Workers’ compensation law mandates insurance coverage for on-the-job injuries.
The process for filing a workers’ comp claim varies from state to state, but nearly always involves an employer, the injured employee, an insurance provider, and medical professionals.
All fifty states require employers (of a certain size) to provide workers’ comp coverage for their workers. There’s also a federal layer of workers’ compensation covering many government employees.
It is a no-fault system, designed to provide benefits to employees while protecting employers from lawsuits.
By sidestepping the court system and the need to prove fault, the entire process is considerably streamlined (when compared to other personal injury case types).
Workers’ comp benefits are typically limited to medical costs and partial compensation for lost income (generally 50 to 70 percent of pre-injury wages). Benefits normally don’t include compensation for pain and suffering. Serious injury cases may involve permanent or partial disability, resulting in a permanent stipend and/or a lump sum settlement.
Workers’ comp claims can include:
- Aggravation of pre-existing conditions
- Injuries sustained on company property or at a company-sponsored activity
- Injuries caused by company-owned assets, like mechanical equipment
More serious cases include diseases caused by exposure to hazards, such as benzene, asbestos or silica dust. While mesothelioma is one extreme example of this, a more common example is rashes brought on by exposure to cleaning chemicals or gasoline.
Workers’ compensation typically doesn’t cover injuries resulting from horseplay at work, or injuries sustained while drunk or in an impaired state. Likewise, only a few states provide coverage for employees injured while travelling to and from work, unless that transportation is provided by the employer.
The vast majority of workers’ compensation cases are streamlined, and only involve filing a claim with the workers’comp insurance carrier. But there are times when it’s necessary to hire an attorney due to coverage limits or denial of benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Case Types:
Issues with Work Injury Claims
Most employers have a clear process for filing on-the-job injury claims, although many employees may not be familiar with it. The pages below address some common problems and answer common questions. You can get a good overview of workers' comp insurance here.
Common Causes of Work Injuries
Dangerous work conditions and equipment can result in serious injuries to employees. Negligent and violent employees can also cause workplace injuries. Here we discuss some common causes of on-the-job injuries and what to do about them...
Unfortunately, many employees run into problems filing their workers' comp claims, or have difficulty dealing with their employers. This section addresses suing your employer, your rights when returning to work, and if you can be fired after suffering a work-related injury.
Common Types of Work Injuries
There are some common workplace injuries that all employers and employees should look out for. Find out what they are, how to avoid them, what treatment is best, and how to file a claim for compensation.
How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
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Visitor Questions on Work Injuries
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My husband’s wrist was cut by a machine while doing maintenance on said machine. It was cut all the way to the artery, through nerves and tendons. He had to have immediate surgery to repair the artery, and spent one night in the hospital. He now has numbness from his pinky finger along side of... Read More.
As a part-time high school volleyball coach on contract with the school, I suffered a complete tear of my Achilles tendons while preparing my team for a game. This was just moments before the start of a game. The school is paying for my medical expenses, surgery, etc., but not for my lost wages from... Read More.
I am a floor installer and I work for a company that is reluctant to cover me with workers’ compensation. I have no prior injuries but one day my knee started to hurt, so I had it checked out with a doctor on my own insurance. My doctor says I am going to need to... Read More.
I began working as a busser for a fine dining chain back in February of 1991. Eventually I was promoted to food runner and then waiter. I was with this company for 7 years the first time. Then, after a 7 year hiatus I came back as a manager. During my entire tenure I carried... Read More.
I was at work, taking a lot of files down some stairs on a hand truck, when I was pulled/thrown down the stairs. I landed on the left side of my forehead and cheek first, causing two large hematomas, then struck my right knee, bursting the bursa, I broke bones in my left hand, hurt... Read More.
I work in a very busy call center, which consists of constant and very fast keyboarding. About 2 years into my job my right hand had a great deal of pain and trouble holding things, and now pain when using my hand, which is constant. I am right handed. I had a cortisone injection which... Read More.
My friend has been on workman’s comp since 2002 when she had injured herself at work in NY. The workman’s comp case was finished and I guess they settled for a monthly payment plus anything she needed medically to help her get back on her feet. After that, she and her husband moved to Florida... Read More.
I started having pain in both of my wrists that would radiate up to my shoulders. The workers’ comp doctor diagnosed me with bilateral carpal tunnel. I went through therapy for several months, and while the symptoms weakened they never went away. In January 2014, I ended up quitting my job because of the pain... Read More.
I was injured in a car accident at work. I’ve been out of work for 6 months and just had my first pain management treatment. I have been denied to go back for treatment for several weeks and I received a letter to report to an “independent medical examination.” What is this? Is this going... Read More.
I had a tear in my ulnar collateral ligament of my right thumb. I was told that it was not broken for three months before I was allowed to go in for an MRI, which showed the ligament tear. Since I had to wait so long, the doctor told me that I needed to have... Read More.
I was working for Club Med Hotels in Ixtapa, Mexico and was bit by a brown recluse spider. Initially I thought it was a bee because I didn’t feel anything. Eventually after excruciating pain and nausea I told the nurse I had to go to the hospital. Living in a small town, we had to... Read More.
I have been employed at my current job for almost 14 years. I injured my back at work about 2.5 years ago. I told my boss and they did nothing. I don’t know what rights I have. After the first injury, I went to my doctor and he did some X-rays and said it looked... Read More.
We deliver meat and poultry to restaurants. Our delivery driver slipped on a restaurant’s slippery kitchen floor and hurt his back. Who is responsible for the medical part of the injury in this situation? Is the restaurant’s business liability insurance liable, or is the driver’s only recourse filing a workers’ comp claim? Thanks for any... Read More.
