Did you know that, according to the Survey of Occupation Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), nearly 3 million workers suffered from on-the-job injuries in 2012? Getting hurt at work can result in stacks of medical bills and financial hardship. Some injuries leave employees physically, mentally, or emotionally unable to work. What constitutes a work-related personal injury, and what should you do if you get hurt at work?
What is an Occupational Personal Injury?
Just last year, 905,700 employees sustained injuries serious enough to miss at least some days of work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers may suffer from immediate or sudden physical injuries, such as slips, trips, and falls, or, in the case of construction workers, being struck by debris. Physical injuries may also, however, result from overuse or repetitive stress. Repetitive stress may cause back injuries, strains and tears, or even conditions such as tendinitis and carpel tunnel syndrome. Some companies may offer partial or full coverage for mental injuries and conditions. For example, Canadian and Australian companies typically provide workers compensation for work-related PTSD, stress, depression, burnout, anxiety, and compassion fatigue.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Getting hurt at work typically leaves employees wondering what to do next. If you believe that you are eligible for workers compensation, take the following steps:
- Report injuries ASAP. Employees need to report injuries right away. Some claims require a medical exam, and filing a successful claim depends on being forthright and timely.
- Don’t underestimate injuries. Small injuries have a tendency to escalate and turn into big ones. Document all injuries, including minor injuries that may be the first signs or symptoms of a serious condition. For example, report all back injuries, including any muscle tightening or aches, burning, muscle weakness, and dull or sharp pain.
- Talk to a workers compensation attorney. Occupational injury claims can be especially complicated. Don’t mess when your livelihood and primary source of income is at stake. Get legal advice and counsel as needed.
Getting hurt at work can leave you with stacks of medical bills, and without a source of income. Report all injuries right away, and talk to a workers compensation attorney to receive a fair settlement.