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Don't Ignore Work-Related Back Injuries:
Your Rights Under New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law

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Hardworking employees often suffer workplace back injuries. Many underestimate the severity of their injuries or fail to take the proper steps to protect their rights under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law. Workers often ignore their injuries, considering them “part of the job.” Many injuries go unreported and untreated.

This “grin and bear it” mentality often leads to severe health implications. What might seem like a minor injury can escalate over time, resulting in debilitating conditions. Let’s be clear: being tough is not keeping quiet and working through injuries that need medical attention.

Employee Receiving Diagnosis of Back Pain after work accident

Back Injuries at Work:
More Common (and Serious) Than You Think

Work-related back injuries can range from minor strains to serious conditions such as herniated discs or chronic back pain. Regardless of how seriously the worker perceives the injury, they simply should never be ignored. The repercussions of untreated back injuries can lead to prolonged physical discomfort, decreased productivity, and a significant reduction in the quality of life.

This is where understanding your rights under New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law becomes crucial. NJ Workers’ comp isn’t a benefit to be ignored or skipped; it’s a lifeline for injured workers. It offers a safety net, allowing you the necessary time to recuperate without worrying about financial stability. In New Jersey, workers’ comp provides approximately two-thirds of an injured worker’s salary during recovery, enabling you to focus on healing without the pressure to rush back to work.

In New Jersey, workers are protected by comprehensive workers’ compensation laws.  If you are injured on the job, you have the right to receive benefits to help you recover. These include coverage for necessary and reasonable medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and death benefits for dependents of workers who have died as a result of their work-related injuries.

What to Do When Injured
At Work in New Jersey: Key Steps

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Your health is the top priority. Don’t ignore the injury or try to ‘work through the pain.’ Seek immediate medical attention and make sure to inform the healthcare provider that your injury occurred at work.

 

  1. Report the Injury to Your Employer

Report your injury. This can be accomplished by notifying your supervisor right after an accident occurs. Under New Jersey law, you must report the injury within 14 days, but it’s best to do it immediately.

 

  1. Document Everything

Keep records of all your medical treatments and any correspondence with your employer regarding your injury. This documentation could prove vital if you need to make a workers’ compensation claim.

 

  1. Consult a New Jersey Work Injury Lawyer

Workplace injury laws can be complex. The right attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to under New Jersey law.

 

Note advising injured worker to seek compensation

What Injuries Do You Have? Getting the Right Diagnosis

At times, you might underestimate your injury. You might dismiss a severe ache as a simple sprain, only to find out it’s a broken bone. It’s important to know your exact injuries. This knowledge helps you seek appropriate treatment and avoid activities that can worsen your condition.

The good news is that workers’ compensation generally covers the complete cost of diagnosing your injuries.  So, don’t guess or make assumptions about your injury. Make sure to get a proper medical examination. It’s crucial to know the exact nature of your work injuries.

A Tale of Two Workers with Two Different Outcomes

Ignoring a back injury can have long-term physical and financial consequences. By seeking immediate medical treatment and legal advice, you can protect both your health and your rights. Remember, under New Jersey law, you’re entitled to benefits if you’re injured at work – but it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to claim them.

To highlight the importance of proper injury management, let’s consider the stories of two hypothetical workers – we’ll call them John and Sam.

John, a warehouse worker, strained his back while lifting heavy boxes. Despite the pain, he decided to work through it, using over-the-counter pain relievers and applying makeshift bandages. He didn’t report the injury to his employer and continued his demanding tasks, which only served to worsen his injury over time. Six months later, John’s minor strain had developed into a chronic pain condition, severely impacting his quality of life and rendering him unable to work.

On the other hand, Sam, a construction worker, also injured his back on the job. Unlike John, Sam took immediate action. He reported his injury to his supervisor, sought medical attention, and was diagnosed with a herniated disc. With the assistance of a work injury lawyer, Sam filed a workers’ compensation claim. Sam’s approach meant he could focus on his recovery, assured of his income due to the benefits from his workers’ comp claim. After a period of treatment and rest, Sam was able to return to work, healthy and fit.

These contrasting scenarios underline the vital importance of recognizing and properly managing work-related back injuries. New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law offers workers protection and benefits, including approximately two-thirds of an injured worker’s salary during recovery.

Being “Tough” Does Not Include Ignoring
A Work Place Injury

Remember, taking time off to recover can be critical for a successful recovery. Ignoring a minor injury and returning to physical job duties can potentially exacerbate the condition. From warehouse workers to retail employees who spend most of their day on their feet, the daily job requirements. 

From minor twinges to significant conditions like herniated discs or chronic back pain, back injuries at work in New Jersey come in many shapes and sizes. They’re not badges of honor to be worn but red flags to be addressed. Ignoring these injuries is like letting a small spark turn into a wildfire – resulting in lasting discomfort, decreased work efficiency, and a severe dip in your zest for life.

In New Jersey, workers are protected by comprehensive workers’ compensation laws. These laws can be complicated in some cases. The goal, however, is to make sure that the injured worker receives benefits. These include coverage for necessary and reasonable medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and death benefits for dependents of workers who have died as a result of their work-related injuries.

Infographic Summary of Article

An injured workers guidelines in New Jersey Workers Compensation law in a work-related back injuries

"I used to keep injuries to myself. It would just make it worse and worse. Now I'm having none of that."

Have an Experienced Attorney
Handle Your Back Injury Case

Some Injured workers in New Jersey who suffer a work injury often quickly settle with what is initially offered to save time and hassle of further court proceedings. Your best possible settlement can be lost without diligent and thorough preparation. We understand the need to work quickly yet diligently.

Filing for a workers’ compensation claim is complicated and time-consuming. This effort could have been well spent on recovering or caring for your loved ones. Get an experienced workers’ compensation attorney now. Let your attorney handle the legal aspects of your workers’ compensation claim. All you need to worry about is your recovery.

Mr. John F. Renner has been a practicing work injury attorney in New Jersey for 25 years. He has the skills and experience to simplify the process for you. His expertise and dedication have helped him identify the best-case situation for you to get the maximum benefit you deserve. Contact him now at (856) 596-8000. We have your back.

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About the Author

John F. Renner is the founding attorney and principal of John F. Renner P.C. He has more than 25 years of experience representing injured workers in New Jersey. Mr. Renner guides his clients through the complex maze of New Jersey Workers Compensation Law for the best possible outcome.

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