I fell off a ladder at a school that my company asked me to go too. I was putting in wires in the ceiling. The ladder I was on slid and I fell and got a compound fracture in my wrist. I told my boss and he said he’d get the number for workers’ comp.... Read More.
I was injured at work in Sept. 2010. I went out on disability off and on through May 2011, when I could no longer perform my job. The insurance company offered two settlement options after I had a qualified medical evaluation (QME) in early 2012. My husband had died unexpectedly from cancer during this time,... Read More.
I filed a claim for bilateral elbow tendonitis when I was working for this one group within a big company. The job in that group was going to be eliminated soon, but my reporting made it happen quicker and I was transferred to the most undesirable place within the company. At first my new Supervisor... Read More.
I was injured on the job. My employer says that workers compensation will not cover my injuries as I was not performing duties within the scope of my job when the injury happened. Isn’t an employer required to file the claim for workers comp regardless, and the adjuster makes this determination? What can I do... Read More.
I work in the dish washing room at a restaurant. One day I spent over ten minutes with a pan that took forever to scrub off. I remember feeling sharp and aching pain that day. I was in pain for a couple of days after that. I was in a waitress position for about a... Read More.
Recently, I was injured on the job and my employer hired an attorney right away to fight my claim. The attorney told me I had to sign a Medical Release form and I did. I thought he (the lawyer) would be going to my doctor for the medical records. Instead, he went to an attorney... Read More.
I received an injury 22 years ago when a valve blew up in my face. I had injuries to my face and head with scarring. I’ve also had behavior problems ever since the accident that I now believe can be traced to that event. It was an on-the-job injury. At the time I filed a... Read More.
I have been a cook in an elementary school for 27 years. I am now 53 years old and have pain from years of doing the job. I have been sent by workman’s comp to several doctors who all seem to agree it is wear and tear from years of lifting and repetitious work. I... Read More.
I live and work in Kentucky and I injured my ankle during my civilian job approximately 10 years ago. I received a Workmans Comp claim from that injury but I also had it included that any future medical treatment would be covered. Ten years and three surgeries later I have had no problems with Workmans... Read More.
I work at a school in WI. I am an ESP (Education Support Professional) and I work with a special ed student. My student was in the playground on the monkey bars. She was playing and was going to fall from a high bar. I went to help her so she didn’t hit her head... Read More.
I work in South Carolina at a distribution center. I was filling an order and had to slide a rather heavy box forward on the shelf that was holding it. While sliding the box, my hand slipped off the box and my wrist struck the front of the shelf causing a sprain in my wrist.... Read More.
I reported (documented by company) a fall in Sept. 2010 where I hurt my wrist, but did not request treatment because I thought I was OK. In May of 2011 I was laid off, but 5 months prior to that I started to have pain in my left wrist and started to wear a brace... Read More.
The bottom two screws in my neck are broken and they did surgery to correct it. In the surgery they did something to my right vocal cord and it is not working. I now have half the voice I previously had, and I am a chaplain so to preach is terrible. I filed an injury... Read More.
I was injured twice at work. In the first incident, I opened a door from a trailer on a dock. When I opened it, I noticed a load lock set straight up and down instead of side to side like it was supposed to be, and it was in the center of the trailer. I... Read More.
I was injured on the job. I reported it to my employer. They have been paying all of the medical expenses and for my medications, but I have not received a check since the injury. My attorney said the settlement will be higher if I don’t get a check but I need a check to... Read More.
While working at a restaurant in Orlando, I was emptying a glass of ice in the “dishes” area and the glass broke and a piece fell on my thumb. It was heavy enough to cut pretty deep, about a 1 inch gash between the two knuckles of my thumb. Is the restaurant responsible for paying... Read More.
I’ve been injured since January 2010 and workman’s comp namely took their time to approve my Epidural Steroid Injection (18 months after my injury). Now that I received the injection I’m in even more excruciating pain then before. My doctor can’t see me until tomorrow morning and I’m not sure I can handle another night... Read More.
I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis that was caused by excessive walking and standing on my job. The insurance company denied my claim stating that there is no relationship between the work and my injury. My question is, could plantar fasciitis be a work related injury? What can I do about getting compensation or assistance... Read More.
I’ve driven a school bus for 25 years and have been working at my present company for 5 years. I drive about 9 hours a day, sitting in the same seat 6 or 7 hours at a time. With poor seating in my bus and non stop potholes, I now have 5 herniated disks and... Read More.
I work for a labor company in Massachusetts that recycles refrigerators. My occupation is to cut out the compressors. One evening I had just finished cutting a compressor out of a refrigerator and was trying to get the copper off the fridge. When I moved the fridge with my leg a little the compressor’s jagged... Read More.
I was seen by a Doctor regarding my injury which occurred at work. My doctor has stated that this was a work related injury on my foot. I had surgery on my left foot and also have the same symptoms on my right foot. I have already started a workmans comp lawsuit against my former... Read More.
I had a workmans comp injury and hurt both of my wrists back in September of 2006 at my former place of employment. Almost 6 years down the road I’m still having issues with the “Corrected by Surgery” injuries. I contacted Workers Comp about the issue and was advised to seek a specialist’s advice on... Read More.
I received a settlement offer for a work related injury and signed the release on May 10, 2010. The amount is only a little over $6,000 so why is this taking so long? The insurance company offered the amount and we accepted. It is now June 08, 2010. When should I expect to receive payment?... Read More.
I was on a temporary work assignment and suffered a heat stroke. I was taken to the emergency room by an ambulance and treated. My question is, since this happened at work, is the company responsible for the cost of the ambulance and hospital charges? Read More.