Workers’ Compensation benefits are there to protect employees who have been injured on the job. The types of injuries that are covered by Workers’ Compensation include physical injuries, as well as those resulting from mental or emotional stress. In general, any injury that occurs at work or while performing a work-related task is likely to be covered by Workers’ Compensation.
If you believe that you have sustained a work-related injury, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the appropriate compensation.
When pursuing a Workers’ Compensation claim, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind. You are protected by your Workers’ Compensation benefits if your injury happened “in the course of employment.” Whether you are a construction worker who was injured from a fall, or a computer technician who was injured while making a service call, your injuries are covered. However, if an employee sustained an injury on his or her way to work, this is not considered a work-related injury, so Workers’ Compensation would not cover this.
Common Workplace Injuries
Some examples of workplace injuries that are covered by Worker’s Compensation include the following:
- Repetitive use injuries, including Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
- Back and neck injuries, including paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Elbow, knee and shoulder injuries
- Broken bones
- Strains and sprains
Determining Employer Fault
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. Therefore, if an employee was injured on the job as a result of carelessness, he or she is still covered. However, if an employee was hurt as a result of being drunk on the job, it is unlikely that he or she would be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. In addition, if a worker’s own misconduct caused the injury, or if the injury was self-inflicted, coverage may be restricted. Examples of this may include injuries due to drug or alcohol use, or injuries sustained from a physical altercation instigated by an employee. In most cases; however, courts tend to side with the employee as long as the employee’s behavior did not cause the injury.
Unlike broken bones, burns, scars or amputations, some injuries are not visible to the naked eye, but can be just as serious. When repeated, ongoing stress from a job causes heart problems, severe anxiety or depression, this can have devastating effects on the employee and their family. Like physical injuries, mental and emotional issues require medical care, including medication, therapy and/or surgery. When a worker’s job is the main cause of the occupational illness or injury, Workers’ Compensation covers the cost of treatment.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When an employee is fatally injured, or dies as a result of a work injury or illness, the dependents of that employee will most likely be able to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits. This is true even if the employee was discovered dead on the premises with no witness of the death, or an obvious cause of death.