Every worker has a right to demand compensation when they are injured at the workplace. However, what kind of injuries must one sustain to make a valid claim? Depending on which state you live in, the laws might vary a little. In some states, workers are entitled to get compensation, no matter the nature of the injury. While in some states, there is a thorough investigation before the employer or the insurance company releases the compensation.
Here is a brief guide to understanding common workers compensation injuriesand how an attorney can help you during such situations.
- Place of Injury
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an employee can claim compensation for any work-related injury or illness. If the employee sustains these injuries within the workplace premises, it is easier to file for compensation. However, what if the injury is sustained away from the workplace?
Maybe the employee was on a work tour or tending to work-related errands while away from the workplace. They could have been in an accident while making a trip to their office. It is trickier to prove the circumstances when everything happens out of sight, and the compensation is released after an investigation in most cases.
- Occupational Hazards
Sometimes, a workplace injury might not be as simple as slipping on the office stairwell or losing a finger while operating heavy machinery at the factory. At times, the injury or illness might be caused over a prolonged period. This is categorized as Repetitive Strain or Stress Injury, or RSI. The employee might be inhaling hazardous fumes while working at a chemical facility. Or the employee might have developed a spinal problem from operating cranes or similar heavy equipment. In this case, the work environment has resulted in the injury.
The worker is entitled to get compensation if all of this becomes a debilitating factor, preventing him or her from continuing their work or if the employee needs to be hospitalized.
- Pre-Existing Conditions
At times, the employers or the insurance company might want to avert paying for compensation if they already have a pre-existing condition. They might try to shift the onus on the employee’s health. However, that does not always mean the employee cannot get compensation. Even if he or she had a medical condition, they might have stayed ahead of it with regular medication and therapy.
So, if they can prove that it was a workplace-related issue that aggravated their condition, resulting in a significant injury, then they can claim compensation. For example, an employee might be taking medication for his heart for some time and was leading a regular life. If a workplace issue results in a heart attack, then he can claim compensation.
Sometimes, the injuries may result in complete or partial disability for the worker. In this case, they must get a hefty sum in compensation. Such incidents mostly occur in construction sites, warehouses, and shipping companies where workers always have to work with heavy machinery and critical pieces of equipment. If the injury results in hearing or a visual impairment, amputation, or memory loss due to brain injury, they are entitled to receive full compensation as per their long term disability benefits.
Seeking Compensation is an Employee’s Right
Workplace injuries are not difficult to prove since it is mandatory to have CCTV cameras on the premises. However, if the injury is self-inflicted or the worker was injured in the process of violating the workplace regulations, or just because he got into a fight with someone due to his nasty temper, then those are the cases where the employer’s attorney or the insurance company insist on conducting a thorough investigation.
Most companies also do not want to account for emotional injury, and mental distress among workers is often overlooked. If you are injured at your workplace and believe that you are entitled to receive compensation, consult a workplace injury lawyer to help you with the details.