Common Workplace Injuries
The good news is, the number of workplace deaths and injuries has declined drastically over the last few decades. According to a recent report, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates there has been a decrease of about 65 percent in work related fatalities, and a 67 percent decrease in work related injuries. While this is an improvement, the fact that workplace related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities is statistically lower does little to comfort someone who has been impacted by one of these incidents. So then, how are Americans getting injured on the job, and if it happens to you or someone you love, what can you do about it?
The most common workplace injuries in the United States
The number one cause of work-related injuries is overexertion. Thus the most common injuries sustained by individuals at work are the result of pulling, pushing, lifting throwing, carrying or holding things. Other exertions, such as bending and crawling, climbing, reaching or kneeling, ranks in at the fifth leading cause of non-fatal workplace injuries. According to recent statistics, falls "on the same level" are the second leading cause, while falls to a lower level are the fourth most common cause of workplace injuries. Roadway incidents, slips and trips, being caught in or compressed by equipment, repetitive motions, and being struck by objects all account for many injuries at the workplace as well.
Aside from highway collisions, the most common causes of the private sector's workplace fatalities include falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and being "caught in between" objects. This list is referred to by OSHA as the "Fatal Four" and the bulk of these accidents occur in the construction industry.
What happens when a person is injured at work?
When an injury occurs in the work place, it usually is handled by workers' compensation. Workers' compensation insurance programs are state regulated, and they serve the purpose of providing compensation to individuals who suffer workplace injuries. Most employers are required to hold workers' compensation insurance, though some very small businesses might be exempt, and certain industries are not included.
Workers' compensation benefits employees because it is not a fault based system, meaning that employees do not have to prove anyone was negligent in causing the injury, and can collect even if they were careless and caused their own injury. The employer benefits by being protected from lawsuits filed by employees for injuries, and because workers' compensation benefits are typically lower than what would be paid out in a claim. Workers' compensate benefits include medical care, and cover a certain percent of the employee's missed wages, but they do not include things like pain and suffering that are often collected by plaintiffs in lawsuits.
In order to collect workers' compensation, an employee typically has to file a claim, and report their injury to their employer. While the employee does not have to show fault, they might be required to see a doctor, or they might have their claim questioned if the insurer believes that the injury is not work-related, or not as severe as the employee claims it is. When claims are denied, the employee typically has the right to appeal the decision.
If I was injured at work, do I need an attorney?
If you suffered from a workplace injury, you should consult with an attorney to have your claim evaluated. While some workers' compensation claims go smoothly without the insurer or employer arguing that they are not responsible for paying benefits out, sometimes insurers offer lower settlements or challenge claims. In cases where a claim needs to be appealed, the assistance of an attorney can greatly impact the outcome, and help to better prepare the injured person for the hearing so that there is a better chance of a successful claim.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!
Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 35 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.
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