Injuries That Qualify for Workers’ Comp
You’re probably already familiar with the term “workers’ compensation.” It is, as its name implies, a form of insurance that specifically protects employees who get injured at work. What most people don’t realize, though, is that workers’ comp also protects employees who get injured because of their work. For instance, any of the following scenarios could lead to a valid workers’ compensation claim:
- You were involved in a workplace accident, such as a slip and fall, machinery entanglement, or work-related car wreck.
- You suffer from a repetitive stress injury, like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, as a result of your work routine.
- You’ve discovered an occupational illness — meaning a disease, cancer, or other harmful condition caused by your work environment.
To help you better determine whether you have a valid workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana, let’s take a closer look at each of these three overarching categories of workplace injuries.
Immediate Physical Injuries
In their 2017 annual report, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration provides nine categories of accidents and injuries that were successfully claimed by employees throughout Louisiana. Below, they’re listed in order of 2017’s most to least frequent claims:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Strain injuries
- Injuries caused by being “struck or injured by” something
- Work-related car accidents
- Miscellaneous injuries
- Injuries in which a worker is “caught in, under or between” something
- Cuts, punctures, and scrapes
- Burns and scalds (whether caused by heat or cold)
- Injuries that involve “striking against or stepping on” something
Fortunately for injured workers, the U.S. has a strictly “no-fault” workers’ compensation system. In other words, if you get hurt at work, you don’t have to prove that your employer is to blame. Instead, you simply need to report the accident to your employer, who should then begin the claims process. For more details, read about the Louisiana workers’ comp claims process.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
When you break a bone, get a concussion, or throw your back out at work, it’s (almost always) instantly obvious that you’re hurt and that your work conditions are the cause of your injury. On the other hand, sometimes an injury is more subtle, taking weeks or even months to start showing symptoms.
Often, these more subtle conditions turn out to be repetitive stress injuries — meaning that a motion you continually use at work has caused some kind of physical distress. Here are among the most common repetitive stress injuries that U.S. workers report:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Raynaud's disease
- Rotator cuff syndrome
- Intersection syndrome
- Medial epicondylitis
- Lateral epicondylitis
- Radial tunnel syndrome
- Writer’s cramp
The good news: repetitive stress injuries can be covered by Louisiana workers’ compensation. The only downside is that it can sometimes be difficult to definitively prove that your work is the cause of your injury — that’s where it comes in handy to have an experienced workers’ comp attorney help you file your claim.
Of the types of workers’ compensation claims, occupational illnesses are the most notorious for going unreported. Often, this happens for the same reason as with repetitive stress injuries: the symptoms are rarely noticeable until long after you’ve been affected by your work environment. For instance, consider the following occupational illnesses:
- Respiratory diseases, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung disease, and bronchopulmonary disease
- Skin disorders, such as dermatosis and vitiligo
- Occupational cancers of all varieties
These illnesses are caused by long-term exposure to harmful elements like molds, chemicals, pesticides, bacteria, minerals, and countless other sources. As you can imagine, most people affected by them discover their condition far later than is ideal, and they either decide not to file for workers’ compensation or they don’t realize that it’s an option.
However, if you or a loved one is suffering from one of these illnesses, it’s important that you take action. By filing for workers’ compensation, not only could you collect payment to cover your medical bills, but you could also be protecting other workers from suffering the same fate.
Contact Bruscato Law Today
Although I truly hope that you aren’t in need of a workers’ compensation lawyer, know that my legal expertise is at your disposal. My name is John Bruscato, and I am a personal injury and workers’ comp attorney based in Monroe, Louisiana. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a workplace injury or illness, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment or call me directly at 318-855-1613.