What is a work injury?
A work injury, or industrial accident, is any injury that occurs while an employee is performing the duties associated with their job. Injuries cover a broad spectrum of harm that requires the injured worker to need medical treatment and may cause the worker to miss time from work and suffer a loss of income.
Work injuries can come in many forms. A number of injuries are the result of a sudden accident, like falling off of a scaffold or having a heavy object fall on you head.
An injury may develop over a period of time, like a repetitive motion trauma. Data entry clerks develop carpal tunnel syndrome from constant and prolonged wrist and hand activity. A machinist may press a lever hundreds of times a day causing elbow injuries of shoulder separation.
Environmental exposure to caustic substances such as chemicals and mold have been known to cause skin, eye and respiratory injuries due to the ingestion, absorption or inhalation of those substances.
Injuries or illnesses are typically covered only when they “arise out of and in the course of employment.” There needs to be a connection between the accident that caused the injury/illness and the scope of your employment duties. Examples of compensable injuries are those caused by lifting heavy equipment, slipping on a wet or oily surface, defective machinery, or fires or explosions. Many state workers’ compensation programs preclude coverage for injuries which occur while you are not acting within the scope of your employment – such as while you are playing football with friends on your day off. But closer examination of the situation should be made – if you were injured while playing football at a company sponsored picnic, there may be coverage.
Illnesses which “arise out of and in the course of employment” can be covered under the workers’ compensation system where the working conditions present unusual or extraordinary risks of contracting an illness – such as coal miners being able to recover for black lung disease. Careful inquiry into the hazards arising out of the scope of your employment can determine whether the illness is one that is common to everyday life as opposed to risks of illness that are present in your particular employment situation.
Do you have questions concerning whether your injury is a work injury and if you are entitled to compensation? Contact the law office of attorney Dan Newlin at (407) 888-8000 for a free evaluation of your case. Employers often deny claims that are based upon legitimate and valid injuries. Don’t trust your employer to tell you if you have a claim, consult an experienced and qualified attorney. In a free phone call, Dan can tell you if you may have a claim and put you on the path of maximizing the value of your case. Call now, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.