Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Suffering a Camden County Overexertion Injury
Overexertion injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries in New Jersey and across the United States. An overexertion injury, also called a wear-and-tear injury, occurs when one or more parts of a worker’s body give out due to excessive physical effort or performing small, repetitive tasks. According to the National Safety Council, overexertion injuries are the second leading cause of non-fatal injuries among workers in the United States. Workers experiencing overexertion injuries need time to heal; otherwise, their injury will worsen. However, for workers who cannot take paid time off or lack adequate medical coverage, this can result in a situation where they feel forced to continue working—putting their health and livelihood at risk. A Camden County workers’ compensation claim may be the answer if you are suffering from an overexertion injury.
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 Overexertion Injuries?
Overexertion injuries are among the leading causes of workplace injuries in New Jersey and across the United States. In fact, according to the most recently available data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 255,000 overexertion injuries in 2020 alone. This makes overexertion injuries the second most common type of non-fatal injury after exposure to harmful substances or environments.
Overexertion injuries are further divided into “overexertion in lifting or lowering” and “repetitive motion involving microtasks.” However, these two sub-classifications only account for about 96,000 of the 255,000 overexertion injuries, meaning several other types fall outside these two classifications.
Examples of Overexertion Injuries
Many types of overexertion injuries can occur on the job. However, some of the most common overexertion injuries among Camden County employees include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pinched nerves
- Slipped disc
- Herniated disc
- Cracked vertebrae
Are Worker’s Compensation Benefits Available to Camden County Employees Who Suffer an Overexertion Injury?
Camden County employees who suffer an overexertion injury can pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Importantly, to bring a workers’ comp claim, an injured worker does not need to show that their employer—or anyone else—was negligent or contributed to the accident. Instead, 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, workers should expect their employers and their insurance companies to push back on these claims by arguing that their injuries were unrelated to their employment.
While many overexertion injuries occur due to a worker’s employment, the symptoms of these injuries often take weeks or months to develop. They may not manifest themselves while the employee is at work. To understand the challenges workers face when bringing these claims, compare the difference between a workplace accident resulting from a slip and fall and an overexertion injury. In a workplace fall, it’s evident that the fall happened on the job because the worker was physically present when the fell. However, there is a bit more uncertainty about the origins of overexertion injuries. For example, you may say your injuries resulted from your job duties, but your employer may argue that you hurt your back while you were away from work. This can open 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 overexertion of injuries. By their very nature, overexertion injuries do not produce physically observable symptoms. The pain, limited range of motion, and inability to bear weight that comes along with these injuries cannot be seen. Finally, workers dealing with overexertion 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 an overexertion 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 overexertion injury may qualify for the following workers’ compensation benefits.
Medical benefits cover all medical expenses related to your accident-related injuries, including:
- Emergency room costs;
- Follow-up visits to the doctor’s office;
- Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs;
- Ambulance transport expenses;
- Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and crutches;
- Modifications to your home to accommodate any disability;
- Physical or occupational therapy; 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. Eligibility for 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. 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.
Are You Suffering from an Overexertion Injury Related to Your Employment?
If you recently suffered an overexertion injury while working in Camden County, NJ, reach out to Petrillo & Goldberg Law. At Petrillo & Goldberg Law, we have a skilled team of Camden County workers’ compensation attorneys dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the benefits they need and deserve. 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.