In the United States, there are around three million work related illnesses and injuries reported every year, with over half of them requiring time off work. Some of them lead to ongoing restrictions and others require a complete change of job. Still others end up with the injured person becoming temporarily or permanently disabled.
Following are some of the most common work related injuries and advice on pursuing a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina.
The most common workplace injury, according to the Department of Labor, is overexertion. This is especially relevant in jobs that involve factory work, assembly lines, and construction. These jobs frequently require workers to fully invest their bodies into tasks like pulling, lifting, pushing, throwing, or swinging objects that are heavy. This can easily lead to strains, sprains, and overworked muscles, tendons, and joints.
Also referred to as slip-and-fall injuries, slipping and tripping injuries occur when a worker encounters a wet, icy, uneven, or cluttered surface while walking or climbing stairs. These injuries usually involve avoidable and preventable hazards, such as spills that are not cleaned up, recently mopped floors without warnings posted, damaged and unrepaired floors and steps, and disorganized work spaces.
Many are embarrassed when they fall down, and many will blame their own clumsiness and fail to report the injury. This is a big mistake, because you could end up with injuries that become more severe over time and have to shoulder the expense yourself. This is the second most common form of workplace injury, and among the most preventable.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries are extremely common among those who must perform the same tasks, repeatedly. There are a wide range of repetitive motion injuries that can occur from using a machine, a mouse/keyboard, or having to twist and/or bend repeatedly to perform job functions. Common examples include tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Auto Accident Injuries
While auto accident injuries are not the most common of workplace injuries in general, they are the most common cause of workplace injuries among those who drive for a living or whose jobs involve a significant amount of driving. This includes delivery drivers, furniture movers, commercial truck drivers, police officers and public transportation workers. Even those who simply have to travel between locations on a regular basis are at risk for work related auto accident injuries. When such injuries occur, there may be some complexities and confusion regarding the place of auto insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
Object Impact Injuries
Many workplace injuries occur due to heavy or fast moving objects impacting the worker. This could be an object dropped from a higher level or a stack of objects, such as boxes, falling over. In some cases, the worker might be reaching for an object on a high shelf, only to have that object fall on them. This can lead to fractured bones, head injuries, and more.
Falling From Heights Injuries
Any employee who works in high places is at risk of a fall from height injury, or fall to a lower level injury. Common examples include construction workers on a roof or scaffolding and people who use ladders at work. It is also common for people in various work environments to sustain such injuries by falling down the stairs of a multi-level work building.
Heavy Machinery Accident Injuries
Anyone who works with heavy machinery is at risk of sustaining a serious heavy machinery accident injury. This can involve faulty or poorly maintained machinery, inadequate safety procedures, a lack of training, or exhaustion and inattention on the part of the worker.
Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim
The best thing that you can do for yourself if you’ve been injured on the job is to seek the advice and guidance of a workers’ compensation attorney. There are many mistakes that can be made in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, and an experienced Columbia work injury lawyer can help you to avoid these mistakes and get the full amount of compensation that you deserve. In some cases, there may even be a third party (not your employer) who is responsible for the injury, and you may have a personal injury claim against that party.
Meanwhile, there are very strict guidelines and deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, that you need to adhere to in order to avoid losing your right to compensation. The attorneys at the Connell Law Firm are here to help. Call us today for a free consultation and advice for your workers’ compensation claim. Meanwhile, take heed of the following important tips:
- Seek medical treatment right away.
- Report your injury to your supervisor.
- Contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
- File an incident report.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
If you follow this advice, you should have no trouble obtaining the compensation and benefits that you will need as you recover from your injuries.