It is a basic tenet of New Jersey Workers' Compensation law that the employer takes the employee as it finds him. This rule most often finds application in cases where a subsequent work-related accidental injury or occupational disease is accelerated, activated, worsened, or contributed to by a previous disease, as distinguished from a physical disability of an orthopedic nature. An employee is not precluded from pursuing Workers' Compensation benefits under the requirement that the injury arise out of the employment, as long as the proofs demonstrate that the petitioner's condition was "aggravated, accelerated or combined with the pre-existing disease or infirmity to produce the disability for which the compensation is sought." Sexton v. County of Cumberland/Cumberland Manor, 404 N.J. Super. 542, 555 (App. Div. 2009).
When the New Jersey Workers' Compensation Act was first enacted in 1911, there was no provision for compensable occupational diseases. If the worker was not injured in an accident or trauma, in the traditional sense, it was not compensable. The Act was amended in 19 24 to extend the protections afforded by the workers compensation system to certain specified occupational conditions related to metal poisoning or chemical exposure. However, it was not until 1949, when additional amendments were enacted, that orthopedic injuries caused by repetitive or continuous trauma become compensable. The standard for establishing a "compensable occupational disease" is proving that the disease arose out of and in the course of employment, and was due to causes and conditions which are or were characteristic of, or peculiar to, a particular trade, occupation, process or employment. The statute was further amended in 1980 when the requirements of causation were enhanced to read that the disease had to be due, in a material degree, to causes and conditions which are or were characteristic of a particular trade, occupation, or process of employment. Additionally, the statute was further amended to preclude compensability for any condition which arose due to the natural aging process. Now, as with any other workers' compensation claim, the key issue is whether petitioner can prove that the damage alleged due to repetitive stress is causally related to the type of stress that is characteristic of, or peculiar to, the employment.
Section 12 provides for compensation to employees for injuries producing partial or total disability which includes psychiatric injuries. Sections 30 through 35 cover occupational disease claims which would allow for recovery for a compensable psychiatric occupational disease claim. Psychiatric claims can be divided into two types. The first is the psychiatric claim arising from a traumatic or occupational physical injury such as the possible depression which would accompany the amputation of a portion of the body or a psychiatric reaction to traumatic event such as witnessing the death of a co-worker. The Courts have routinely awarded psychiatric benefits both by way of payment of medical benefits and compensation benefits for those types of claims.
It is just about the most violent type of crash that can happen: a head-on collision between two vehicles going in opposite directions on the New Jersey Turnpike. A recent head-on Turnpike crash was the result of a wrong-way driver just a few miles from us in Cherry Hill.
1. Establishing Stress Claims
A company that operates in New Jersey is facing $1.9 million in penalties from the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The violations are many, a total of 51 safety and health violations were cited.
If you live in New Jersey and need to pursue disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration, it is important to understand the differences between the two main types of disability benefit programs. Many people confuse Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income because the acronyms commonly used to reference them are so similar, but there are important distinctions between the two types.