Depending on the occupation, being on the job can mean performing physical activity that puts a strain on a particular part of the body. Some of the most common injuries that occur in many professions affect the back and spine. Whether it is from a single traumatic event or one that develops over time due to poor posture, repetitive stress, or overexertion, the result can mean time away from work, of a temporary or permanent disability.
Workers who are suffering from injuries that occurred while at work do not always realize what rights they have under the worker’s compensation laws of their state. Fortunately for New Jersey residents, the state’s no-fault insurance program offers:
- Medical benefits
- Temporary disability
- Permanent partial benefits
- Permanent total benefits
- Death benefits
Because worker’s comp laws are complex and insurance companies will always seek to pay out a minimal settlement, many injured workers do not receive the benefits to which they are entitled that may include lost wages, pain and suffering or continued care needs. It is important to learn more about how to protect your legal rights when you are recovering from a work-related injury.
Back injuries resulting in days away from work
Musculoskeletal disorders are the result of overexertion or repetitive motion and affect thousands of workers across many industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), musculoskeletal disorders involving the back contributed to 38.5% of these kinds of injuries in 2016, and most commonly occurred in such professions as:
- Medical professionals, in particular nursing assistants
- Stock clerks and order fillers
- Maintenance and repair workers
- Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers
- Laborers and freight, stock and material movers
Injuries to the back and spine have many causes, from falling, sudden or repeated motions, lifting heavy objects, or overexerting one side of the body, that result in sprains, herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, or torn ligaments. A spinal cord injury can result in nerve damage, constant pain, quadriplegia or paraplegia.
When a worker files a no-fault insurance claim, they do not have to prove fault or negligence to receive benefits. This simplified process unfortunately also limits the award that the injured party can receive, which will most likely be less than a personal injury claim. It is also important to also note that the statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years in New Jersey.