WEAR and TEAR Injuries: Mostly a Modern Phenomenon
One hundred years ago, when workers’ compensation acts were first being passed in Trenton and other state capitals, the American workplace was significantly different than it is today. Men then vastly outnumbered women in the public workforce – most women worked in the home – and a majority of workers earned wages either on the farm or in factories.
Another difference – Then, due to the nature of the work, most injuries were traumatic: broken limbs, cuts, and other visible wounds. Now, many injuries slowly develop over many years. Today, the office, construction, or service worker can be subjected to thousands – even millions – of “mini-traumas” and repetitive movements, as they bang away at computer keyboards or jackhammers, or even deal cards in a casino. Others deal with constant vibration as they operate heavy machinery. All too many injuries these days are of the WEAR and TEAR sort. No single moment in time can be pinpointed to identify the actual harm.
WEAR and TEAR Injuries: Are They Consistent With Continued Employment?
One bit of good news related to WEAR and TEAR injuries: they are not necessarily inconsistent with continued employment. In other words, if you have developed one of these gradual sorts of injuries, you may be able to continue to work.
Physician’s Advice is Important
A lot depends upon your doctor’s advice. If your doctor indicates that continued work would be harmful, then you run a risk when not following his or her advice. In fact, if your doctor takes you off work, ignoring that advice could have significant negative impact on any workers’ compensation claim that you might file.
On the other hand, if you are cleared by your doctor to work, even if you have to work with some pain, then it may be that your employment days are not over.
Lost Time From Work is NOT a Requirement for Recovering Permanent Impairment Benefits
Bear in mind that, even if you do not lose time from work, you are entitled to all appropriate medical treatment for your condition, and you may even be entitled to permanent partial disability if you have sufficient “demonstrable objective medical evidence” of any loss of physical function. Many workers – even many attorneys – don’t realize that an employer’s liability for the payment of permanent loss of function benefits is not dependent upon payment of temporary disability benefits.
Employer Might Be Required to Accommodate Your Limitations
Understand also that, under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the employer may be required to provide you with some sort of accommodation for your disability. You should certainly explore this possibility, if your physician feels that accommodation would be helpful.
You Work Hard; Now Let Us Work Hard For You!
If you have suffered a gradual, WEAR and TEAR injury from your workplace activities, you may well have a valid workers’ compensation claim for your injuries. While these sorts of gradual or repetitive trauma claims are not always easy to establish, at Petro Cohen, we have both the skill and experience required to get the best result possible. We have helped many hard-working folks just like you.
Call or contact Petro Cohen for a free consultation. Talk with a hard-working New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer to find out how to recover money to pay for your medical treatment, physical therapy, and lost earnings. We can be reached by phone at 888-675-7607 or complete our online form. We look forward to discussing your situation with you.