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What does it mean for workers’ comp if your injury is permanent?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

In New Jersey, workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries. Permanent injury is a possibility, especially for certified nursing assistants and medical assistants.

A permanent injury may qualify a worker for permanent partial or total disability benefits, depending on the severity of the condition.

What is a permanent injury?

A permanent injury is a lasting condition resulting from a workplace accident or exposure. It implies that the worker will never fully recover and will have some degree of lasting impairment. This can affect the worker’s ability to perform job duties or engage in daily activities.

Types of permanent injuries

Permanent injuries can be physical or psychological. For CNAs and medical assistants, common physical injuries include musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive strain injuries and back injuries. These professionals often lift patients, move equipment and perform repetitive tasks, putting them at risk for such injuries.

For instance, a CNA may suffer a permanent back injury from lifting a patient incorrectly. Medical assistants might develop carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive hand movements.

Permanent psychological injuries may result from severe workplace stress or trauma. For example, witnessing a traumatic event in a health care setting could lead to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Impact on work and daily life

Permanent injuries often affect an individual’s ability to work in their previous capacity. A CNA with a permanent back injury may no longer be able to lift patients, thus limiting their job options. Medical assistants with severe carpal tunnel syndrome might struggle with tasks requiring fine motor skills, such as drawing blood or typing.

Permanent injuries can impact daily life, too. Chronic pain, reduced mobility and the need for ongoing medical treatment are common issues. These limitations can hinder personal activities, from household chores to hobbies.

Workers who suffer injuries in New Jersey may have a right to compensation. It can include medical benefits, wage replacement, and, in cases of permanent partial or total disability, ongoing financial support.