Over time, the physical demands of your job can take a toll on your body. If so, workers’ compensation benefits may be payable. We call these types of claims “WEAR and TEAR™” because they develop slowly over time.
Unfortunately, many workers don’t know they qualify for compensation. They’re told they are “just getting older,” or that workers’ compensation only covers injuries caused by accidents. At Petro Cohen, P.C., we know better.
We call these types of claims “WEAR and TEAR™” because they develop slowly over time.
WEAR and TEAR injuries, include several different types of injuries resulting from repetitive, forceful, and/or awkward movements. In order for a workplace injury to be compensable under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law, it does not have to be a sudden, acute injury. In other words, an injury does not have to occur in a sudden workplace accident in order for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits. There are other types of injuries that occur over time that may be just as debilitative as an acute injury. Repetitive stress injuries, also known as WEAR and TEAR injuries.
One of the most common types of WEAR and TEAR injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition develops over a prolonged period of time due to repetitive motions; it often occurs as a result of performing work-related duties time and time again (e.g., extensive computer use, typing, etc.). In addition to carpal tunnel syndrome, lower-back injuries often result from factory jobs and other occupations that require heavy lifting. WEAR and TEAR injuries include damaged nerves, tendons, and muscles. In many cases, WEAR and TEAR injuries may affect more than one body part at a time.
Just as with acute injuries, WEAR and TEAR injuries can significantly restrict an employee’s ability to perform expected job duties as well as an employee’s daily activities. The pain can be severe, and it tends to get worse over time. Because of the gradual nature of some of these injuries, many workers feel they should not report the injuries as workplace-related. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that many are unreported or underreported as workplace injuries.
The benefits payable for WEAR and TEAR claims are identical to accident-related workers’ compensation benefits.
Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) are becoming increasingly common in certain industries. Approximately 60 percent of work-related injuries involve RSI, also known as occupational overuse syndrome or WEAR and TEAR. The following list represents some examples of industries and jobs with potential WEAR and TEAR claims due to repetitive, job related physical stress.
While the majority of RSI injuries affect the hands, wrists, fingers, and elbows, our firm often has clients with necks, backs, and shoulder injuries caused by repetitive stress. Any part of the body is susceptible, depending upon the type of work that is done.
Parts of the body that are at risk for potential WEAR and TEAR claims include the following.
These are just a few examples of the many potential WEAR and TEAR claims.
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. 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.
If so, it is in your best interest to contact aggressive, knowledgeable legal counsel experienced in successfully representing employees with WEAR and TEAR injuries. It is important to note that the passage of time may be fatal to your claim.
At Petro Cohen P.C., we have helped many employees who suffered WEAR and TEAR injuries. To determine if you have a potential WEAR and TEAR claim, schedule a confidential appointment with one of Petro Cohen’s workers’ compensation attorneys.
You work hard. Now let us work hard for you.
The following list represents some examples of industries and jobs with potential WEAR and TEAR claims due to repetitive, job related physical stress.
Parts of the body which are at risk for potential WEAR and TEAR claims include
The benefits payable for WEAR and TEAR claims are identical to accident related workers’ compensation benefits.
To determine if you have a potential WEAR and TEAR claim, schedule a confidential appointment with one of Petro Cohen’s workers’ compensation specialists.