In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, your injury or illness must have been sustained in the course of, or arose out of, your employment. Simply put, if you were engaged in activity that was for the benefit of your employer at the time you were injured or became ill, you would likely be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Learn more about what qualifies as a workplace injury and/or illness and if there are any exceptions about which you should be aware. 

What Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that the injured worker does not need to demonstrate that someone else was negligent in order to be entitled to benefits under the statute.  

Workers may be entitled to compensation for injuries arising out of accidents or occupational exposures.  Injuries arising out of an accident are easier to identify than those arising out of occupational exposures.  Occupational exposures can be those arising out of repetitive actions or activities that, over time, lead to injury - and can be orthopedic or systemic in nature.  We detail each of these below. 

Common Workplace Injuries

The most common Workers’ Compensation claims arise out of a distinct injury or accident and can result from any of the following:

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Repetitive strain injuries are occupational exposures suffered by workers who perform the same movements day after day, weakening a body part, or multiple body parts.  One of the most common examples of a repetitive strain injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, which often stems from repetitive use of the hand/wrist such as with the repetitive clicking of a mouse or typing on a keyboard for eight or nine hours a day.  Other repetitive injuries include wear and tear on joints, such as the ankle and/or hip for those who get in and out of a truck hundreds or even thousands of times a week, or knees for tile or carpet layers who work on their knees most hours of every day, or the shoulders of those working overhead, like mechanics or painters.  As such, it is common for individuals who work in offices, on assembly lines, as plumbers, construction workers, delivery drivers, mechanics and physical therapists to suffer repetitive strain injuries due to the repetitive nature of their work. 

Occupational Illness 

Some employees may be exposed to harmful substances or conditions that can result in injury or disease. The most common example of this is asbestosis, which is caused by exposure to asbestos, a heat-resistant mineral often found in insulation. Exposure to asbestos has been linked back to other diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and laryngeal cancer. 

In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic, more and more employees are wondering about their rights to file a workers’ compensation claim if they were exposed through the course of their employment.  A nurse, doctor, certified nurse’s assistant (CNA), physician’s assistant (PA), physical therapist (PT), emergency medical technician (EMT), funeral workers, and others, who directly work with Coronavirus patients, may be able to establish the causal connection between the injury and the workplace, than someone who works in an office or on a construction site.  However, every situation is different and should be evaluated.  In addition, new information is provided by the State and other agencies, and we will continue to update this blog with any updates when it becomes available. 

If you were injured at work and need help filing a workers’ compensation claim or an appeal if your claim was denied, the attorneys at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. are ready to help. 

Contact A Rochelle Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer To Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients in Hackensack, Paramus, Englewood, Fair Lawn and throughout New Jersey. Call 201-231-7847 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.