Work-related injuries: six things you need to know

By Goodwin Como, P.C.

Accidents happen frequently in the workplace. Just last month, an employee was pinned between two vehicles in a car wash in White Oak and suffered injuries.

Would you know what to do if you were injured on the job? Here are six things you need to know.

There are many types of work-related injuries

You don’t need to be involved in a drastic accident to suffer a work injury. Work injuries can be much more subtle, not always easy to spot, and may come to light long after you’ve left your job.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, which is usually caused by the repetitive nature of typing and develops over time, is considered a work-related injury.

Worldwide, 3-6% of all cancers are caused by long-term exposure to hazardous materials and chemicals in the workplace, according to the Center for Disease Control. Many times a cancer diagnosis isn’t made until years in the future.

Many employers carry workers’ compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance covers work-related injuries. Be aware that not every state requires employers to carry it, and small companies with fewer employees may also not be required to carry it.

Workers’ compensation insurance offers a number of benefits

If you’ve been injured in the workplace, you may have medical bills and need to take time off from work to fully recover. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover:

  • The cost of your medical care
  • A percentage of your wages that are lost
  • Job training if you can’t return to your previous job
  • Burial costs in the case of death

Again, these benefits will vary by state.

Report a work-related injury right away

Each state has different workers’ compensation laws, and the length of time you have to report an injury varies, but is typically fairly short. In Pennsylvania, you must report a work-related injury to your employer within 21 days.

As you can see, you need to take action right away.

Don’t worry about retaliation

You might be worried about reporting a work-related injury. Your employer could become angry and attempt to retaliate against you, maybe by demoting you or even firing you.

Retaliation against an employee for making a workers’ compensation claim may allow you to bring a legal action against your employer, so don’t let that keep you from getting the compensation you deserve.

You may be able to file a personal injury claim as well

If you get hit by a motorist while you are delivering pizzas, the motorist is considered a third party. You may be able to file both a workers’ compensation claim with your employer and a personal injury claim with the motorist’s insurance company.

Work-related injuries can range from an annoying physical ailment to a life-threatening accidents or diseases. No matter the severity, if you experience a work-related injury, report it right away in order to get the benefits you deserve.