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Workplace Accidents and Workers’ Compensation

Workplace Accidents and Workers’ Compensation

Some work areas are more dangerous than others, such as construction sites, factories, mines, and oil rigs. But it is important to point out that workplace accidents may happen on any kind of workplace.

Whether you are in a construction site or in an office, you can get involved in an accident because of the negligence of yourself, your employer, your supervisor, the manufacturer of the equipment you are using, the maintenance provider of the equipment or the work area, or anybody else.

According to the website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD., unsafe conditions in the workplace may include the following:

  • Chemicals and toxic substances that are not properly secured
  • Failure to provide safety gears, like safety masks and hard hats
  • Obstructions, including cords, wires, and obstacles on walkways and exits
  • Poor maintenance of equipment and facilities

These unsafe conditions may result into injuries. Improperly secured toxics may lead to burns and lung complications. The lack of safety gears may lead to traumatic injuries, such as concussions and even paralyses. Obstructions may trigger slipping, tripping, and falling, leading to broken bones. Defective equipment and facilities may trigger other accidents, such as explosions, fires, and equipment malfunctions.

If it is your fault, like when you have failed to follow safety protocols and have triggered an accident all by yourself, you may have limited legal options. But when you have been injured in the workplace because of the negligence of another party, you may be entitled for workers’ compensation.

The website of Robert Wilson & Associates says that those who have been injured on the job may struggle from securing workers’ compensation benefits. That is why there are legal representatives out there who focus on workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation is a good way for the injured employees to minimize the financial damages associated with the workplace accidents and injuries they have sustained, such as treatment costs and lost wages due to lost time at work.

Losses Covered by the Workers’ Compensation Program

A workers who gets injured while performing his or her work or who develops an illness which can be identified as a result of work conditions, such as lung disorder (due to exposure to toxic substances), emotional illness, stress-related digestive problems or repetitive stress injury, is most likely eligible to cash benefits from the Workers’ Compensation program

Workers’ compensation, also known as Workers’ Comp, is a state-required insurance program that is designed to provide employees, who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses, cash benefits that will cover for the necessary medical treatment and hospitalization, and lost income resulting from absence from work due to the injury; it may also include cash benefits for rehabilitation, retraining, disability and death.

A job-related injury is any injury that is sustained within or outside of the workplace, so long as the worker is in the act of performing his or her job, like being on a business trip, doing a work-related errand, or attending a required business-related social function. The cash benefit is intended to all qualified workers, regardless of who is at fault in the accident that resulted to the injury, except, of course, if the injury was self-inflicted, was sustained because the injured worker was drunk or drugged, or was due to a violation of federal/state laws or company policies on workplace safety.

According to the US Department of Labor, the most common causes of injury in the workplace include:

  • Office politics or arguments resulting to acts of violence
  • Continuous repetitive motion, which may lead to back pains and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Getting caught in machines, which is very common in factories
  • Driving accidents, which is a common cause of injury among company drivers
  • Being struck by a falling object, machine or vehicle, and falling from an elevated work station, like a scaffold, a ladder, stairs, or roof , which are common among construction workers
  • Slipping or tripping
  • Overexertion due to lifting, carrying, pulling, or pushing of heavy objects

In its website, the law firm Clawson & Staubes, LLC explains how “Workers’ compensation benefits can be a lifeline for those suffering from a workplace injury”, especially if the type of injury that a worker sustains is permanent or long-term. For this reason, it is important that a worker be medically evaluated to determine the percentage of impairment that he or she has suffered as this can have huge consequences on the amount of benefits that he or she may recover. Long-term disability may also entitle him or her to a lifetime of medical benefits.