At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, our attorneys have a great deal of experience working with employees who are suffering from WEAR and TEAR injuries. These are the types of injuries that develop gradually and insidiously over time, slowly robbing workers of their mobility and ability to perform the daily functions that their job requires.
Because we deal with these types of injuries so frequently, we know how difficult they are to prove. Insurance companies and employers will often fight back aggressively against claims for compensation to cover WEAR and TEAR injuries, arguing that these types of injuries are the result of hereditary conditions, other hobbies, or prior employment.
In order to prepare a strong workers’ compensation claim, our attorneys work with employees to carefully consider whether their injuries were due to WEAR and TEAR at work, and, if so, how to prove that this is the case. Good claims need strong evidence to support a WEAR and TEAR injury and set an employee up for success.
What Is a WEAR and TEAR Injury in Cherry Hill?
WEAR and TEAR injuries are exactly what they sound like: they are injuries that develop slowly over time due to wear on the body. This wear may come from repeated activities over a long period of time. For example, typing at a computer every day can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Or they may come from repeated stress on the body, such as lifting heavy boxes over and over again.
Rather than a sudden injury that makes it impossible to work immediately, WEAR and TEAR injuries develop through subtle pain and injury to the body. A nagging tingle in the back of your knee may gradually become a stabbing pain that makes it impossible to kneel or even walk. Sometimes WEAR and TEAR injuries can be reversed through physical therapy, alterations to how you do your work, or even surgery. Sometimes, the damage may have a lasting effect that permanently impairs your mobility.
Determining the Source of Your WEAR and TEAR Injury
Figuring out whether your injury is a result of the work you perform requires that you first get a better understanding of the exact injury and what movements are causing it or worsening it. For some WEAR and TEAR injuries this, can be relatively easy. For example, if you have severe knee pain at the front of your knee that worsens every time you squat, a physician may be able to determine that you have an issue with lost cartilage in your knee and the obvious culprit is repeated squatting.
For other injuries, this can be much harder. Back and neck related WEAR and TEAR injuries are notoriously difficult to pin down to a specific movement or concern. The pain may be diffused and difficult to pinpoint. It may also be aggravated by a variety of movements and conditions. This makes determining the underlying cause of the injury particularly difficult.
Once an employee better understands the nature of the injury and the types of movements that worsen it, the next question to resolve is whether the specific requirements of his or her employment seem to contribute to, or cause, the injury. Again, in some situations, this will be very easy to determine. If you consistently carry weight on your shoulders at work and develop a shoulder injury, work is the likely culprit.
For injuries that could potentially stem from many different activities or responsibilities, this analysis will also require considering the other activities you participate in and your family’s medical history. If an employee has been a rugby player for many years, it may be difficult to connect an injury to work rather than to rugby. Or, if you have a family history of arthritis, it may be harder to argue that your arthritis stems from your work.
The overall analysis that goes into determining whether your WEAR and TEAR injury is the result of work can be very easy in some cases and much more complicated in others. As an employee, it is important that you do your due diligence and discuss your injuries with medical professionals to get a better sense of what is going on.
Are You at Risk?
The following list represents some examples of industries and jobs with potential WEAR and TEAR claims due to repetitive, job related physical stress.
- Almost all construction trade employees/construction labor
- Many casino positions, including food and beverage servers, housekeepers, dealers, EVS/maintenance, HVAC mechanics, etc.
- Medical professionals, including nurses, nurse’s aides, and physical therapists
- Emergency response/law enforcement personnel, including police officers, firefighters, and EMTs
- Trucking and delivery employees
- Secretarial/computer/data entry employees
- Warehouse and retail operations positions, including stockers/material handlers
- Landscaping/excavation and heavy equipment operators
- Utility workers, including cable, telephone, electric, etc.
- Highway maintenance and service industry employees
New Jersey Attorneys Investigating Your WEAR and TEAR Claims
At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, our workers’ compensation attorneys take every WEAR and TEAR injury seriously. Workers know their bodies better than anyone else and are often far more attuned to the source of their injuries than other third parties may be. We will thoroughly investigate your WEAR and TEAR claims and help you determine how best to proceed in proving the connection between your injury and your work demands.
The reality is that the outcome of your case will largely depend on the skill of your New Jersey work injury attorney and the quality of your legal representation. Your attorney’s level of education, experience, track record, legal abilities, and reputation matter – big time.
Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ comp. The firm received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials – in Professional Excellence and Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.
In addition to the firm’s stellar reputation, the department head, Frank Petro, is respected locally, regionally, and nationally as a leading attorney in this specialized field. He has been recognized as an outstanding attorney by Best Lawyers® every year since 1995 and by Super Lawyers® every year since 2005. Moreover, he has achieved a rating of “Superb” on the leading lawyer-review website, Avvo®, the highest achievable rating.
For more information, contact us online or at (888) 675-7607.