will not heal unless you get to rest and receive the appropriate medical care. However, on the other hand, you may not have time off or access to adequate healthcare coverage. If you find yourself in this situation, a workers’ compensation claim may be the answer.
At Petrillo & Goldberg Law, our Camden County workers’ compensation lawyers aggressively pursue the benefits our clients need and deserve, helping them heal from their injuries so they can get back to work and on with their lives.
How Common Are Workplace Lifting Accidents?
Lifting heavy and frequently lifting lighter objects are among the leading causes of workplace injuries in New Jersey and the United States. For example, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 255,000 overexertion injuries in 2020 alone. Over-exertion, injuries include both “overexertion in lifting or lowering” and “repetitive motion involving microtasks.” While these two categories cover more than just lifting accidents, most overexertion injuries result from heavy or frequent lifting.
Based on the 2020 data, there were:
- 79,360 injuries involving overexertion in lifting or lowering; and
- 16,330 injuries involving repetitive motion involving microtasks.
The remaining overexertion injuries relate to other types of injuries in which an employee’s body gives out based on the strenuous conditions of their employment.
Which Industries Have the Highest Rates of Lifting Injuries?
Almost every occupation requires workers to lift objects on occasion. However, lifting is a significant component of specific fields while it plays a minor role in others. Based on the most recent data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the areas with the highest rate of lifting injuries include those in the following industries:
- Retail trade
- Transportation and warehousing
- Health care and social assistance
- Educational and health services
- Trade transportation and utilities
- Service providing
Can Employees Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits Following a Camden County Lifting Injury?
Yes, Camden County employees injured on the job due to a lifting injury can pursue workers’ compensation benefits. An injured worker does not need to prove that their employer was negligent by asking too much of them or failing to provide the necessary safety equipment to bring a claim successfully. However, employees merely need to prove that their injury was related to their employment. This way, establishing a workers’ compensation claim is more manageable than other personal injury claims. However, employees still face challenges when seeking workers’ comp benefits after a Camden County workplace accident stemming from a lifting injury.
Most lifting accidents occur on the job. However, that does not necessarily mean that employees’ symptoms will first manifest while working. Often, lifting injuries occur over time, and symptoms take a while to set in. For this reason, an injured worker may not immediately connect the pain there are experiencing with their job. This fact also opens the door for employers and their workers’ compensation insurance carriers to deny a claim by arguing that the injury was unrelated to the worker’s employment. Additionally, employers and insurance carriers will often dispute the seriousness of an employee’s injuries, meaning specific medical treatments may not be covered, even if their doctor recommends the treatment. Finally, workers dealing with lifting-related injuries are often told by the workers’ compensation doctor that they are ready to return to work earlier than their doctor recommends.
For employees experiencing back, neck, or shoulder pain after a lifting injury, it is essential to consult with an experienced Camden County workers’ compensation lawyer before filing your claim.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available After a Camden County Lifting Injury
Those employees who suffer injuries related to lifting heavy objects may qualify for the following workers’ compensation benefits.
Medical benefits cover all medical expenses related to your accident-related injuries, including:
- Ambulance transport expenses,
- Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and crutches,
- Emergency room costs,
- Follow-up visits to the doctor’s office,
- Modifications to a worker’s home to accommodate their disability,
- Physical or occupational therapy,
- Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs, and
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If a work-related injury requires you to miss more than seven days of work, you can file for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. You will receive TTD benefits if approved until you can return to work or when the workers’ compensation doctor determines you’ve reached your Maximum Medical Improvement. This is the point where no additional medical care will improve your condition. If you use up all your TTD benefits by reaching your MMI, you can apply for Permanent Partial Disability or Permanent Total Disability benefits. TTD benefits equal 70 percent of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of 75 percent of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If a workplace injury affects only certain body parts, you may qualify for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits. However, these benefits are not often awarded in lifting injury workers’ compensation claims. This is because the amount of PPD benefits depends on which part of the body was affected by the accident. New Jersey workers’ compensation law provides a “schedule” or list of body parts, including arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears, and teeth. Notably, the back, neck, and shoulder are not included. However, if your injury affects another body part or bodily system, you may still qualify for PPD benefits under a non-scheduled loss.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If your workplace injury prevents you from returning to work, you may be eligible for Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. You can obtain PTD benefits for up to 450 weeks; however, if you can show you cannot work at the end of this period, you may continue to receive benefits. PTD benefits equal 70 percent of your average weekly wage and are subject to a maximum of 75 percent of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage.
Did You Suffer A Lifting Accident at Work?
If you recently suffered lifting-related severe injuries while working in Camden County, NJ, reach out to Petrillo & Goldberg Law. At Petrillo & Goldberg Law, we have a team of knowledgeable Camden County workers’ compensation attorneys dedicated to pursuing benefits for injured workers. We offer all potential clients a free consultation. During your free consultation, we will answer your questions, explain the workers’ compensation process, provide you with an honest assessment of your case, and discuss what we can do to help. To learn more, call 856-486-4343 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us through our online contact form.