You’re a loyal employee. Your supervisors and others have repeatedly told you that at work on many occasions. You like to think of yourself as a team player. In fact, it’s that “we all win together” attitude that makes you so important to your employer and your co-employees. But you’ve been hurt in a work-related incident. You may have discussed a nagging back issue with your doctor and he or she had indicated that it’s likely related to years and years of strain. Is it disloyal to file a workers’ compensation claim? Will it hurt your employer’s business if you seek medical and disability benefits through the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law for your WEAR and TEAR™ injury?
The Answer: An Emphatic “No”
Bear in mind that, in general, all New Jersey employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. The purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to provide medical benefits and loss of income protection (both temporary and permanent) for workers who sustain work-related injuries and conditions, including WEAR and TEAR™ injuries. Because of that, your protection is already in place.
Workers’ Compensation is a “No Fault” System
Just as workers’ compensation coverage is required of virtually all New Jersey employers, an injured employee need not establish fault on the part of the employer to recover. The employer has no “stigma” attached to it because an employee has filed a claim. It’s an everyday occurrence. The employer doesn’t have to admit that it was negligent, or that it ran a shop that wasn’t safe. All work-related injuries, including those that develop over time, like WEAR and TEAR™ injuries, are covered.
Injured Employees Are Required to File Claims
Remember too that just as all New Jersey employers must secure workers’ comp coverage for their employees, all New Jersey employees who sustained injury – whether due to a single incident or trauma or due to repeated trauma over a long period of time – are required to file a claim. No stigma attaches to the injured employee, either.
WEAR and TEAR™ Injuries
WEAR and TEAR™ injuries are those sorts of injuries or conditions that develop slowly. Some jobs are particularly prone to WEAR and TEAR™ injuries, including the following:
- Virtually all construction jobs
- Many casino jobs, including food and beverage servers, housekeepers, dealers, and others
- Trucking and delivery workers
- Secretarial and office workers
- Warehouse and retail employees, including those who stock shelves and handle materials
- Landscape workers
- Heavy Equipment workers
- EMT personnel
Benefits for WEAR and TEAR™ Injuries Are the Same as For Other Work-Related Injuries
In spite of what you may hear from insurance adjusters and others, the benefits payable for WEAR and TEAR™ injuries are the same as for any other work-related injury. The fact that the WEAR and TEAR™ injury may also be associated with a pre-existing condition does not, in and of itself, mean that your claim cannot be successful.
Get Expert Legal Help if You Have Suffered a WEAR and TEAR™ Injury
Have you suffered a work-related injury? Has a physician told you that you have a condition which may be associated with your employment? Has an insurance agent told you that your chronic condition isn’t compensable because it’s associated with aging or due to some pre-existing condition? If so, you likely need the services of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. You deserve representation by a firm that has achieved success with WEAR and TEAR™ injuries. Remember, however, that the passing of time can be fatal to your claim.
At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, we have helped many hard-working folks just like you with their workers’ compensation claims to ensure that they get all of the benefits they rightfully deserve. We have the highest firm rating (A/V) from Martindale-Hubbell, the prestigious peer review firm, and have been named 25 consecutive years in “Best Lawyers” and 15 times as “NJ Super Lawyers®” in a survey of workers’ comp attorneys.
Call or contact us for a free consultation. Talk to an experienced lawyer who can help you sort out your rights. We can be reached by phone at 888-675-7607, or you can complete our online form. We look forward to discussing your situation with you.