On-the-job injuries and illnesses may be acute or acquired over time as an employee is exposed to hazardous conditions. Although certain industries, such as those that deal with heavy equipment and unstable materials, are often considered more dangerous, employees in other fields are not immune from serious occupational illnesses or injuries. Health issues beyond simple scrapes and bruises can negatively impact job performance and entail considerable medical bills.
The workers’ compensation attorneys of Dolman Law Group are considered accomplished advocates for injured workers, which is an ideal we strive for with each client we represent. We will relentlessly pursue fair reimbursement for your medical bills and lost wages in a workers' compensation claim so that you can focus on healing from your injury or illness. Reach out to our capable team at (727) 451-6900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.
Repetitive Stress Injuries Affect Workers Across Industries
Constant and repetitive movements can overtax the body, leading to inflammation, strained muscles and nerves, and impaired function. As the damage compounds, an employee may experience cysts, stress fractures, and other injuries like a herniated disc. In a workers’ compensation claim, an employee could obtain benefits for a repetitive stress injury and potentially the health issues resulting from it. Repetitive stress injuries can often be seen in employees working a factory line, constantly typing on a computer, or using vibrating tools.
Respiratory Issues Impact Thousands of Workers Each Year
Although protective equipment has become more accessible and effective, inconsistent use and the nature of small particles mean that many workers still develop respiratory conditions. Those who work with materials that produce fine dust, such as concrete and stone, inhale the particles for hours each day. Over time, the dust accumulates and irritates the respiratory system, leading to inflammation, asthma, and other conditions like pneumonia. One tragic example is the artificial countertop cutters in California who are facing life-threatening respiratory conditions after repeatedly exposed to dangerous levels of silica dust in the workplace.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries Are Common in the Workplace
One of the leading causes of workplace injuries is slip-and-fall accidents. The resulting injuries can range from bruises and broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, depending on how far the person fell, if they were wearing protective gear, and what kind of surface they landed on. For example, in an office setting, an employee could trip over an open filing cabinet drawer, sustaining a fracture to their wrist and cutting their leg on the drawer. A construction worker who slips on a wet patch of scaffolding and falls ten feet onto a pile of lumber is more likely to have serious injuries, like organ damage and a spinal cord injury.
Outdoor Job Sites Leave Employees Vulnerable to Heat Exhaustion
Employees who work in the agriculture or construction industry are usually familiar with the risk of heat-related illness, but anyone who works in hot or humid conditions doing physical labor should take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion. When the body’s temperature spikes due to environmental conditions, physical exertion, and dehydration, heat exhaustion is often the result. If the employee does not receive prompt medical attention to lower their temperature, it can turn into heatstroke which can entail brain damage, organ damage, and death.
Overexertion is a Risk for Physical Laborers
The National Safety Council reports that overexertion is the second-most cited workplace injury that requires time off from work. Those working in transportation and warehousing experienced the highest number of overexertion injuries. Workers who put too much stress on their bodies, particularly the back, knees, and shoulders can develop inflammation and soft tissue injuries. When muscles and tendons are stretched beyond their capacity, they can tear. Typically, overexertion injuries are acquired through heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying materials or equipment.
Crush Injuries Are Common in Industries That Use Heavy Machinery or Vehicles
A crush injury involves a body part becoming trapped under or between two surfaces. Depending on how long the compression lasts and how much weight is resting on the body part, the injured employee may develop compartment syndrome or sustain broken bones. In extreme cases, the limb may need to be amputated. Crush injuries are not exclusively associated with occupations that use heavy machinery or vehicles like forklifts, the presence of such equipment usually indicates that hefty materials are being moved around. This creates opportunities for workers to be pinned by the materials or the vehicles used to transport them.
