Roughly 2.8 million American workers suffer an injury at their jobs every year. While some injuries are minor, others can have a devastating impact on the worker and their family.
The five most common workplace injuries are:
Trips, Slips and Falls. These accidents account for about one-third of all workplace injuries. Victims of can experience head, back and/or neck injuries, broken bones, cuts, sprains, pulled muscles, and more.
Struck or Caught by Machinery. Workers in the factory, at the construction site and on the farm can get caught in heavy machinery or struck by objects coming out of the machinery. Workers’ limbs are particularly susceptible to these injuries.
Vehicle-Related Accidents. More workers are killed each year in vehicular accidents than any other kind of accidents.
Fire and Explosions. Faulty gas lines, combustible materials or open flames can wreak havoc in the workplace, causing respiratory problems and burns for those impacted.
Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs). There are more than 100 kinds of job-related RSIs. Examples include improper lifting, repetitive work with too few or no work breaks and constant typing (straining hand and arm muscles and tendons).
In addition to missing several days or weeks of work, injured workers often must visit multiple doctors and/or specialists, undergo numerous physical therapy (PT) sessions and begin daily exercise or stretching routines.
If I am injured on the job, who will cover my expenses?
In almost all instances and in nearly every state, employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation (comp) insurance that covers employees’ work-related injuries. Workers’ comp is a “no-fault” system. Hence, employers or the insurance companies are required to pay, regardless of who is to blame for the injury (with only a few exceptions).
What should I do if I suffer a workplace injury?
Tell your supervisor immediately. The supervisor should file a report documenting the date, time and circumstances of the injury. Next, make sure you get proper medical treatment and keep track of all your medical expenses, including the diagnosis of your injury and all PT sessions, etc.
Do I need a lawyer?
In most routine workers’ comp cases where only a minor injury has occurred, an attorney may not be needed. However, the workers’ comp system is complex. There are numerous filing deadlines, and the process often changes. Even if your case is simple, it doesn’t hurt to contact a workers’ comp lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.
There are many issues to consider with regard to resolving work-related injuries with your employer’s insurance company, as a workers’ compensation lawyer in New York from a law firm like Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, Attorneys at Law, can explain.