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Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If you are not able to work because of an injury or illness that took place at work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. When a workplace injury occurs, you might find yourself missing out on paychecks, accumulating medical bills, and being overwhelmed with paperwork. This can be a very difficult and uncertain time.
Fortunately, laws protect workers from negative fallout related to work injuries by requiring employers to carry workers compensation insurance.
What is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work?
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that is purchased by an employer to protect their employees from job-related injuries and illness. It provides a safeguard for injured workers so that they are not left with no job and no money while trying to recover from an injury. Some jobs can be hazardous, and it shouldn't be the responsibility of the employee to deal with all the repercussions that come with an injury.
Individuals that are injured on the job can get various kinds of financial support to cover their injury-related expenses. This includes:
- missed income from time off work
- medical expenses
- job training if you have to change professions
- death benefits if a worker dies in a job-related incident
Unlike a personal injury claim, workers can receive benefits regardless of being at fault for a work-related incident. However, injured workers can not recover compensation for damages normally awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
Have You Been Injured at Work?
Accidents and injuries occur everywhere, even on the job. This is particularly true in certain professions and industries, such as:
- Working in construction
- Jobs that require using heavy machinery
- Inventory stocking
- Delivery driver
- Working for a moving company
- Landscaping and lawn service
- Iron and steel workers
- Agricultural work
- Truck drivers
- Garbage collection
- Fishing industry
But the fact is, accidents can happen even in relatively tame work environments.
For example, even an office worker can be injured on the job. Sitting at a computer all the time can create injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or vision problems. Or there could be a slippery floor or a staircase that can cause a fall. If these injuries lack proper medical attention, they can lead to further more severe injuries down the line.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
The top three leading causes of job-related injuries account for more than 84% of all nonfatal injuries on the job. This includes:
- overexertion and repetitive motion injuries
- slip and fall injuries
- injuries from contact with equipment and objects
Overexertion and Repetitive Motion Injuries
Overexertion injuries can happen when a worker uses excessive physical effort to do a job and gets injured. This includes lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, or throwing.
Repetitive motion triggered by stress or strain on some part of the body is due to the repetitive nature of the task. Common repetitive tasks include lifting boxes, typing on a computer, using a ten-key machine, sitting for long hours, and working on an assembly line.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most frequent on-the-job injuries. They represent 25% of yearly injury cases, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Falls on the job involve falling from slippery floors, from tripping, and from heights like ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or other structures.
Injuries from Contact with Equipment and Objects
Contact with equipment and objects refers to injuries that happen when a worker is hit by something or runs into something. This can include a worker being hit by a moving object, running into or being pushed in front of an object, being crushed in equipment, or being caught in cable or rope. It may also include accidents like a worker being struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or materials.
Workers' Compensation May Also Cover Occupational Illnesses
Along with being injured, employees can also get sick with an illness due to their job. When this occurs, workers compensation insurance is designed to help cover some of the costs.
Occupational illnesses include diseases that develop from hazardous work environments or workplace exposures. Some common illnesses that occur on the job include:
- Hearing loss
- Respiratory diseases
- Skin conditions
- Toxic chemical poisoning
Cases involving work-related illness are complex for a number of different reasons. One of the main reasons is that you will have to prove that your illness was caused by your job, and not from some other factor like genetics or something that happened during your personal time. This is further complicated by the fact that many illnesses develop over time, which makes them harder to recognize and to pinpoint the origin.
What Should I Do if I Am Injured at Work?
If you get injured in the course of your employment, you should always report the incident, injury, or condition as soon as possible to your employer. This is necessary even if an injury appears minor. This, because injuries that appear small at first can end up being much more serious in the coming days or weeks.
For instance, an injury that might feel like only a strained muscle can end up being a sign of permanent nerve damage. Or a sore low back from lifting a heavy object could be a disc herniation that needs surgery.
Additionally, you should always have a work-related injury examined by a doctor. This is the only way to learn the extent of your injury, and what can be done to recover. This is especially important for stress or repetitive motion injuries. Here, making changes in the ergonomic environment might not only heal the injury, but help to prevent injuries to others. Furthermore, to preserve the long-term ability of a worker to keep and continue in his or her job.
Lastly, waiting too long to report an injury at work might seize your right to claim any workers' compensation benefits.
Should You Consult With a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
Consequently, if you suffer an on-the-job injury, consult with the personal injury lawyers at Dunk Law Firm. Do not go through these tough times on your own. We are here to assist you with your claim. We understand the causes and impacts of work accidents and injuries. Additionally, we know the laws and regulations related to workers' compensation and will work to maximize the compensation you receive.
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