Workplace Burns Can Result in Nerve Damage and Permanent Scarring
There are several ways that an employee can sustain a burn in the workplace. Of course, the most familiar method is through coming into contact with a hot surface, which can result in a thermal burn. This is often seen in restaurant workers, firefighters, and welders, who all work in close proximity to high heat. Employees can also experience electrical burns from touching exposed wires or a charged object, which is typically seen in electricians, lineworkers, and people in construction. Damage can range from charred skin to extensive internal damage. Chemical burns can result from contact with acidic or harsh substances, which are especially dangerous when aerosolized because then the eyes and lungs become vulnerable to burns.
Employees who are regularly exposed to radiation can also develop burns, which can be more susceptible to infection.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials Can Lead to Cancer
In some industries, handling dangerous materials is a part of the job description. In other cases, employees are inadvertently exposed to carcinogens. For example, military service members, civilian firefighters, and airport workers who used AFFF firefighting foam were exposed to toxic chemicals that would later cause them to develop cancer. Carcinogens may be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, and prolonged contact or intense exposure can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Workers Compensation Claims Can Offer Reimbursement for Hearing Loss
Although hearing loss may be the result of a single event, such as being in close proximity to an explosion, it is more commonly associated with prolonged exposure to high decibel levels. Employees who work in noisy environments for extended periods of time, particularly without proper ear protection, are at a higher risk of hearing loss. For example, people who work on construction sites, at airports, or in factory settings may be more vulnerable. Loud noise can irreparably damage inner ear hair cells and even the auditory nerve, making it difficult to distinguish speech or detect soft noises.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
With the exception of small operations and companies that only use independent contractors, most businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Certain employers, such as the railroad industry and the military have separate claims systems for workers who were injured or became ill because of their jobs. If an employee is injured or becomes ill on the job, they can file a claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers have access to these benefits even if they were at fault for the incident that resulted in their injury, which can streamline the process of receiving compensation. The tradeoff is that injured workers are typically only entitled to compensation for a portion of their wages and a percentage of their medical bills. Additionally, workers’ compensation does not offer financial reimbursement for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of quality of life, as a personal injury lawsuit allows.
There are limited circumstances where a workplace injury warrants a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers' compensation claim. If a third party is responsible for your injury or illness, like a manufacturer who produced defective equipment, it may be more effective to hold the third party liable for damages. In cases where an employer exhibits gross negligence, causing catastrophic or widespread injury, employees may be able to file a personal injury claim due to the severity of the negligence.
Why You Should Trust Dolman Law Group to Represent You
At Dolman Law Group, we have intentionally cultivated a reputation for excellent customer service based on our tireless work ethic, open communication style, and expansive legal knowledge. Our clients benefit from our years of experience as personal injury attorneys and the level of diligence we consistently exhibit. We are proud to protect the rights of injured clients as they pursue fair compensation for their damages.
Given that the workers’ compensation process will only yield a percentage of your medical bills and lost wages, you can’t afford to hire a team that is merely adequate. At Dolman Law Group, our goal is to maximize compensation for our injured clients because we understand that the outcome of your settlement can impact your family’s financial situation for years to come. You can rely on our team to go above and beyond for you.
Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Workers' Compensation Claim
On-the-job injuries and illnesses can throw families into financial turmoil. With limited avenues for compensation, most injured employees need to make the most of the workers’ compensation process so that they can afford to offset their lost wages and pay their medical bills. Our team at Dolman Law Group represents injured workers in claims of all sizes by dedicating the time and attention each case deserves.
As experienced negotiators, our team of workers’ compensation lawyers is prepared to manage all the key aspects of your case. We are committed to securing a settlement that recognizes the extent of your damages connected to your workplace illness or injury. You can rest assured that we have the resources, skills, and knowledge necessary to effectively represent you.
A workplace injury or illness may have disrupted your life, but it does not have to completely destabilize it. The workers’ compensation attorneys of Dolman Law Group will work closely with you to navigate the claims process so you can focus your efforts on recovering. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (727) 451-6900 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled personal injury lawyers.