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Work Injury

work injury

Work environments are unpredictable. Accidents, injuries, and illnesses at work can happen to anyone, no matter how cautious or responsible they are. Whether you work on a jobsite, in the field, in a retail setting, or at an office, if you are hurt at work, your state’s employer’s workers’ compensation insurance program is supposed to provide reasonable and necessary benefits that include wage replacement, medical care and treatment, and vocational rehabilitation.

States handle workers’ compensation claims differently according to their own rules, and navigating the claims system in your state may be unfamiliar and confusing. You may be offered a lump sum settlement (sometimes called compromise and release), or a structured payment plan. If the claim is denied, or the offer is not fair and reasonable, you may work with an experienced lawyer to pursue a larger compensation amount. 

Note: Employees working for the federal government are not covered by state workers’ compensation insurance. Instead, they may be entitled to benefits via the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). 

What Constitutes a Workplace Injury? 

A workplace injury may fall into one of two categories: 

  • Single events 
  • Repetitive Injuries. 

Workers’ compensation benefits are not fault based. In most cases, it does not matter whose fault your injury was or why your injury happened. The three typical instances where you may not be eligible for compensation for an injury are: 

  • Injuries that are intentionally self-inflicted
  • Injuries or illnesses that are not work-related.
  • Injuries or illnesses occurring as a result of illegal drug use or intoxication at work. 

Examples Of Single Event Injuries 

  • Same-level falls such as slipping on a slippery surface, or tripping over an unseen obstacle, like an extension cord. 
  • Falls from elevations such as platforms or scaffolding 
  • “Struck By Object” Injuries – being injured when struck by objects falling off of shelves or higher levels
  • Overexertion injuries from physical activities
  • Being burned by a toxic chemical 
  • Being involved in a car accident while visiting a worksite. 

Examples of Repetitive Injuries 

Repetitive motion injuries, sometimes called repetitive stress injuries, are most common in the shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands, but also occur in the neck, back, hips, legs, knees, ankles, and feet. Common repetitive motion injuries include: 

  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Epicondylitis
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Tendonitis
  • Trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis). 

With repetitive injuries, it can be challenging to prove that a condition is the result of performing an action at work, but a lawyer can help with documenting this link. 

Workplace Accidents Can Be Life Changing 

Being injured in any capacity at work can be overwhelming, and you may not be able to return to your same position. No matter what you are dealing with, you don’t have to face your future alone. 

The goal of this website is to educate workplace injury victims about their rights to compensation. Understanding and being aware of your rights puts you in a better position to advocate for yourself. 

Work Injury Questions & Answers

What Is Covered in A Workers’ Compensation Claim? 

Workers compensation benefits typically cover: 

  • Replacement income 
  • Medical care expenses, including emergency room treatment and specialist care
  • Short-term or long term disability 
  • Rehabilitation. 

To recover workers’ comp benefits, you will have to establish that your injuries were work related. Be sure to tell your treating physician your injury occurred at work. Depending on your state, you and/or your doctor may need to fill out a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury. 

What is NOT Covered in A Workers’ Compensation Claim? 

One major difference between workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury compensation is non-economic damages. Individuals pursuing a personal injury claim typically receive separate compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are not available in a workers’ compensation claim. 

What Should You Do If You Are Injured? 

Workplace injuries should always be treated as time-sensitive. There is no time to waste after an accident, as you are subject to strict reporting deadlines. Get the medical care you need and report your accident promptly. As soon as an injury occurs, or an illness is discovered, you need to immediately notify your employer and complete any required notification paperwork. If you delay reporting your injury or illness, you may lose your right to collect benefits. 

Finding a Workers’ Compensation Attorney 

Minor workplace injuries generally do not warrant a workers’ compensation lawyer, and most workers’ comp lawyers will advise individuals if their case is simple enough to handle on their own. You should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney if any of the following situations exist:

  • Your workers comp claim is denied or the settlement offer does not cover your medical expenses 
  • Your employer does not pay your benefits promptly 
  • Your workers comp claim has complex issues 
  • Your injury was serious or permanent, or your loved one died as a result of their injury or illness. 

The workers’ compensation system is supposed to be simple and easy, automatically giving injured workers the benefits they qualify for. 

Unfortunately, benefits injured workers to under the law are often denied or withheld, because insurance companies do not want to pay out the benefits unless they absolutely have to. Do not accept less than the full benefits you are entitled to without speaking with a lawyer first. 

How to Find a Workers’ Compensation Attorney 

There are many workers’ comp attorneys in every state that handle workers compensation cases. You can find a lawyer by word-of-mouth (asking coworkers, family, and friends), calling a lawyer referral service, browsing legal directories, and through search engines. Look for a workers’ comp lawyer with experience handling cases similar to yours, and schedule a consultation. Remember, the most important thing about your attorney is that you are comfortable communicating with them and you feel confident that they can handle your case. 

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We believe everyone deserves access to information and resources, so that they can make informed decisions, either on their own, or with a lawyer advocating for them. We are here to help you understand your legal rights and options. Let us know how we can help you in the form below.