An injury sustained while working is referred to as a work injury. A work injury or workplace injury typically results from the kind of task that the person is expected to perform at their employment. The phrase also refers to accidents on the job site or during working hours.
A worker’s compensation claim is used to resolve the majority of work injury claims. The employment contract conditions will frequently govern this dispute resolution procedure between the employee and the employer. Several state and federal regulations also regulate health and safety requirements in workplaces to decrease work-related injuries.
What Kinds of Injuries Happen at Work?
Most claims center on injuries directly tied to the job description; however, some companies may pay for injuries unrelated to the job description. These consist of the following:
- Chronic stress disorders (such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow)
- Respiratory conditions brought on by breathing harmful substances
- Different industrial diseases (such as popcorn lung or other respiratory illnesses)
- Injuries brought on by being crammed into a small area
- Slip-and-fall accidents
In some cases, worker’s compensation may also cover injuries received off-site, away from the place of employment (for instance, injuries resulting from a car accident during a work day).
Once more, how this plays out will rely on the specifics of the employment agreement between the employee and the employer as well as state legislation. Generally speaking, it may be possible to hold the employer accountable if the harm happens while the worker is “on the clock” or under the employer’s direction.
What Effects Do Workplace Accidents Have?
Accidents at work can cause many difficulties for staff members and business owners besides physical harm.
Productivity loss can result from workplace accidents. You might need to take time off work if you suffer an injury at work. Businesses without a full crew may see a loss in productivity.
Accidents at work may affect other employees and make them feel unsafe. Accidents at work can lead to low morale and a lack of enthusiasm.
A company’s negligence that causes an accident or physical harm can have significant financial and legal repercussions. There may be lawsuits and claims for workers’ compensation. Lawsuits can stifle business expansion and push a company into bankruptcy.
The greatest method for businesses to guarantee that accidents don’t happen is to prevent them and foster a culture of safety awareness.
What Are the Statistics on Workplace Accidents?
According to the most recent data on occupational accidents, there were around 1 million illnesses and injuries in the previous year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in each of these situations:
- 11% of lifts or drops involved overexertion.
- Accidents in the service industries were to blame for 64% of bone fractures.
- 62% of trips, falls, and slips occurred on the same level.
- A worker falling between two or more levels caused 20% of slips, trips, and falls.
- Workers being struck by equipment or objects while at work accounted for 15% of all nonfatal workplace injuries.
- Sprains, strains, and rips occurred in 35% of cases across all industries.
- Trips, slips, and falls brought on over 25% of all injuries across all industries.
What Are the Most Effective Ways to Prevent Accidents at Work?
A comprehensive safety strategy is the greatest way for both businesses and employees to prevent workplace accidents. Employers and employees can foster a culture of safety when proactive actions are taken. Your organization should implement the following pointers to improve workplace safety:
- Regular safety briefings and employee safety training can help raise awareness of safety.
- Install the right lighting to produce a well-lit, visible job site that enables staff to identify and avoid potential risks quickly.
- Signs that clearly identify dangerous regions and potential risks, such as obstructions, spills, toxic compounds, or other hazards, can be used to communicate safety threats.
- When spills occur, promptly contain them. Maintain cleaning supplies nearby at all times in the office.
- Check frequently for dangers like spills or barriers.
- Install adequate ventilation to stop workers from breathing in dangerous chemicals or other foreign objects
- Ensure that people are wearing appropriate safety gear, such as hard hats and slip-resistant shoes.
Is it Possible to File a Lawsuit Without First Pursuing Workers’ Compensation?
Simply because they are unaware of all their alternatives, many injured workers choose not to take legal action. Once they are informed that workers’ compensation is not an option, employees may continue to experience losses. However, there are other alternatives to workers’ compensation in terms of legal remedies.
Non-workers compensation claims include, for instance:
- Defective Products: If a defective product caused your workplace injury, you might be able to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer. A malfunctioning assembly machine is a typical illustration of this.
- Dangerous Exposure: If you were exposed to toxic substances at work, you might be able to sue the manufacturer of the substance in a toxic tort case. If your employer engaged in willful or outrageous behavior that contributed to your injury, you might be able to sue them for your losses.
- Lack of Insurance: You might be able to bring a private civil case against your employer if they neglect to carry workers’ compensation insurance. As an alternative, you might be eligible for repayment from state funding.
Are Workplace Injuries Subject to Legal Recourse?
Most legal remedies for workplace accidents entail a financial payment made by the employer to the plaintiff in the form of damages. This is meant to assist in covering the employee’s medical expenses as well as other expenses. Insurance may pay a portion of the awarded damages, but the employer may frequently be required to make “out-of-pocket” payments for additional expenses.
What Types of Damages Can be Recovered?
These non-workers’ compensation claims frequently provide injured parties with better chances of getting payments for their losses. This is because disability payouts are typically not very high in workers’ compensation claims. They might not pay all the costs and losses the damaged party must bear.
In contrast, the average scope of a successful non-workers compensation claim is as follows:
- Medical costs, including hospital bills, prescription drug costs, outpatient therapy costs, etc.
- Lost income and diminished earning potential as a result of the injury
- Any harm to personal belongings or property
Finally, the availability of punitive penalties is a significant distinction between workers’ compensation and a private case. Although they are not accessible in workers’ compensation cases, punitive damages are frequently a significant part of a civil action. Punitive damages can frequently result in a much greater damages judgment for the plaintiff and can assist deter the employer or other party from repeating the same offenses.
Do I Need an Attorney for Help Filing a Work Injury Claim?
Lawyers who specialize in workplace accidents help clients get paid for their injuries. It might be difficult to file a claim for a job injury, especially if several parties are involved. If you require assistance bringing a case for a job injury, you might choose to engage a reputable workers’ compensation attorney in your region.
You can get the legal counsel and direction you need from your lawyer to win your damage claim. Additionally, your attorney can appear on your behalf in court during the trial. To locate the best lawyer for your needs now, think about utilizing LegalMatch’s services.