What Kind of Injuries Count for Workers' Comp? – Claiming One Injury at a Time! - Zupnick Associates

(by Elton Mwangi)

Not taking workers’ compensation injuries seriously can result in penalties and not providing workers’ compensation can lead to jail time.

For instance, in June 2013, two K. C. Tile and Marble employees working at a construction site got struck by lightning. One worker survived, but the other didn’t. According to Florida’s workers’ comp laws, the deceased employee’s family was entitled to benefits covering funeral expenses, benefits to the surviving spouse, and compensation to dependents.

The surviving worker was entitled to medical care benefits and lost wages. But the company did not have workers’ compensation insurance, and the CEO, Joel Trujillo, was arrested.

Let’s learn about some workers’ compensation injuries and keep you out of jail.

6 Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries to Know

Workers’ compensation insurance covers most injuries and illnesses resulting from exposure to materials, equipment, and work activities. When an employee experiences an occupational injury covered by worker’s comp coverage, their time for reporting the incident and collecting benefits is limited.

Employees need to report the accident to the employer right off the bat. Any delays in claim filing increase the insurer’s risk of denying the worker their compensation benefits.

Here’re the most common workers’ compensation injuries in the workplace:

Brain Injuries

Accidents in construction and logging sites, among other dangerous workplaces, often lead to severe brain injury. The employee slips and falls or is struck by a hard, sharp object, injuring their head.

While severe cases can result in a comma, sometimes the injury can be a concussion, and the worker may only need a week to recover.

Some effects of moderate to critical brain injuries include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Communication deficiencies
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Issues with basic cognitive processing
  • Emotional and behavioral problems

Mesothelioma from Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos causes a deadly type of cancer called Mesothelioma characterized by:

  • Swollen fingertips
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough

Asbestos is used in construction materials like roofing shingles, cement products, ceiling tiles, wall cladding, and gutters. It’s also used in motor vehicle brakes, coatings, and heat-resistant fabrics.

Professionals with a high risk of asbestos poisoning include carpenters, attic insulators, firefighters, and automobile mechanics.

Smoke Inhalation and Burn Injuries

Firefighters are prone to getting burn injuries in the course of their employment; workers in chemical plants and manufacturing facilities too.

Burn injury cases are unlike other incidents. Injured employees go through numerous skin grafts and other costly surgeries. The recovery period is lengthy, and they run the risk of infection. Victims can stay out of work for multiple months or years.

Because of significant changes in their abilities and appearance, regular psychological counseling is essential.

Slip & Fall Injuries

Slips on a wet floor can result in back or knee injuries that can keep employees out of work. Sometimes the injuries can be worse, especially when workers deal with massive machinery, construction materials, and unfinished floors.

According to OSHA, slip-and-fall accidents consist of a quarter of all workplace injuries and cause 17% of all disabling injuries at work and 15% of all accidental deaths.

Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

Workers who stand a high chance of getting dog bites or animal attacks work outdoors or in people’s houses. They include:

  • Salespeople
  • Delivery personnel
  • Postal carriers
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Electricians

Traffic and Automobile Collisions

Injuries sustained from vehicle collisions while walking or driving are the most common. Employees suffer these injuries when:

  • Running an errand for the employer
  • Delivering products to customers
  • Driving a client or employee
  • Traveling for work
  • Driving for a living

The injury must be work-related. If the employee gets injured on their way from home to work, they will not be compensated.

Conclusion

In and of itself, a workplace injury can happen anywhere as long as the worker is performing on behalf of the employer. While state laws treat workers’ compensation differently, workers’ compensation injuries are the same across the board.

Brain injuries, automobile collision injuries, animal attacks, dog bites, smoke inhalation, burns, and Mesothelioma are the most common injury types. The employees must report the injuries as soon as possible to allow the claim to be filed, and an efficient claims process will surely help.

If you’re looking for a clear path to more affordable and efficient workers’ compensation, Zupnick & Associates will hold your hand. Reach out today.

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