When an employee suffers on-the-job injuries or an occupational illness, workers’ compensation law generally provides benefits for their medical care and a portion of their lost wages while they recover. These laws provide compensation for a wide range of injuries and conditions with only a few exclusions. If you were hurt at work or while doing your job, your injury likely qualifies.
If you have questions or concerns about your claim, a Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer can help. Most provide free case assessments. They can help you understand your rights and options.
10 Types of Covered On-the-Job Injuries and Work-Related Conditions
Almost any type of injury that occurs because of your work could merit workers’ compensation benefits. Most states require it. In California, any employer with one or more workers must provide coverage with few exceptions.
Workers’ compensation insurance is no-fault coverage. You can file a claim based on your workplace injuries regardless of fault or negligence in the incident. Even if you caused your own injuries, you will likely receive coverage as long as you were not violating company policy, on drugs, drinking, or committing a serious crime.
Ten types of covered injuries and conditions include:
Lacerations, Contusions, and Abrasions
Cuts, scrapes, and bruises are the most common workplace injuries. In many cases, they do not even require medical attention. However, they are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage when they do. If you need to go to an emergency department or urgent care for a diagnosis and treatment, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy should pay for your care.
Fractures and Joint Injuries
Hazards at work can cause broken bones and joint injuries. When this occurs, you should report the incident to your supervisor and see a doctor as soon as possible. In some cases, ambulance transportation may be necessary. Workers’ compensation should cover these costs and provide wage-loss benefits for the time you miss at work.
In some industries, burns are a fairly common workplace injury. Burns have a high risk of infection and require medical assessments, even if they appear small or minor. Serious burns are a major medical emergency and could lead to lasting disabilities.
Falls are one of the most common ways workers are hurt on the job. While some workplaces, such as construction sites, increase the risk of serious fall injuries, they can happen anywhere. Stray cords, torn carpets, or simple missteps cause office workers to fall. Falls from an elevated height often lead to some of the most serious workplace injuries, including death. This occurs most commonly with ladders and scaffolding.
Traffic Accident Injuries
Some jobs require workers to navigate traffic behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer truck, delivery van, or corporate car. This greatly increases their risk of injury in a traffic accident.
It is important to understand that commuting to and from work does not usually count as a workplace injury for workers’ compensation purposes. However, crash injuries suffered during the workday often do.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Many workers perform the same tasks repeatedly as a part of their job. This can cause overuse injuries, known as repetitive motion injuries. One common example is carpal tunnel syndrome for those who type or use computers for long hours.
Chronic Use Injuries
Some overuse injuries do not occur because of repetitive motions. Instead, chronic exposure causes the damage. Hearing loss is a common example. Hearing loss and tinnitus may occur when the work environment is loud or repeatedly exposes workers to high-decibel noises.
Not all states compensate workers for mental health concerns related to their jobs. This is a still-evolving area of law, and many states still exclude psychiatric injuries. However, this is not true in all states. According to the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), the state compensates workers based on mental health diagnoses under some circumstances.
Some occupations increase the risk of certain conditions and diseases significantly. When a worker receives a diagnosis of one of these occupational illnesses, they generally qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. One of the most well-known examples is mesothelioma, which is almost always related to occupational asbestos exposure.
Exposure to certain chemicals or other harmful substances can cause significant injuries. While most industries that deal with these substances require personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent accidental exposure, it still occurs. Workers’ compensation covers accidental exposures and the resulting injuries.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Workers’ compensation generally pays for your medical care and a portion of your lost income. There are also additional benefits based on your case’s facts. “Workers’ Compensation in California: A Guidebook for Injured Workers” outlines the primary benefits in California as:
Covered Medical Care
Workers’ compensation should pay for all necessary treatment and care current and future for your workplace injuries. This could include payment from the insurer directly to the health care provider or a lump-sum payment to you for your future medical expenses.
Wage Loss Payments
Most injured workers receive temporary disability benefits. This includes regular payments until you can return to work at your previous position. For those with lasting injuries, permanent disability benefits are also available. These are paid regularly or as a lump-sum settlement through a workers compensation lawsuit.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
If you have lasting injuries and cannot return to your previous job, workers’ compensation will provide vouchers for retraining or learning a new skill that will allow you to return to work.
When an injured worker passes away, their surviving family members can receive compensation, as a lump-sum payment.
Discuss Your Injuries With Our Workers’ Compensation Team
KJT Law Group offers free consultations. You can speak with a team member today about your injuries and workers’ compensation claim. Our California workers compensation lawyers handle these cases regularly. We will fight for the benefits you deserve and file workers’ compensation injury lawsuits when necessary. Contact us at (818) 507-8525 to get started.