You’ve been out of work for a few weeks now, and you’re trying your hardest to recover from your on-the-job injury. But instead of getting better, your condition has taken a turn for the worse--and now your employer is telling you that you aren’t eligible for additional payments. Is this true?
It depends. It’s not uncommon for injured workers to suffer a secondary injury during their recovery, also called an intervening injury. Whether or not your employer is liable for the cost depends in the circumstances of your secondary injury. Generally speaking, as long as your suffering was directly caused by the first injury, you should be able to receive worker’s compensation.
Ways workers may suffer intervening injuries in NJ:
- Recovery complications. Many injured workers will have to undergo surgery, recovery, and physical therapy and in order to treat their conditions. Any one of these treatments would not have been necessary if the employee had not been injured in the first place, so any injuries occurring during treatment may be considered intervening.
- Weakened conditions. Problems will often arise during recovery due to healing problems, weakened immune systems, malnourished muscles or torn ligaments. Workers are susceptible to post-operative infections, bodily system failures and additional surgeries due to healing complications.
- Overexertion. Sometimes workers will be put under pressure by their employers to return to work before their injury has fully healed. In many cases, trying to rush healing times or overdo physical therapy exercises will damage the weakened area, leading to further surgeries, rehabilitation, or even permanent disability.
Of course, not all secondary injuries may qualify for worker’s comp payments. Workers who suffered a car accident or heart attack during healing will likely not have their additional injuries covered; however, falls or other accidents may be considered intervening if the original injury caused the accident to occur.
New Jersey worker’s compensation attorney Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr., can tell you if you are eligible for payments for an intervening injury in New Jersey during your FREE initial consultation. Call us today at (877) 360-0183 or click the link above to download our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide.