Anyone can be hurt on the job, and there are unique dangers in every industry. But many employees find their managers’ doors are shut when it comes to getting information about filing an injury claim or getting worker’s compensation benefits. There’s a good chance that you’re probably even reading this right now because you have already suffered a work-related accident and are looking for answers about your injury. We live in an age where the internet can answer many of our questions—and after you’ve been hurt, you want as much information as possible. To help you get started, here is some general information about the types of injuries that commonly happen on the clock and some ways you can get more information about what happened to you.
Common kinds of injuries at work
Some jobs involve working in dangerous environments every day, while some jobs rarely take workers outside the office. However, no matter what type of environment they work in, employees of all kinds can be at risk of suffering life-altering injuries while they’re at work, including:
- Brain injuries. Brain and spinal cord injuries are commonly caused by falls, falling objects, or other physical accidents while an employee is on the clock. Brain injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries, or paralyzing spinal cord injuries can keep an employee away from work and may require long-term and expensive care to maintain a good quality of life.
- Back injuries. Whether an employee’s back injury came from a single accident or years of heavy lifting, the result can be pain, an inability to lift heavy objects, and a limited ability to move or get around. Driving or sitting in an uncomfortable chair over long hours at work can lead to spinal degeneration, osteoarthritis, and sciatica. Disc and spinal injuries can be the result of repetitive lifting injuries or a direct accident. Soft-tissue injuries to the back are common, and repeated back strain can cause painful injuries. Injury to the back, neck, or spine can also be responsible for nerve damage that causes symptoms in other parts of the body.
- Knee injuries. Injury to the knees, such as patella fractures or a torn meniscus, can occur from bending, twisting, slipping, or lifting heavy objects at an awkward angle. Knee injuries often severely limit mobility, and the injured knee may not regain full strength and range of motion, even after surgery.
- Car and truck accident injuries. Drivers can obviously be injured in motor vehicle accidents while transporting goods, but other employees may be injured while being transported to a worksite, running an errand on the clock, or working near heavy vehicles. Car and truck accidents can cause any number of very severe or life-threatening injuries. Car accidents that happen at work can also be very complicated from a legal perspective, depending on where the employee was hurt and who was responsible.
- Cumulative injuries. Many workers are injured little by little from the daily physical demands of the job, including bending, lifting and hauling. Repetitive lifting injuries, such as torn muscles or strains, may be caused by turning, twisting, or pushing or pulling cargo. However, cumulative or repetitive stress injuries can also result from typing, bending, or even sitting on badly-designed office furniture. These kinds of injuries weaken the body’s systems over time and don’t cause symptoms until years later, making injury claims difficult to prove.
- Work environment injuries. If employees work in unsafe environments or with dangerous materials, there is a high risk of injury if employers don’t follow safety rules and regulations carefully. For example, workers can suffer severe injuries when exposed to dangerous chemicals, toxins, or poisonous material, whether in a large dose or over time. Occupational diseases, including chronic lung or skin conditions, can result from working in toxic environments without the right protection. Working with or around vibrating machinery can cause microfractures in the hands, fingers, feet, and shoulders—or even hearing loss.
- Burn injuries. Serious burns may be caused by explosions, electrocution, fires, chemical spills, or smoke inhalation. When burns are very serious, the recovery is usually extremely painful and expensive, and the victims may need multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and “cosmetic” treatment for scarring.
- Heart attacks. Heart attacks can be caused by overexertion or unreasonable strain at work, but it can be extremely difficult to provide proof that an employer was responsible or should provide compensation for what happened.
- Amputation or crushing injuries. Crushing injuries and amputations are often the result of malfunctioning equipment or preventable accidents. Employees can suffer untreatable wounds that require immediate amputation of fingers, feet, arms, or whole limbs. Amputation may also be recommended by a doctor when a serious wound to an extremity is complicated by persistent infection or other issues.
- Slip-and-fall injuries. Slips, trips, and falls can occur in any workplace. Workers can fall in the warehouse, on someone else’s property, from equipment, from scaffolding, and in many other situations. Slippery walkways or falls from heights are responsible for a wide range of injuries, including joint injuries, back injuries, facial injuries, and broken bones.
- Sensory loss. There are a number of reasons an employee may suffer from loss of sensation, such as deafness, blindness, or permanent nerve damage in the extremities. These are life-altering injuries that affect careers and personal lives, and it’s important that workers who have suffered sensory loss get the help that they need to cope and move forward.
- Wrongful death. In any kind of serious accident, there is a risk that an employee will die from his or her injuries. The employer may be held responsible by the surviving family members in some cases, but it’s important that families seek experienced legal help to learn about their rights and avoid potential mistakes.
Getting help after you have been hurt in an accident at work
Your injury occurred at work. Shouldn’t you be covered for your medical bills and loss of income while you heal? Workers who have been hurt while on the clock often go through many layers of difficulties as they recover, including:
- A painful stay in a hospital, undergoing surgical procedures and a sometimes lengthy physical recovery
- Significant medical costs, which may include a need for ongoing care or treatment in the future
- Inability to return to work or a loss of earning capacity
- Difficulty getting an employer to acknowledge what happened, accept responsibility, and pay fair compensation
Every serious injury needs unique treatment and rehabilitation before the victim can return to a normal life or best cope with new limitations. Unfortunately, employers will often dispute or deny injury claims—even when they are valid—in order to save the company money. If you think it’s not fair, you’re right—and you’re not alone. Our attorneys have seen employers try to deny benefits to their workers for on-the-job injuries time and time again.
The attorneys with VB Attorneys have experience battling employers and insurance companies, cutting through the red tape to get the compensation that injured employees deserve. If you were injured on the job, call our law office today at 1-877-724-7800 to meet with us in a free case review. Or, if you need more information about what to expect from your work injury case, just request a copy of our report, How to Win Your Injury Case. We’ll send it out to you at no cost.