Work and hazards related to work can result in occupational injuries and compromise the health and safety of New Jersey workers. Some estimates indicate that the total cost of work injuries in 2021 was $167 billion, including wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, and employers’ uninsurance costs. The risk of work-related injuries is high among New Jersey workers. These injuries can result in partial and permanent disabilities.

Navigating New Jersey’s workers’ compensation benefits process can be challenging, especially for workers experiencing ongoing pain and discomfort from injuries or illnesses. An experienced attorney at Petro Cohen, P.C. can help you understand your rights and remedies under the state’s disability laws. Contact a New Jersey partial & permanent disability lawyer at Petro Cohen today.

Common Cause of NJ Work-Related Injuries

Each day, US workers suffer injury, disability, and death from workplace incidents. Most recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 4,764 US workers died from an occupational injury, and approximately 2.7 million had a nonfatal injury or illness. Recent NJ data shows the following:

  • Private industry employers reported 75,800 nonfatal workplace injuries, with over 54,000 severe cases; and
  • State and local government employers reported 16,000 nonfatal workplace injury and illness cases in 2020.

The risk of work-related injuries is exceptionally high among aging workers in physically demanding jobs. According to the National Safety Council, the most dangerous industries include the following:

  • Construction;
  • Education and health services;
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting; and
  • Transportation and warehousing.

Occupational injuries are largely preventable, and consistent training and surveillance can help employers and safety officials prevent work-related injuries and fatalities.

Disability Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

New Jersey’s workers’ compensation program is a system designed to pay benefits to employees and their dependents for work-related injuries, illnesses, and death. Generally, the injured worker’s employer or insurance company must pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospitalizations related to the employee’s work injury or illness. These cases require a comprehensive understanding of complex NJ workers’ compensation laws. As such, you should contact a partial & permanent disability attorney in New Jersey to ensure that you meet the strict evidentiary and procedural requirements necessary to collect workers’ comp benefits.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits in New Jersey

Permanent partial disability benefits are available when a job-related illness or injury causes the worker to experience a partial permanent disability. In these cases, benefits are based on scheduled or non-scheduled losses.

Scheduled Losses

Scheduled losses refer to losses in the New Jersey Schedule of Disabilities. These include injuries to the following areas:

  • Arms,
  • Hands,
  • Fingers,
  • Feet,
  • Toes,
  • Eyes,
  • Ears, or
  • Teeth.

The Schedule attributes specific values based on the injured body part.

Non-Scheduled Losses

Non-scheduled losses are those not specified on the Schedule of Disabilities. For example, injuries to the back or internal organs such as the back, heart, or lungs may fall under non-scheduled losses.

Permanent partial disability benefits are generally available to New Jersey workers who experience irreversible work-related injuries. This means that you are not completely or totally unable to work, but you are partially disabled because of a workplace accident.

Permanent Partial Disability Test

New Jersey courts typically follow a two-pronged analysis when determining whether an injured employee is entitled to permanent partial disability benefits. The claimant or their attorney must do the following:

  • Provide sufficient, objective medical evidence of a functional restriction of a major organ or body part; and
  • Prove that your disability or injury has limited your ability to work.

An experienced New Jersey partial & permanent disability attorney can make a compelling case that your disability impacts your ability to perform specific work-related duties.

Further, injured workers may be eligible for other benefits.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

Temporary total disability benefits are available if an injured worker is disabled for more than seven days. Workers can receive temporary total benefits at 70% of their average weekly wage in these cases. These benefits are available only during the period when the worker is unable to work and under active medical care. Benefits stop when the worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) or is released to return to work in some capacity.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

NJ workers may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits when their work injury or illness prevents them from returning to any gainful employment. The law presumes that a person is permanently and totally disabled when the worker has lost two major members of their body. However, permanent total disability can also stem from a combination of injuries that causes the worker to be unemployable.

Research suggests employers should provide flexible work arrangements using strategies such as the following:

  • Part-time work;
  • The flexibility to change jobs within the company;
  • Job sharing; and
  • Telework.

However, in some cases, these accommodations cannot alleviate the effect of a person’s work-related injury. In these situations, a partial & permanent disability lawyer in New Jersey can help you secure the benefits and compensation you deserve.

Speak with a New Jersey Partial & Permanent Disability Lawyer to Get Started on Your Application Today

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, don’t make the common mistake of relying on your employer to voluntarily make things right by giving you the paid time off you need to address your injuries. Instead, reach out to the dedicated team of New Jersey lawyers at Petro Cohen. We have over 200 years of combined experience representing injured workers in all stages of workers’ compensation cases and appeals, and can ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves. To learn more about how we can help connect you with the benefits you need, deserve, and are entitled to, contact Petro Cohen today.