Nerve damage can occur during the workday or from extended and repetitive use of a motor function, such as long periods of typing or handling power tools. These injuries are often painful and can be disabling, needing months or years to heal. If you have suffered nerve damage at work, you may be wondering if workers’ compensation will cover your injury.
Generally, workers’ compensation does cover nerve damage, including in states like New Jersey. However, there are some factors that may affect whether or not your particular case is covered. In this article, we’ll cover:
1. What is nerve damage and how does it occur?
2. How are the different types of nerves affected by nerve damage?
3. What are the symptoms of nerve damage?
4. How do you know if your nerve injury is covered under workers’ compensation?
5. What can you expect from a workers’ compensation claim for nerve damage?
6. How to get started with a workers’ compensation claim for nerve damage?
What is Nerve Damage and How Does It Occur?
Nerve damage is a serious injury that can lead to pain, loss of motor function or abilities, and in severe cases, permanent disability or death. The condition is known as peripheral neuropathy, a type of blockage or damage to the nervous system, which provides vital communication between the body’s organs to the brain.
Nerve damage can often be traced back to an accident or injury at work, such as repetitive motion injuries sustained from operating machinery, or from a single traumatic event, such as a fall from a height.
Some other common causes of nerve damage can include:
- Exposure to toxins, including lead and mercury
- Infections, such as HIV or Lyme disease
- Repeated blows to the head, as can occur in contact sports
It is important to remember that any injury can cause peripheral neuropathy. Any event that causes physical trauma can crush, stretch, tear, compress, or bruise the body’s tissue, which can damage the nerves. Even a seemingly unrelated injury such as a dislocated shoulder can also cause other parts of the body to put pressure on the nerves, potentially leading to nerve injuries.
Repetitive motions, such as typing, reaching, or climbing, can cause abnormal movement to the body skeleton or muscles, which could then pinch or compress the nerves. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common workplace injury that causes the wrist to deform, resulting in nerve damage.
In more serious cases, any form of impact on the body can cause permanent nerve damage. For example, a slip and fall cases such as if a worker falls off a ladder and suffers a back injury, the brain and spinal cord will most likely be affected, which are both vital parts of the nervous system and the overall health of the individual.
How are the different types of nerves affected by nerve damage?
Nerve damage can affect all three different types of nerves – sensory, motor, and mixed.
Sensory nerves are responsible for transmitting information about touch, vibration, pain, and temperature from the body to the brain. Damage to these nerves can cause a person to feel less sensation in certain areas of the body, or even lose feeling altogether. This can be very dangerous, as a person may not be able to feel pain or temperature changes, which could lead to further injury.
Motor nerves are responsible for transmitting messages from the brain to the muscles, telling them when and how to move. Damage to these nerves can lead to problems with movement and coordination, as well as muscle weakness or paralysis.
Mixed nerves contain both sensory and motor fibers, which allow them to send messages in both directions. Damage to these nerves can cause problems with both sending and receiving messages, leading to confusion, difficulty walking or talking, and other symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Nerve Damage?
Symptoms of nerve damage can vary depending on the type and severity of the injury, as well as which nerves are affected. However, some common symptoms of nerve damage include:
- Tingling, burning, or numbness in the hands, feet, arms, or legs
- Pain, especially in the hands, feet, arms, or legs
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems with digestion or bladder control
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of nerve damage listed above, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Nerve damage can be a serious condition, and left untreated, it can lead to permanent disability or death. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing long term damage and improving the chances of a full recovery.
How Do You Know if Your Nerve Injury is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
If you have suffered a nerve injury at work, you may be wondering if your injury is covered under workers’ compensation. In most cases, workers’ compensation will cover nerve damage.
There are a few things that will determine whether or not your particular case is covered. These factors can include:
- The cause of the injury
- Where the injury occurred
- The extent and severity of the injury
- Your job duties at the time of the injury
Generally speaking, most cases of nerve damage are covered under workers’ compensation, but it is important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to find out if your case might qualify.
What Can You Expect from a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Nerve Damage?
If you have suffered a nerve injury at work and decide to file a workers’ compensation claim, there are some things you can expect.
First and foremost, workers’ compensation is designed to provide medical care and financial assistance for injured workers while they are unable to work. This can include coverage for medical bills related to the injury, as well as payments for lost wages.
In addition, if your injury is determined to be disabling to the point that you can no longer continue performing your job, you may be entitled to receive permanent disability benefits. It is important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to find out exactly what you are entitled to receive under New Jersey law.
Get Started with Your Nerve Damage Workers’ Compensation Claim with Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen
At Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, we’ve helped thousands of injured workers with their New Jersey workers’ comp and personal injury claims since opening in 1995, including numerous nerve damage victims. With four Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Law attorneys on our team, we are well-equipped to handle your claim.