When injured at your place of work or fall ill due to the nature of your work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. This will pay for your medical bills and reimburse lost wages. But, what exactly qualifies as a work-related injury or on-the-job injury? How and when can you file a successful claim? Here is all you need to know about this issue.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, several factors determine an injury’s work-relatedness. An injury or illness that is caused or worsened by the working environment is considered an on-job or work-related injury.
The best way to determine if an injury or illness is related to work is to seek medical attention. The examining physician can easily tell what caused a health issue and make a statement on the same. This statement may be used in filing claims if the injury is actually work-related.
What type of injuries can affect you at work? There are three broad types:
- Physical injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Occupational illnesses
These are the most common forms of injury in the workplace. They occur when an employee incurs a physical injury in the course of their work or due to their work. Falls resulting in sprains, fractures, and dislocations are good examples of physical work injuries. A person injuring their back while lifting heavy boxes is also a physical injury and so is one being cut or hit by a machine or equipment. Any injury that can be touched and seen is considered physical.
For physical injuries to be considered work-related they must occur within the job area. For instance, if you get into a car accident on your way to work, this is not a work-related injury. even if that accident occurs in the offices’ parking lot. If an employee is injured while doing personal things that are not related to their job, this injury is not on-job even if it occurs in the workplace.
Physical injuries usually involve muscle, tendons, and bones. They may affect any part of the body including the hands, legs, face, neck, and the face. Although some physical injuries may develop over a course of time, most occur in an instance.
Repetitive Stress Injury
These are types of injuries that develop due to doing the same thing over and over again for a long time. People who do heavy lifting, bending and other repetitive movements may develop a condition called Carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is characterized by numbness and a feeling of tingling of the hand. It usually occurs due to damage to the median nerve caused by repetitive motions like typing.
There are many other repetitive stress injuries and these occur across various fields of profession. To avoid these injuries, workers are encouraged to exercise often and avoid bad posture.
Is the repetitive action causing the injury work-related? Then the injury is work-related and qualifies for worker’s compensation.
These are diseases that workers develop due to exposure at work. It may be an illness that develops suddenly or gradually. Diseases worsened by the working environment are also regarded as occupational illnesses.
An example of occupational illness is a healthcare worker who develops a contagious disease by contracting it from a patient in the facility. Asthma and Asbestosis are common occupational illnesses that affect factory workers.
Unlike physical injuries, occupational illnesses set in slowly, and the symptoms only show after some time. It may be more difficult to prove that the cause of an illness or its worsening is by your occupation.
To get the workers compensation you need, work with a qualified doctor and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The doctor will help you create a medical report while a lawyer will help you navigate the legalities of the case. A work injury lawyer will handle everything from filing an L&I claim to ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. You can concentrate on getting better knowing that your compensation issue is in safe hands.
Get Compensated for Your On-the-Job Injury
Whether you experience a physical injury or occupational illness at work, you deserve to be compensated. After all, were it not for that job you would not be suffering. Take advantage of the workers’ compensation laws that allow you rightful compensation. Get a lawyer to help you file a claim and follow up on your compensation.