Common Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Depending on the type of work you do, there are many kinds of on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses you may face. Be it a fall at work, a construction site accident, an injury from machinery or overexertion, the end result can alter your life and your family’s financial future dramatically.
At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, our team has extensive experience handling a broad range of workers’ compensation injury cases. For more than a decade, we have helped injured and ill workers navigate the complicated California workers’ compensation system and pursue the benefits they need to move forward with their lives.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with Kenton Koszdin and his dedicated legal team. We will review your claim at no obligation to you and advise you on all your options for recovering benefits.
Common Workplace Injury Cases Our Law Firm Handles
Although each client we work with is coping with a different set of circumstances ─ different types of work, different employers, different financial responsibilities ─ there are common types of on-the-job injuries that we often see. For example, our law firm has a long track record of helping workers who have suffered:
Back Injuries: A variety of back injuries can result from repetitive motion, heavy lifting, sudden awkward movement, trauma, or a combination of these. The results can include compression fractures (including outright breaks) and/or sprained or strained muscles, tendons, or ligaments. These can yield slight to extreme pain and partial or even full debilitation. Bulging or ruptured discs can be a result of repetitive motion and heavy lifting. Here, as usual, severity dictates effect, from slight pain to debilitating.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: The worst spinal cord injuries fall into one of two categories, incomplete and complete, a reference to partial or full severing of the spinal cord. These injuries can be acute (sudden) or result from overuse such as repetitive lifting or awkward movements in the workplace. Spinal cord injuries can cause partial or full paralysis.
- Knee Injuries: The most common knee injuries are fractures; ligament, tendon, or cartilage damage; and bursitis, a potentially painful condition resulting from overuse or repeated pressure.
- Neck Injuries: These injuries range from muscle strains and sprains to fractures and dislocations. They typically can be classified as injuries affecting soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia) or those affecting nerves and/or the spinal cord. Results of neck injuries can range from slight discomfort (a crick in your neck) to paralysis and death. Whiplash is a well-known label for a neck sprain or strain.
- Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries: Beyond lacerations and facial fractures, these typically are injuries involving trauma. The injuries can include a hematoma (clotting outside blood vessels); uncontrolled bleeding or hemorrhage; concussion (a brain injury resulting from the brain bouncing around in the skull because of a blow); edema, or swelling; and skull fracture. They can be focal (limited to one area) or diffuse (more widespread). The result can range from minor damage, even undetected, to severe brain damage and even death.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) can be temporary or permanent damage to nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons caused by repetitive motion over time. One of the more common types is carpal tunnel syndrome, where a nerve is compressed by inflamed tendons and ligaments. Think computer keyboards and assembly lines. Bursitis is another common RSI linked to the workplace. It usually is caused by continual friction on bursae, a thin layer of membrane that serves as a shock absorber between bone and soft tissue. That same friction can produce tendinitis, potentially painful swelling of a tendon or tendons, typically around joints.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This psychological condition is a byproduct of experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the incident. PTSD can severely affect functioning but can be controlled with proper treatment.
- Occupational Illnesses: These often are tied to inhaling, ingesting, or handling toxic chemicals, gases, or substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of occupational illnesses includes allergic and irritant dermatitis (skin conditions caused by allergies or damaging substances), asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases caused by exposure to workplace substances such as dust, latex, asbestos, gases, and chemicals; fertility and pregnancy abnormalities caused by exposure to toxic substances; and infectious diseases suffered from exposure such as that experienced by health care workers.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
In the United States, a worker is injured every seven seconds, according to the National Safety Council. And although any worker in any type of workplace can suffer an injury on the job, there are some common causes of injuries:
- Dangers at Construction Sites: Workers at construction sites are often expected to perform dangerous tasks as part of the job. Working with heavy equipment, at serious heights, or with electrical systems can put a worker at risk of catastrophic injuries. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration warns that 10 percent of construction workers are injured each year, with falls being the primary cause. Workers also face serious injuries from electrical hazards, being struck by objects, and being caught in or between hazards.
- Falls at Work: This is the third-leading cause of workplace injuries that result in lost workdays, accounting for 25 percent of lost workdays on an average year. Falls can occur due to unexpected slips or trips over hazards such as torn carpets, wet floors, stairways, or objects left on the ground in walkways.
- Auto Accidents on the Job: People who drive as part of their jobs may suffer serious crash injuries while they’re on the clock, including whiplash, concussions, internal organ damage, and broken bones. When a person is hurt in a car crash while performing job duties, he or she can claim workers’ compensation benefits.
- Accidents Involving Machinery: Many workplace injuries stem from coming into contact with moving machine parts, energized electrical parts, burners, or falling machine parts. Workers run a serious risk of injury when they are unjamming objects from equipment, cleaning equipment, repairing equipment, maintaining equipment, and installing equipment.
- Workplace Assaults: OSHA warns that every year nearly 2 million people report having been victims of workplace violence. In fact, it says homicide is the No. 4 cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.
- Overexertion Injuries: This seemingly mild form of injury actually is ranked No. 1 by the National Safety Council among causes of workplace injuries. The council blames “lifting or lowering” and “repetitive motions” for 35 percent of workplace injuries.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a workplace accident, you need to learn about your rights to workers’ compensation. These benefits may afford you access to medical care, temporary disability payments, permanent disability payments, vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement, and payments to your family if your injury or illness proves fatal.
Schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer today to discuss how we can help.
Hurt at Work? Kenton Koszdin Law Office Can Help
For more than a decade, Kenton Koszdin has been helping injured and disabled people pursue the compensation they need and deserve to live as normally as possible after a workplace accident. In fact, it was his personal experience with disability and serious injury that inspired him to enter the legal profession.
Koszdin and his legal team have a deep understanding of California law and will help you fight for the workers’ compensation benefits you need. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation, including a free in-home consultation if necessary.