No matter how hard we try to avoid them, accidents happen. While most accidents are benign, causing little more than bumps and bruises, some are disabling. And when these accidents happen in the workplace, they are costly to you and your employer.
Luckily, to fight these losses, we get workers’ compensation insurance. This is supposed to replace our lost wages, and cover our medical expenses when we are injured on the job or have long term occupational diseases. All injured and disabled workers are supposed to have the benefit of workers’ compensation insurance, even if some workers are wrongfully denied.
Have you ever wondered what workplace accidents are most common? How about which claims are often denied? Below are a few of the most common work injuries.
Your body can only do so much. Overexertion results from when your muscles or joints are put to use beyond their limits. This can be from lifting heaving objects, moving in tight positions, or repeating awkward movements.
Often, these types of injuries are first called a “strain.” This is often before your doctor knows all the information; before you had x-rays or an MRI. Workers compensation may accept this type of claim and call it a “strain.” Then, when you find out it is worse, workers comp will deny your benefits, saying you have a pre-existing condition.
It is true, that x-rays and MRIs can help your doctor, but they often also show some type of arthritis, which is wear and tear. We all have some wear and tear. So, the x-ray and MRI findings are use against you by workers comp. Then, it becomes a fight to prove you have a serious injury and not merely a painful pre-existing condition.
Trips, Slips, and Falls
Most trips, slips, and falls are avoidable with the use of proper safety procedures and equipment. However, accidents may still happen. A construction worker may trip over exposed wires or loose tools. A waiter may slip on a wet floor. A roofer may fall from an elevated platform. An orchard worker may fall for a ladder.
You may be denied Workers’ compensation for these obvious injuries. Your employer may simply not believe you, or someone may say you were not hurt at work. Often you will need a witness to the injury. If no one saw it happen, you may need a witness to say they saw you at work before the injury and you were okay. Another witness may have seen you after the injury.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Not all workers spend their day behind a desk. Many of today’s workers find themselves on the open road. Truck drivers and emergency service providers, such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, spend most of their day traveling from one location to another. Dangerous weather conditions, heavy traffic, and fatigued and distracted drivers can all lead to injuries on the highway.
Sometimes, claims like these are denied, because the workers comp says you were off the clock, or not doing work at the time you were injured. The law can be somewhat complicated about what is covered and what is not.
Employees spend many hours with their coworkers, so for many people coworkers often feel like a second family. It is difficult to imagine a member of your second family harming you. But, from time to time, problems do arise. Passions ignite, tempers flare, and people get hurt. This can come as a result of violence between coworkers, disgruntled former employees, or dissatisfied customers. The violence may come as physical or emotional abuse.
Even when you are involved in a fight, workers comp may have to provide benefits.
Other Common Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation
While the incidents mentioned above are some of the most common accidents covered by workers’ compensation insurance, they do not represent a comprehensive list. Other injuries and illnesses suffered while on the job, and covered by workers’ comp include:
Occupational illnesses including heart attacks, hernias, and mesothelioma
Repetitive motion injuries
If you’ve suffered an injury or illness on the job, it’s important to know what rights you have as an employee and what your employer’s responsibilities are. If you have questions about workers’ compensation insurance or need help filing a claim, contact a lawyer who specializes in this area. With their expertise, you will ensure your financial and medical needs get met.