Workers’ compensation claims can come in all shapes and sizes. Some are simple. Others are complex. Some involve light injuries and settle for a few hundred dollars. Others result in large settlements due to an individual’s death or permanent disability.
That said, we receive certain types of workers’ compensation claims more often than others.
If you’ve been injured on the job, take a moment to review some of these workers’ compensation examples to see how your case matches up. However, unless your case is very simple and involves no damages, you should consider consulting a qualified workers’ compensation attorney right away to see whether you have a case.
Despite extensive federal regulations committing employers to maintain thorough fall protection, slip and fall injuries are one of the most common workers’ compensation claims today. Slip and fall injuries can be caused by almost anything:
On top of that, slip and falls are often quite serious. Injuries can include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and damaged hips or legs. Depending on the health of the individual and the severity of the incident, these types of injuries can lead to permanent disability and loss of bodily function.
In these kinds of cases, we push to recover not only the employee’s medical expenses, but also reimbursement for lost wages, rehabilitation services, and disability compensation.
Another common workplace compensation example is exposure to toxic substances, such as harmful gases, sprays, fogs, and airborne particulates. Typical examples of toxic chemicals include arsenic, lead, mercury, and silica. These claims often result because an employer failed to issue the correct personal protective equipment to its employees. Toxic chemical exposure can also happen due to a worker’s sudden accidental exposure at one time or a slightly elevated exposure over a long period of time.
In its yearly impact report, Travelers Insurance found that material handling was the number one cause of work-related accidents. This kind of injury encompasses a broad range of situations, like throwing out your back when lifting a heavy item, being hit by a falling object, or improperly handling a dangerous object.
As you can imagine, materials handling injuries include everything from muscle strains and sprains to cuts and contusions, broken bones, and inflammation.
Yet another common workers’ compensation example is motor vehicle accidents. Countless employees drive a vehicle at some point to perform their daily tasks—whether their own vehicle or their employer’s. Along with driving comes the inevitable risk of motor vehicle accidents. The types of injuries caused by car accidents are often serious and include things like whiplash, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries. Transportation accidents are especially common in the oil and gas industry.
Machinery accidents can occur almost anywhere there is equipment that can crush, amputate, or otherwise damage employees' fingers, hands, and feet. As you might imagine, workers’ compensation claims occur most often in factories, heavy industry, and construction. Because of the high dangers of machinery, federal regulations require employers to install proper safety equipment when possible and educate their employees about the dangers of machinery. Yet employers are frequently negligent in meeting these standards.
Unfortunately, workplace violence is becoming more common over time. According to the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), over 20,000 workers in the private industry suffered some kind of trauma from workplace violence in 2018. Even worse, there were almost 500 workplace homicide victims that same year.
While many people imagine mass shooting incidents when they hear the phrase “workplace violence,” the truth is that workplace violence can take many different forms.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, repetitive motion injuries were the cause of 33% of all worker injury and illness cases in 2013. One reason for this is that unlike most other examples of workers’ compensation claims, repetitive motion injuries occur in both blue-collar and white-collar work environments. One common example is the office worker who develops carpal tunnel syndrome.
Repetitive motion injuries can be quite serious and also difficult to prove. However, the right workers’ compensation attorney can help you collect evidence that will connect a repetitive motion injury to your employment.
Florida law defines an occupational disease as a “disease which is due to causes and conditions which are characteristic of . . . a particular trade, occupation, process, or employment.” Common examples include:
Occupational diseases can be difficult to prove because it often takes many years for the condition to manifest itself after the work incident. In some situations, however, the condition can be traced to an employee’s workplace because their condition is relatively rare outside of certain environments.
At Rue & Ziffra, we are dedicated to protecting you and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. With over 40 years of experience, we can help you understand your workers’ compensation damages, the deadlines you need to meet, and what legal actions you should consider pursuing. If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s critical that you report your work-related accident right away. Once you’ve put your employer on notice of your injury, contact us or call 1-800-JUSTICE to set up a free legal consultation.