Sometimes, work can be a pain in the neck. Literally! Every year, hundreds of New Jersey workers suffer from work-related neck injuries. It’s the kind of injury that could be minor, causing only a month or so of discomfort until the neck injury goes away. Or work-related neck injuries could be extremely serious, needing surgery and causing life-long disability. Regardless of how bad it is, if it happened at work, then you’re likely entitled to New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits. Under New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws, you are entitled to three benefits which include:
- All reasonable, necessary, and causally related medical treatment;
- Temporary Disability Benefits which are paid at 70% of your average weekly wage during the time period in which you are kept out of work by the authorized treating physician; and
- Partial Permanent Disability Benefits. Benefits are paid for permanent functional loss that interferes with your ability to work and/or carry out activities of daily living. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act does not compensation for pain and suffering or “lost wages”.
There are instances where you suffer a workplace injury, and you can also file a separate lawsuit against a negligent third party for pain and suffering compensation above and beyond the workers’ compensation benefits. This article will discuss the common causes of on-the-job neck injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer for help if you get hurt at work.
Common Causes for Neck Injuries at Work
The more physical a job is, the more chances of the worker suffering from work injuries, especially neck injuries. But even sedentary-type jobs like office workers often experience on-the-job neck injuries. The human neck is one of the weakest areas of the body. It has a lot of flexibility, but it doesn’t have a lot of protection. Here are the common causes of workplace neck injuries that we most often see in our New Jersey workers’ comp practice.
Car and truck accidents are a significant source of work-related neck injuries. Many employees have to drive for a living. There are delivery drivers, traveling salespeople, police officers, and EMT workers, employees who have to travel between job sites, and many other types of jobs that require employees to drive while on the clock. Because of this, many workers suffer injuries in car and truck crashes.
Whiplash-type injuries are prevalent in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions and front-end collisions. Being struck by another vehicle, especially from behind, causes a lot of force that travels through the car, thrashing the people around in the vehicle. There isn’t much protection for the neck, even with a headrest. A person’s neck and head can whip back and forth very violently, causing serious injuries. The neck injuries from a car accident include the following:
- Muscles sprain and strain
- Torn and damaged ligaments and tendons
- Bulging disc
- Herniated disc
- Fractured vertebrae
- Spinal cord injuries
If a work-related neck injury like whiplash causes you to be out of work, you will receive weekly wage loss benefits until you return to work.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall neck injuries can also happen at any job, not just in positions involving physical labor. Office workers can slip and fall just walking into work on a cold New Jersey morning when the sidewalks are slick with a thin sheet of frozen condensation. But slips, trips, and falls can also happen in production facilities and construction sites. Anytime anyone slips and falls and lands on their back or side, they can hit their head, injuring their neck. It’s similar to getting hit from behind in a car accident. A lot of force moves through your body when you hit the ground hard, and that force attacks one of the weakest parts of your body, the neck.
Repetitive Motion Neck Injuries
Another category of work-related neck injuries—and one that might not come immediately to mind—is caused by repetitive motion physical activity. This type of work injury often happens in production-type facilities where workers make the same physical motions with their bodies. If an employee does the same movements repeatedly, hundreds of times—if not thousands of times—during an eight-hour shift, this can cause trouble for the neck and the surrounding structures, resulting in an injury that likely falls under workers’ comp.
For example, if a worker must turn and twist their neck constantly, repeatedly, to do their job, a neck injury may result. The muscles in their neck could easily be sprained and strained. There are other instances where workers must twist and hold their necks in odd positions that can cause issues. If an employee must look up all the time during their shift, it could easily cause neck problems, especially if the repetitive motion must be done shift after shift and day after day.
Trust Petro Cohen for Your WEAR and TEAR Claim
Petro Cohen, P.C. has assisted injured workers in South Jersey for decades with an emphasis on WEAR and TEAR™, or repetitive stress injuries. The firm’s Workers’ Compensation Department has more than 100 years of combined experience, among Department Head and Senior Partner Frank Petro, Partners Suzanne Holz Meola, and Terri Hiles, and attorneys Daniel Rosenthal and Sam Scimeca. Working together with you, they will ensure you receive the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve. Petro Cohen, P.C. has offices to serve you in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ. To determine if you may have a potential workers’ comp and/or personal injury case, schedule your free and confidential consultation with a Petro Cohen, P.C. attorney by calling 888-675-7607. You can contact us through our online form or via 24/7 live chat at PetroCohen.com.