You have had a nagging injury for months – or maybe for years. Every day, you work in pain, and perhaps your pain also makes it difficult to sleep, do chores, or enjoy the activities you used to love. You are pretty sure that you hurt yourself performing your usual work activities, but since your pain developed gradually over time (as opposed to being the result of a specific accident), you are not sure if you can file a claim for workers’ compensation.
Does this sound familiar? If so, you have what we call a “WEAR and TEAR” injury. These are injuries that result from overuse or repetitive stress, and they do make you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. So, will 2020 be the year that you seek medical treatment and coverage for the costs of your injury? If you think it may finally be time to file a claim, here’s what you need to know.
1. Do You Have a WEAR and TEAR Injury?
WEAR and TEAR injuries can take many different forms. While back pain is one of the most common symptoms, these injuries can occur in the wrists, shoulders, fingers, and other parts of the body as well. Learn more: Do You Have a WEAR and TEAR Injury?
2. Be Proactive: Identifying, Diagnosing, and Preventing WEAR and TEAR Injuries
If you think you may be suffering from a WEAR and TEAR injury, it is important to be as proactive as possible. Once you discover your injury, you only have a limited amount of time to notify your employer and file a claim for benefits. Learn more: Be Proactive: Identifying, Diagnosing, and Preventing WEAR and TEAR Injuries.
3. Causes of WEAR and TEAR Injuries at Work
While WEAR and TEAR injuries do not result from traumatic accidents, they can still have a number of specific causes. Understanding what caused your injury will be an important step on your road to recovery. Learn more: Causes of WEAR and TEAR Injuries at Work.
4. Top Career Fields Prone to WEAR and TEAR Injuries
Individuals who work in virtually all occupations can suffer from WEAR and TEAR injuries. However, these injuries tend to be particularly common among workers in certain occupations. Are you at heightened risk? Learn more: Top Career Fields Prone to WEAR and TEAR Injuries.
5. WEAR and TEAR Injury Versus Acute Injury
If you were injured on the job, the specific cause of your injury is irrelevant to your claim for benefits (with certain exceptions, such as if you injured yourself while you were drunk or high at work). However, there are still some important differences between seeking benefits for WEAR and TEAR injuries as opposed to acute injuries from traumatic accidents. Learn more: WEAR and TEAR Injury Versus Acute Injury.
6. How Do I Know If My Injury Is Due to WEAR and TEAR at Work?
When seeking workers’ compensation for a WEAR and TEAR injury, you need to be able to show that your injury is work-related. While you will need to see a doctor for a diagnosis, there are a number of factors that you can examine to determine whether you may be suffering from a work-related medical condition. Learn more: How Do I Know if My Injury is Due to WEAR and TEAR at Work?
7. The Issue of Proof in WEAR and TEAR Claims – Do I Have a Case?
Convincing your employer’s insurance company that your injury is job-related requires proof. But, what kind of proof do you need? Your medical records will be critical, and various other forms of documentation may be helpful as well. Learn more: The Issue of Proof in WEAR and TEAR Claims – Do I Have a Case?
8. How Your Medical Provider Can Help You Prove Your WEAR and TEAR Injuries
In New Jersey, employers have the right to choose the doctors that employees can see for treatment of their job-related injuries. However, there are some exceptions, and your doctor’s opinion could be crucial to your claim for benefits. Learn more: How Your Medical Provider Can Help You Prove Your WEAR and TEAR Injuries.
9. Why You Should Stop Ignoring Your WEAR and TEAR Injury Today
WEAR and TEAR injuries generally do not get better on their own. In addition, waiting to seek treatment could cause you to your workers’ compensation eligibility. As a result, if you have any concerns about a WEAR and TEAR injury, you should not ignore it any longer. Learn more: Why You Should Stop Ignoring Your WEAR and TEAR Injury Today.
10. What If My WEAR and TEAR Injury Is Related to a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
One thing that stops many employees from filing for workers’ compensation is that they assume that their WEAR and TEAR injury is related to a pre-existing medical condition, or their natural aging process. Firstly, this assumption frequently proves to be incorrect. Secondly, even if you do have a pre-existing medical condition, you may still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Learn more: What if My WEAR and TEAR Injury is Related to a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
Speak with Trusted Attorney in New Jersey about Your WEAR and TEAR Injury
A WEAR and TEAR injury may be a legitimate workplace injury for which you should receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you believe you suffer from a WEAR and TEAR injury and it may be work-related, don’t be afraid to seek medical help, and be sure to let your doctor know you believe it is a workplace injury.
While workers’ compensation insurance companies can make recovery for WEAR and TEAR injuries difficult, it is possible – especially with the right workers’ compensation attorney representing your interests. Many times, insurance adjusters presume that a WEAR and TEAR injury is related to the natural aging process or that it is due to a pre-existing condition that has nothing to do with work.
At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, we have helped many employees who suffered WEAR and TEAR injuries receive compensation.
If you would like more information about seeking workers’ compensation benefits for a WEAR and TEAR injury, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. Call 888-675-7607 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.