Generally speaking, workers’ compensation covers any injury or illness that is sustained as a result of your job. This may include existing conditions that are made worse by your work activities, although your employer is only responsible for compensating you for the extent of your injury caused by your work. The following is a more detailed explanation of work-related conditions that work comp can cover.
An acute injury is one that occurs suddenly. Harm from an acute injury is usually apparent right away. For example, you might get hit by a moving object, which could cause bleeding and bruising, or you could get a part of your body stuck between two moving objects or in a piece of equipment. The crush injury would likely cause a deformity of the affected body part. Another example of an acute injury is a slip and fall, which often causes immediate pain. You can usually recover compensation for acute injuries fairly easily because the cause-and-effect relationship between the trauma and the harm you come to is usually easy to identify.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
When your job requires you to perform the same tasks over and over again, it can put stress on the affected areas of your body, often the hands, feet, legs, or arms. Over time, repetitive stress can do damage to the tissues of your body, and you may suffer pain and dysfunction as a result. Repetitive motion injuries are compensable under workers’ compensation just as acute injuries are. However, they may be more susceptible to an initial denial of your claim because it can be harder to prove that the injury resulted from your work rather than another cause.
Sometimes exposure to a certain material at work can cause you to get sick. For example, if you work in a place that handles nuclear materials, you could be exposed to radiation. Exposure to toxic chemicals could also cause illness.
Another common form of workplace illness occurs when you inhale small particles on an ongoing basis over a long period of time. For example, coal miners can get sick by breathing in coal dust that builds up in the lungs. Though not toxic in itself, powdered butter topping used to flavor movie popcorn can also cause illness when the particles build up in the lungs of people who work in cinemas.
If you have questions about whether your injury or illness is eligible for workers’ compensation, contact experienced workers compensation attorneys, like from Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. You may have misconceptions about what qualifies and be able to recover more than you expect.