6 Common Workplace Injuries Cited in Worker’s Compensation Claims
Accidents can occur anywhere and affect anyone. Unfortunately, when accidents occur in the workplace, these incidents can leave previously diligent and successful workers without a source of income.
If the accident happened due to conditions that are considered unsafe under the law, you may have the option of pursuing a workers’ compensation claim to provide yourself and your family with benefits, including medical and disability benefits.
The potential types of injuries sustained in a hazardous workplace are highly varied, but many of the injuries cited in workers’ compensation claims fall under the same categories. In this blog, we discuss six of the most common injuries that lead to worker's compensation personal injury claims.
1. Bodily Reactions
When you think about workplace injuries, you likely picture a scenario where an accident plays out and results in a direct injury, like a slip and fall that causes a broken bone. While these direct injuries are undeniably common, workers are often injured even without noticeable accidents.
For example, if an employee slipped but managed to grab onto a display to prevent a fall, you may consider the crisis averted. However, the incident could still leave the worker with a wrenched shoulder, twisted ankle, or back injury.
These injuries are categorized as bodily reactions because they occur due to the natural protective instincts that are triggered during a near-miss incident. In 2009, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety reported that expenses from bodily reaction injuries were the fourth highest out of all worker's compensation injuries.
Falls can cause a broad range of injuries and may occur in a number of different ways. In fact, falls are often divided into multiple injury and cause types for statistical purposes due to the sheer number of falling incidents cited in personal injury claims.
Some of the most common potential injuries after a workplace fall include fractures, sprains and strains, and dislocations. Slips and falls are perhaps the most common type of fall accident in the workplace, but employees could also potentially fall from upper levels, ladders or scaffolding, or a piece of equipment.
3. Machinery Accidents
Like falls, the category of machinery accidents covers numerous types of injuries. For example, contusions and puncture wounds are generally separated from compression injuries for statistical purposes, but either injury could happen due to a machinery malfunction.
In an Injury Impact Report that surveyed worker's compensation claims made between 2010 and 2014, material handling accounted for 32 percent of claims, while tool-related incidents accounted for 7 percent of claims. When combined under the umbrella term of machinery accidents, these injuries make up a massive portion of all reported injuries.
4. Overexertion and Repetitive Motion
While many injuries cited in worker's compensation claims happen during accidents, some injuries that may qualify an employee for worker's compensation happen slowly and almost imperceptibly.
Overexertion and repetitive motion injuries can take months or even years to develop, but in some cases can be as debilitating as an acute injury sustained on the job.
Overexertion injuries occur when an employee is injured during a specific activity. For example, if an individual tears a muscle while lifting. However, the effects of overexertion sometimes are not evident immediately.
Alternatively, repetitive motion injuries happen when doing the same motion over time creates irregular wear on the joints, tendons, or muscles. These injuries are more likely in small-motion tasks, like typing or assembly.
5. Striking or Struck By an Object
According to the 2010 – 2014 Injury Incident Report, striking or being struck by an object accounted for 10 percent of workers’ compensation injuries. These injuries can occur in any workplace but are more likely in industrial and construction facilities.
For example, an employee could be run into an object or be struck by a dropped object in any workplace, but these incidents are particularly likely on active construction sites where building materials are in constant motion.
6. Vehicular Accidents
Injuries resulting from vehicular accidents are some of the most common injuries cited in all types of personal injury claims. These claims have become specific enough that some personal injury attorneys specialize in certain types of vehicular accidents, such as motorcycle or semi-truck accidents.
When a vehicular accident happens on company time or in a company vehicle, the injuries incurred may qualify for workers’ compensation. The circumstances of the collision may also factor into the employee's personal injury claim.
If you have sustained an injury in your workplace, whether or not you see your injury listed above, discuss your options with a reputable personal injury attorney. You may have the option to file a workers’ compensation claim to ensure that you get the medical care and financial support you need to recover.
For experienced legal representation in personal injury matters, trust the team at Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC.