Workers’ compensation claim: Common types of accidents
When you sustain injuries while working, you can be sure that your employer and their insurer may offer you the benefits to cover for your lost wages and medical expenses. Many states need your employer to have workers’ compensation insurance when it comes to injury accidents like yours. However, many people are usually surprised to realize that they are not entitled to get workers’ compensation benefits or even to learn that their claim was denied.
Sadly, while you decide to wait for workers’ compensation benefits or you are appealing a claim denial, there are good chances the medical bills are usually increasing. At this point, many injured workers are usually not able to work and get the income they require to support their families. As a result, this can put your family in financial problems leading to foreclosure or bankruptcy. Before this can happen to you, it’s a good idea to get a workers’ compensation attorney to work on your behalf. This article discusses the common types of accidents eligible for workers’ compensation claims.
Employees who are covered by workers’ compensation
In many states, it’s a requirement for all employers who have at least three or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is designed to protect both the employers and employees should there be a workplace accident. The insurance tends to cover everyone who is regarded as an employee. Therefore, it can include leased employees, day laborers, part-time employees, borrowed employees, and some unpaid volunteers.
There are some workers who are not entitled to get workers’ compensation benefits as they are not regarded as employees. These workers include real estate agents, farm laborers, seasonal workers, independent workers, domestic workers, and undocumented workers.
Unfortunately, there are some employers out there who deliberately classify their employees as independent contractors just to avoid paying the benefits to their injured workers after an accident. Therefore, if they deny your claim because you are considered not to be an employee of that company, there are still other ways you can get benefits. This is why you need to have an attorney to check your job status, position, and requirements to figure out if the employer didn’t classify you properly, making you eligible to get benefits by law.
Common accidents requiring workers compensation benefits
There are studies indicating that there are many workers who get injured every minute while working. Some of these injuries can have life-changing consequences, leading to employers failing to work any longer.
Remember that there are many types of accidents that happen in the workplaces. The injuries suffered by these workers tend to be eligible for compensation benefits. Therefore, if you are one of these people who suffered some injuries at your workplace, then there are good chances that you can recover benefits like lost wages and medical bills.
Slip and fall accidents
Slip and fall accidents are usually common in workplaces. Many employers take good precautions to protect their employees from slip and fall accidents. They enforce some safety regulations and ask their employees to wear protective gear like non-slip footwear.
Regardless of this, slip and fall accidents still happen in these workplaces. There is evidence suggesting that slip and fall accidents contribute to more than twenty five percent of the workplace injuries. Remember that these accidents include falls to lower levels and falls on the same level. Employees can slip and fall on oily or wet surfaces, uneven flooring, or loose mats.
There can be falling hazards in various kinds of workplaces in several industries. Employees can be hit by falling objects when they fall from shelves or materials can be dropped from higher levels like on construction sites. These types of accidents may cause serious injuries or fatal injuries.
Fires and explosions
Fires and explosions at workplaces usually happen when you don’t expect them. In most cases, this can occur due to malfunctioned gas lines, open flames, improperly stored combustibles, and poor pipe fittings. Fires and flames have the highest casualty rate compared to the other workplace accidents.
When there is a fire or an explosion in the workplace, there are many serious injuries that can happen. This includes crush injuries, respiratory system damage, burn injuries, disfigurement, and blast injuries that can affect ears and lungs.
Vehicle work-related accidents
You should remember that vehicle work-related accidents that qualify for workers’ compensation benefits are similar to regular car accidents. The only difference is that these accidents can occur while an employee is working. Therefore, depending on the situation, a vehicle work-related accident can happen in a company or personal vehicle.
Employees who travel for business and police officers tend to have higher chances of getting in this workers’ compensation accident. Employees can also be hit and get injured by other cars while repairing roads or working in high traffic areas.
In most cases, a machinery accident can cause severe injuries. These accidents are usually a worker being crushed by the company’s machinery or even being pinned or trapped by a piece of machinery. Because of the risks associated with operating heavy machinery, employees need to be properly trained on how to use the heavy equipment before they use it. You can prevent machinery accidents by maintaining them regularly.
Unfortunately, workplace violence is quite common among some specific types of employees, leading to a significant number of people getting injured and even deaths. These workers include security guards, police officers, correction officers, medical attendants, and nursing aides. These jobs require high levels of physical activities. Therefore, when workers are exposed to dangerous situations, it increases their risk of getting injuries.
Overexertion injuries can arise due to pushing, lifting, or throwing an object. These types of injuries are common in workplaces requiring physical labor like on a construction site or factory. Keep in mind that overexertion injuries are also common workplace injuries that cause pulling of the joints and muscles moving beyond their usual range of motion. Here, you can read types of Construction Accidents in Oregon.
Besides this, workers can also experience repetitive injuries that are caused by repetitive motions needed to do specific types of work activities. If an employee needs to do the same activities for long, they can suffer from injuries like tendonitis, carpal tunnel, and bursitis. These injuries tend to happen regularly to employees who type, assembly line workers, and employees doing repetitive lifting.
What you need to do after getting injured at work
When you sustain injuries while working, it can cause a lot of problems in your life. Besides failing to work, there are good chances that you may fail to care for your family and pay your bills. Therefore, if you get injured at work, then there are some steps that you must take immediately after the accident. This can have a significant impact when it comes to collecting your workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.
First of all, when you sustain injuries while working, you need to report the accident to your supervisor. You should do this immediately after the accident regardless of whether you think you are injured or uninjured. Remember that reporting the accident can be important because it will warn the supervisor that there is a chance that you are injured.
Likewise, when you see that you have injuries, it’s also a good idea to report this injury to the supervisor. Any delays like waiting a day or a couple of weeks before reporting this incident to your supervisor can increase the chances of your claim for workers’ compensation being denied. This is because they can think that your injury was due to an accident that occurred in the past and not at work.
It also makes sense to seek a qualified medical diagnosis for your injury so that you can qualify for benefits. There are some workers’ compensation policies that need injured workers to see a particular doctor. This means you need to ask the employer if there is a particular doctor you need to see. But you can also get a second opinion, especially if you are not pleased with the diagnosis of the doctor assigned by the workers’ compensation.
You also need to fill in some information in a claim form. The employer can offer you a claim form that is part of this workers’ compensation process. However, if your employer doesn’t give you this claim form, then you can get one from the workers’ compensation board. The form has several information including type of injury, affected part of body, parties involved in the accident, and treatment received.
If you can, it’s also a good idea to collect evidence. Therefore, you can write down the names and phone numbers of witnesses. Their testimony can help your case, especially if you feel the claim is unfairly denied. In this case, you can photograph the accident scene, such as anything that may have contributed to the accident and your injuries. You can take pictures from different distances and angles so that your lawyer can understand exactly how the accident happened.
The good news is that a lawyer can speed up this workers’ compensation process. Your lawyer can make sure that all the required forms are properly filled. This is why it’s a good idea to get a workers’ compensation attorney to work on your behalf. When they deny your claim, your lawyer can also be there to assist you during the appeal process.
Qualifying for workers’ compensation
States tend to have specific laws that are designed to protect injured employees. As explained earlier, some states require employers who have three or more workers to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for the workers. Once a worker gets injured while working, it means that this insurance can pay part of their lost wages and medical expenses.
Depending on the state, injured workers need to meet specific criteria to qualify for this workers’ compensation benefits. Some of the things you need to meet include you need to be an employee of the specific company. Also, the company needs to have workers’ compensation insurance. Further, the employee needs to sustain injuries while working, the worker shouldn’t willfully cause the accident or injuries to happen, and the employee must not have been under the influence of drugs or drunk at the time of the accident.
It can seem like an easy thing to get workers’ compensation benefits after an accident, but things can sometimes go wrong. This is because some employers can misclassify their injured workers as contract workers or temporary workers. Other employers can also say you already had an injury that got worse at work. This is the reason why it’s important to get an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to work on your behalf from the start.
Ideally, all types of injuries that happen while you are working need to be covered when it comes to workers’ compensation. After all, workers’ compensation doesn’t require you to prove or establish negligence before you can collect the money you need. Aside from this, you can still collect your benefits regardless of whether the employer was negligent or the actions of the employee caused the injury.
There are many common workplace injuries covered by workers’ compensation. These include knee injuries, back injuries, fractures, repetitive motion injuries, crushing injuries, and shoulder injuries.
It’s worth noting that there are also some injuries that the workers’ compensation may not cover. For example, injuries that you sustained because you willfully caused yourself these injuries or you were intoxicated during the accident are sometimes not covered.
There are also other types of injuries that the workers’ compensation doesn’t cover. These include various mental injuries and heart disease. Some states are usually specific for the types of mental injuries that they cover. For instance, if you experienced a violent crime while working, there are chances that you can have panic attacks due to this workplace accident. On the other hand, they may not cover routine panic attacks.
Some employees can also re-injure themselves while working or a pre-existing injury can get worse. Therefore, when this happens, then you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits, though it can usually be for the part of your injury that got worse. However, if you already had injuries or an injury, it means the workers’ compensation cannot cover it.