A common misconception related to workers’ compensation claims – particularly WEAR and TEAR types of claims – is that there can be no recovery if the worker has some sort of pre-existing condition. Most often, the misunderstanding stems not so much from New Jersey law, but from an attitude held by workers’ compensation insurance adjusters looking for some excuse not to pay the claim. Truth be known: In many cases, a workers’ compensation claimant can recover for a WEAR and TEAR type of injury, even when he or she has some other condition that precedes the claim.
WEAR and TEAR Injuries: What Are They?
Unlike a broken bone or a sprained joint that is brought about by a sudden accident, WEAR and TEAR injuries develop slowly over time. They are often associated with repetitive “mini-trauma” caused by the repetitive movements required by some jobs, such as construction workers, food and beverage servers, housekeepers, casino dealers, and various kinds of mechanics. Other jobs that can entail WEAR and TEAR on the body include many office workers, material handlers, and utility workers.
Pre-existing Conditions: Virtually Everyone Has One or More of Them
Are you 10 (or more) pounds overweight? Are you more than 50 years old? Do you have even slightly elevated blood pressure? Do you have any family history of heart disease? If so, you have a pre-existing condition. If an insurance company could avoid liability by showing the existence of a pre-existing condition, there would be virtually no successful claims filed. Remember, therefore, that having some other condition doesn’t disqualify you from recover for a WEAR and TEAR injury.
What Must You Prove to Recover?
New Jersey law allows recovery for a WEAR and TEAR injury under a host of different circumstances. First, if your injury is unrelated to any pre-existing condition that you might have, the employer or insurance company cannot use the condition to avoid liability; you have a right to recover benefits. Alternatively, if your WEAR and TEAR injury aggravates or worsens a pre-existing condition, you can recover as well. In either case, however, you need to present competent medical evidence linking your WEAR and TEAR injury to your work. WEAR and TEAR claims can be complex and somewhat difficult to prove, but the bottom line is that just as an employer must bear the cost of a machine that “wears out” over time, it must compensate a worker who has been worn out over time by the job.
You Work Hard; Now Let Us Work Hard For You!
Do you have pain in your lower back, in your arms, or in your wrists? Have you slowly developed shoulder or knee pain? You may be suffering from a WEAR and TEAR injury. At Petro Cohen, P.C., we have both the skill and experience required to investigate and push forward your claim for recovery. We have helped many hard-working folks like you who have given years to their jobs only now to find out that they have sustained a gradual, repetitive injury.
Call or contact Petro Cohen, P.C. us 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.