NEW JERSEY WORKERS' COMPENSATION
WE HAVE YOUR BACK

WATCH OUR VIDEO

Navigating the Storm: Your Guide to Understanding and
Handling Work-Related Neck Injuries in New Jersey

Table of Contents

Many people work hard every day in New Jersey, from building tall buildings to sitting at computers. But did you know that some of these jobs can cause neck injuries? Even simple tasks can sometimes hurt our necks. The NJ Workers’ Compensation system is designed to handle these types of injuries. This guide will tell you about different neck injuries, which jobs might be riskier, and how New Jersey laws can help workers if they get hurt their neck.

Injured worker's X-ray result of the neck highlighted in red an area of damage to the lower neck area

Types of Work-Related Neck Injuries and Possible Causes

Muscle Strains

These are some of the most common neck injuries. Overexertion or overuse, such as sitting at a desk for too long without changing position, can lead to muscle strain.

Whiplash

Often associated with vehicle accidents, whiplash can also occur from sudden impact at work, like a falling object hitting a worker. It involves the neck’s rapid movement, which can strain muscles and ligaments.

Herniated Discs

These injuries can happen due to lifting heavy objects incorrectly, falling, or other activities that stress the neck.

Pinched Nerves

Also known as cervical radiculopathy, this can occur due to repetitive motion, heavy lifting, or awkward neck positions, causing a disc to press on a nerve.

Fractures or Dislocations

These are severe injuries and can be caused by high-impact accidents, such as falls from heights or severe blows to the head or neck.

Recognizing the Seriousness of a Neck Injury:
Some Symptoms to Watch For

Not all workplace neck injuries present symptoms immediately, and some might seem less serious than they are. The symptoms will vary between injured workers. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Severe Pain: This includes pain that persists or worsens over time, is sharp or stabbing, or pain that might extend to the hands or arms.

 

  • Numbness or Loss of Strength: Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms, hands, or fingers can be a sign of a serious neck injury, such as a herniated disc or pinched nerve.

 

  • Reduced Mobility: Difficulty moving your head due to pain, stiffness, or a loss of balance can indicate a serious issue.

 

  • Other Symptoms: Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, or blurred vision following a neck injury can also indicate a serious condition that requires immediate attention.

 

Remember, only a medical professional can accurately diagnose and assess the severity of a neck injury. Always consult a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing these or other concerning symptoms after a work-related incident.

Job Types with a Higher Risk of Serious Neck Injuries

Work-related neck injuries can occur in virtually any job, but certain industries and positions pose a higher risk due to the nature of the work involved. Here are some of the job types where workers are most at risk:

Construction Workers

These workers often perform physically demanding tasks that require heavy lifting or working in awkward positions. They are also at risk of falling from heights or being struck by falling objects, which can lead to severe neck injuries.

Office Workers

While it may seem counterintuitive, office workers are also prone to neck injuries, primarily due to long periods of sitting and poor ergonomics. This can lead to muscle strain or cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerves).

Healthcare Professionals

Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers can suffer neck injuries from tasks such as lifting and transferring patients or from long hours of leaning over during surgery or examinations.

Delivery Drivers and Commercial Vehicle Operators

These workers risk neck injuries from vehicle accidents, heavy lifting, and the repetitive motion of entering and exiting their vehicles.

Public Safety Personnel

Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) face a high risk of neck injuries due to their jobs’ physical demands and unpredictability.

These are just a few examples, and it’s important to remember that a neck injury can happen in any workplace if the circumstances align. Always prioritize safety, use proper equipment, and utilize correct techniques when performing tasks to minimize the risk of injury.

Gym instructor reacts in pain with hand to neck area after demonstrating self-defense move to student

Types of Accidents That Most Frequently Result
in Serious Neck Injuries

While neck injuries can result from various incidents, certain types of accidents tend to cause these injuries more frequently. Here are some of the most common:

Vehicle Accidents

Collisions can cause a range of neck injuries, from minor strains to severe injuries like fractures or dislocations. Whiplash is especially common in rear-end collisions.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Whether caused by tripping over an object, slipping on a wet floor, or falling from a height, these incidents can cause serious neck injuries. The sudden, jarring motion can strain muscles, while a hard impact can cause more serious damage.

Falling Objects

In workplaces where items are stored overhead, or construction or renovation occurs, workers are at risk from falling objects. A blow to the head can result in neck injuries due to the sudden, forceful movement.

Repetitive Strain

This is a common cause of neck injuries in office environments or jobs that require repeated motions. Over time, the constant strain can lead to conditions like muscle strains, herniated discs, or pinched nerves.

Heavy Lifting or Manual Handling

Lifting heavy objects without proper technique or equipment can strain the neck excessively and lead to injuries.

Workplace Violence

Sadly, physical altercations or attacks in the workplace can lead to neck injuries and many other types of harm.

Awareness of these common causes of neck injuries can help workers and employers take necessary precautions to prevent such incidents. Safety training, proper equipment, and a well-maintained work environment can all reduce these types of accidents.

Claim Your Rights, Fearlessly: The No-Fault and
Anti-Retaliation Provisions of New Jersey
Workers' Compensation Law

It’s important to understand that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in New Jersey, meaning you’re entitled to benefits regardless of who caused the job-related accident. However, receiving workers’ compensation benefits generally means you cannot sue your employer for your injuries.

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law also protects against employer retaliation for filing a claim. It’s illegal for employers to fire, demote, or otherwise discriminate against workers for claiming or attempting to claim workers’ compensation benefits.

Understanding work-related neck injuries and the intricacies of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law can be a daunting task. However, knowledge is power. By being aware of the types of neck injuries, recognizing their severity, and understanding your rights under the law, you can be better prepared to navigate the aftermath of a workplace accident.

Infographic Summary of Article

A guide for a New Jersey workers on how to handle a serious work-related neck injuries

"Injuries give you perspective. They teach you to cherish the moments that I might have taken for granted before."

Take Control: Let Experience Guide
Your Journey to Recovery

For over 25 years, John F. Renner has been dedicated to championing the rights of injured workers. He understands the challenges you face and the worries you may have. He is an advocate and a guide to his clients every step of the way. You don’t have to navigate the complexities of the workers’ compensation system alone. John F. Renner will advocate for your rights and strive to ensure you receive the benefits and medical treatment you need and deserve. Our office number is (856) 596-8000

Picture of About the Author

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.

Read More...

Share This Story. Choose Your Platform.