Severe Workplace Injuries May Qualify for Compensation
Every day, Philadelphia residents go to work in good faith in order to contribute to society and support themselves and their families. Employees have a reasonable expectation of workplace safety. Employers must take reasonable precautions to protect employees from unreasonable risks or injuries on the job.
A workplace injury can take place in any kind of working environment. Workers’ compensation laws should cover those injured on the job, as well as the families of those killed — but in practice, some employers will do anything to avoid paying because it will raise their insurance costs.
A Philadelphia work injury lawyer can represent you if you have been injured at work or while performing your job duties. They can assist you in receiving compensation benefits or determine whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit.
The Most Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
According to research, a worker in the United States is injured on their job every seven seconds. In addition, work-related injuries cost millions of dollars in lost production every year. The following are the most common injuries:
- Overexertion as a result of repetitive motion, such as bending and lifting heavy objects. Injuries caused by overexertion account for 33.54 percent of all injuries that occur in the workplace.
- Involvement with objects and equipment. This category, which accounts for approximately 26 percent of injuries, includes workers who have been struck by an object or equipment, workers who have been caught in or compressed by objects or equipment, or workers who have been struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material.
- Roadway accidents involving a motor vehicle pose a particular risk to workers in the transportation and shipping industries and construction workers in work zones or on their way to and from the job site.
- Slip and fall accidents are also extremely common. This category of accident, which accounts for 25.8 percent of workplace accidents, includes injuries caused by falling to a lower level and injuries caused by falling on the same level.
According to several recent studies, falls account for approximately 5 percent of job-related fatalities for women and approximately 11 percent of job fatalities for men. While slips and falls are not the leading cause of occupational fatalities, they cause missed work days and workers’ compensation claims.
In some industries, the risk of a specific injury is simply increased by the nature of an employee’s work. For example, in the construction industry, the most common cause of injury is a fall to a lower level.
Overexertion and repetitive motion injuries are more common in the manufacturing and health care industries. Overexertion or falls on the same level are more likely to cause injuries in the retail sector.
The following are some of the most common workplace injuries in the United States:
- Muscle strains and sprains caused by heavy lifting or slipping, tripping and falling.
- Broken bones can occur due to a fall, being struck by an object, or being involved in car accidents.
- Concussions caused by falling, being hit by an object, or being in a crash.
- Injuries caused by forceful, repetitive activity or poor posture are examples of repetitive strain injuries.
- Cuts and lacerations from power equipment, transportation accidents, a lack of training, and a failure to use personal protective equipment when engaging in activities that result in this type of injury are all causes of this type of injury.
- Inhaling toxic fumes, which is frequent in the manufacturing industry and other sectors, is usually caused by a failure to use proper personal protective equipment such as goggles and face masks while working with chemicals.
- Hearing loss which is generally caused by occupational exposure to loud noises. This is a common injury among those working in the manufacturing industry.
- Contact with hot surfaces or electrical lines can result in burn injuries. Electrical line contact is a relatively common source of workplace injury for construction workers as well as those who install, maintain, and repair utility lines.
- Brain injury can also occur when a person falls from an elevated height, or some heavy object falls on the head. Traumatic brain injury can lead to lifelong disability or death.
Regardless of the type of injury, if you have been injured at the workplace due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you should discuss the accident details with a reputable Philadelphia work injury lawyer. They can assess your cases, explain your options, and zealously advocate for the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Can a Workplace Injury Lead to a Lawsuit?
While the state’s workers’ compensation program generally prohibits employees from suing their employers for a work-related injury or illness, employees may still be able to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if:
- The employer failed to provide its employees with workers’ compensation insurance, as required by law.
- The employer intentionally harms an employee.
- A third-party (somebody other than an employer or coworker) caused the injury, such as when a construction worker is injured on a job site due to the reckless actions of another worker, or when an employee is injured on the job due to a manufacturing defect in a piece of equipment used by the employee.
The job of an experienced Philadelphia work injury lawyer includes carefully reviewing a client’s case to determine whether, in addition to any available workers’ compensation insurance benefits, the client has a legal right to seek compensation for damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
Following any workplace accidents, most Philadelphia employees who get injured should be able to seek compensation for medical expenses and partial replacement of wages through their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. This is not an easy process, however, and some employers purposefully make it more difficult. Do not go through this process by yourself.
In most cases, workers’ compensation insurance precludes injured employees from suing their employer. On the other hand, workers have the right to sue a third party, such as a contractor, an equipment manufacturer, or an unsafe driver if their actions contributed to your damages.
An employee may also sue the employer if workers’ compensation appeals are denied or if the company fails to carry any insurance at all. A lawsuit enables injured workers and their families to receive more comprehensive compensation than what workers’ compensation provides.
Seek Legal Counsel If You Have Been Injured at Work in Philadelphia
An attorney can evaluate your injuries and other damages caused by the accident. They can gather all the relevant records including medical documents and other evidence to prove that your poor health condition or ailment is the result of an accident at the workplace.
The legal process will be much easier to navigate with an experienced legal professional. Contact a reputable Philadelphia personal injury attorney today to ensure you receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to and to discuss whether you have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.