Essentials of Work Injury Claims and Workers' Compensation Law...



workers compensation pic

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.

work injury claim form
Complaints, Denials, and Appeals
Work Injuries and Third Party Lawsuits
Workers' Compensation Doctors
Pre-existing Conditions
Permanent Disability
Off-the-Clock Work Accidents
Federal Workers' Compensation


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...

fall at work
Car Accidents at Work
Slip and Falls
Forklift Accidents
Assaults and Workplace Violence
Victims of Crime at Work
Injured by Negligent Coworker
Lifting Injuries at Work
Unsafe Work Conditions and OSHA Violations
Dangerous Work Equipment


Administrative Problems

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.

arm in sling
Claims Against Employers' Liability Insurance
Workers Comp Claim Forms
Suing an Employer
Returning to Work After an Injury
Getting Fired After an 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.

back strain
Back, Neck and Shoulder Injuries
Leg, Knee and Ankle Injuries
Amputated Fingers & Loss of Other Body Parts
Concussions and Other Head Injuries
Burned at Work
Carpal Tunnel Disability
Eye Injuries at Work

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Previous Workers Compensation Questions...

Compensation for lost income from primary job if injured at part-time job? 
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 …

Will my knee surgery be covered? 
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Carrying trays led to neck injury? 
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Multiple injuries from being pulled down stairs by a hand truck...  
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 …

Osteoarthritis from keyboarding... 
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Switching workmans' comp coverage from New York to Florida? 
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 …

Can I get coverage for worsening injuries after quitting my previous job? 
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 …

What's an "Independent Medical Examination"? 
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Do I have to file a second claim if I have complications from a ligament graft? 
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 …

Injured working outside the USA? 
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. …

No help for back injury? 
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 …

Who's responsible if a delivery driver is injured in a restaurant? 
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 …

Can I sue my employer for not having workers' comp? 
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 …

Insurance co not returning my calls? 
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 …

Claim for elbow tendonitis and a hostile work environment? 
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 …

Employer refuses to file my claim... 
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 …

Arm pain from restaurant work? 
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 …

Using old, incorrect medical information in a current case? 
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 …

Behavior problems related to on-the-job head injury? 
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 …

Benefits for wear and tear on shoulders after 27 years on the job? 
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 …

How does civilian workers comp affect military disability? 
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 …

Shoulder Injury Working with a Special Education Student... 
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 …

Initial doctor visit off the clock? 
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. …

Delayed surgery from wrist injury... 
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 …

Surgery for neck screws damages vocal cords... 
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 …

Will Workers Comp Cover My Bills If I Quit My Job?  
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 …

Why am I not receiving a check? 
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 …

Compensation for Scarred Finger? 
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Pain from Epidural Steroid Injection... 
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 …

Is Plantar Faschiitis a Work Related Injury?  
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 …

What is a "Notice of Decision" in a Workers Comp Case? 
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Workers Comp Insurance Coverage Question... 
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 …

Receiving Benefits Years After Workmans Comp Injury... 
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Workmans Comp Lawsuit Involving Plantar Fasciitis... 
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 …

When should I expect to receive my settlement check? 
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 …

Workmans Comp Question... 
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 …

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