What Types of Injuries and Illnesses are Covered under Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers most of work place injuries, but not all, on the job injuries. Learn more about types of injuries covered in work injury settlement.
Worker’s compensation coverage (workers’ comp) is designed to cover most work-related injuries and illnesses under a no-fault system. The program was written this way in order to effectively prevent civil lawsuits as a result of an occupational injury or disease.
However, just because it is broad and far-reaching doesn’t mean that there aren’t still many cases that fall into a gray area which could be decided either way.
One of the main requirements for an injury or an illness to be covered by workers’ comp is that the illness or injury is directly related to the job. It could be a very general injury that might occur in many different jobs, or it could be very specific to only one type of occupation. It could also be partially or completely disabling.
Workers’ Compensation injuries may arise from five main areas:
This covers any type of trauma while performing tasks for your job. This is the most common type of claim. Injuries could be moderate to severe; some causing short or long term disability which may affect your ability to return to work. It would include a worker injured by a tool or a machine, for instance – a worker having his hand caught in a conveyor belt. Workers involved in physical labor often injure themselves through overexertion, such as pulling a muscle or hyperextending a joint. Also included would be a slip-and-fall accident in the workplace. Injuries from vehicle accidents fall under this category as well. In a number of states, it has been decided that a worker injured while attending a mandatory after-work event would be covered under workers’ comp.
Repetitive Stress Injury
This type of injury is also called a Repetitive Strain Injury, RSI, or a Repetitive Motion Injury. It often exhibits in bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, chronic tendinopathy, or tendonitis. It occurs when a particular part of the body is stressed past its capability. The injury comes when a worker must perform that same task over and over again every day. The actual injury could be damage to tissue, swelling, muscle strain, or pain. Examples of this type of injury would be: a worker spending hours and hours typing (as with data entry), using a computer mouse, or a truck loader having to pick up heavy loads each day for his job.
Psychological or Mental Trauma
This type of problem could come from exposure to a shocking or traumatic event in the course of your job, such as a paramedic responding to the scene of a fire where children were severely burned. Another example would be if you witnessed a coworker fall to his death. You might not be able to mentally recover well enough to return to work for an indeterminate amount of time.
Occupational Specific Injury or Disease
Any injury or disease that is normally associated with one type of job would fall under this category, for example, a miner developing black lung disease or a person handling radioactive materials developing radiation burns. These may result in a long term disability, permanent disability or death.
Violence in the Workplace
Under this heading, samples include: assaults by a coworker, police officers injured during a call for service or a hospital employee hurt by a patient.
Report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible, and get your workers’ compensation application in so your claim can be assessed, approved, and get your medical bills covered.