The workers’ compensation system provides injured workers with medical benefits coverage and ongoing income replacement benefits. However, workers are only eligible for benefits if their injury or condition was related to their job duties. Additionally, while, in theory, most injuries and diseases that are due to a workers’ employment are covered under workers’ compensation laws, some claims are more challenging to prove than others.
At the New Jersey workers’ compensation law firm of Petrillo & Goldberg Law, we help injured workers recover the benefits they need and deserve after suffering a workplace injury. Our lawyers have recovered more than $120 on behalf of our clients and know what it takes to connect you with the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
What Injuries and Conditions Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
According to the New Jersey government,
Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” insurance program that provides medical treatment, wage replacement, and permanent disability compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. It also provides death benefits to dependents of workers who have died as a result of their employment. An injured employee will receive benefits regardless of who was at fault. In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, the worker does not have the right to bring a civil action against the employer for pain and suffering or other damages, except in cases of intentional acts.
This makes a few things clear. First, an injured worker does not need to prove anyone was at fault for their injuries to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. This is very different from traditional personal injury claims, where an injury victim must prove that the other party violated a duty of care that was owed to the accident victim.
Second, injured workers can obtain workers’ compensation benefits for “job-related injuries or illnesses.” In this context, job-related means that the injury either occurred while you were on the job or was somehow related to your work. This means that conditions which are slow to develop and don’t necessarily first manifest themselves while an employee is working may still be compensable.
Third, the workers’ compensation law prevents injured workers from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer in most situations. The idea is that employers must purchase workers’’ compensation insurance and, if they do, they cannot be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit.
Given these general rules, it would seem that any job-related injury or illness can be the basis for workers’ compensation benefits. And, in large part, this is true. Workers’ compensation benefits are available for any of the following types of injuries:
- Muscle sprains, strains, and tears;
- Broken bones and bone fractures;
- Cuts, lacerations, and punctures;
- Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), such as carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and back pain,
- Slips, trips, and falls.
However, it is generally more challenging to recover workers’ compensation benefits for illnesses or conditions that occur away from the job site. For example, if a warehouse worker breaks their arm after tripping on an extension cord while at work, it’s pretty clear their injury was work-related. However, if that same warehouse worker develops severe back pain over the course of a decade, it may be harder to connect the worker’s back pain to their job.
An experienced Camden workers’ compensation lawyer can help injured workers understand their rights and pursue the benefits they deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Workplace Injury with an Experienced Attorney
Employers are responsible for creating a safe workplace, and workers who are injured or become ill as a result of their employment may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. In addition, there may be other parties who are liable to an injured worker through a third-party workplace injury lawsuit. At Petrillo & Goldberg Law, have assembled a compassionate team of advocates who have dedicated their careers to helping New Jersey workers recover the compensation they deserve. To learn more, call 856-486-4343 to schedule a free consultation.