Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What You Should Know About Re-injuries and Workers’ Comp

What You Should Know About Re-injuries and Workers’ Comp

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9754354461 ccd848d5fb n 300x199 What You Should Know About Re injuries and Workers Comp

What You Should Know About Re-injuries and Workers’ Comp

Today, workers in America have an abundance of rights related to employment, but this hasn’t always been the case. Luckily, fights for workers’ rights over the past century changed the way workers are treated. Many employees quickly appreciate this after suffering injuries on the job.
Because of those who fought in the past, those injured while at work can now claim worker’s compensation benefits. Unfortunately, these injuries aren’t always over once a person recovers benefits and goes back to work. In fact, re-injuries are a common occurrence that anyinjured worker should understand.

Legal Issues with Re-injuries

There are a variety of legal issues that must be considered if a person’s prior work injury returns after they’ve ceased receiving worker’s comp benefits. One of the main considerations is whether or not the re-injury was work related.

In some cases, a person could sustain a back injury at work, fully recover, return to their job and then re-injure their back while trying to put their child’s tree house together. An employer or their insurer will likely claim that this re-injury wasn’t caused by their job in these cases.In some instances, however, what seems to be a re-injury may be nothing more than the previous injury resurfacing. This often occurs if a person returns to work too quickly. Unfortunately, insurers will often try to act as if a resurfacing injury, or even a legitimate work-related re-injury, is a different and unrelated case altogether. This makes it imperative in most instances for a person to seek out an attorney if they re-injure themselves at work or have returning pain.Common Causes for Re-injuries

There are a variety of causes for re-injuries in the workplace, and many of the injuries that reoccur are common. Statistics actually show that about 25 percent of all work-related back injuries are re-injuries. Other common re-injuries occur in a worker’s joints, hips, neck and even hands. As mentioned, there are a variety of causes for these recurrences:

  • Returning to work before an injury has had a chance to fully heal.
  • An initial injury was far more serious than first anticipated.
  • Engaging in strenuous activities that aren’t work related.

Not all injuries, however, have the same chances of recurring. One Michigan worker at an energy company, for instance, received serious electrical burns while on the job. While this worker is very likely to receive benefits, these types of injuries have to fully heal before the worker can return to their job.

Handling Work-Related Re-injuries

The first thing that a person should do if they think they’ve experienced a re-injury while working is visit their doctor. It’s imperative, however, to not say anything that may sound like the injury was suffered outside of work.

Saying “My back really acted up after lifting those groceries today,” for instance, may lead the doctor to mistakenly notate that the injury was sustained outside of work. Insurers will then jump at the chance to say that this is a new injury and not work related.After seeing a physician, a person should immediately call a worker’s compensation attorney. As mentioned, these cases can be excessively difficult to prove since insurers will try their best to avoid additional payouts.
In cases where an injury simply didn’t heal, many legal professionals can actually just extend the initial worker’s comp claim. Due to the variety of outcomes in these situations, legal representation is a necessity.Being injured on the job can be extremely disheartening. The inability to go to work and earn a living can take a toll on a person financially, and when this inability arises due to a re-injury, the situation can be especially stressful. Luckily, re-injuries are often still eligible for benefits, so a worker will be able to keep their head above water until they’ve fully recovered.
 
Jamica Bell is a blogger and freelance writer. She contributes this article to highlight the rate of re-injuries after a workers’ compensation claim. While researching, she came across http://www.stroble.com/ , which has been a great resource for information, especially for individuals impacted by work related injuries.
Photo credit: http://flic.kr/p/fRXBKc
 
Reference: http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2013/09/consumers_energy_employee_suff.html


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OSHA and The Fatal Four Hazards: What Your Family Should Know

OSHA and The Fatal Four Hazards: What Your Family Should Know

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4312785843 a8cdd7e498 n OSHA and The Fatal Four Hazards: What Your Family Should Know

OSHA and The Fatal Four Hazards: What Your Family Should Know

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is charged with monitoring workplace safety in the U.S. Their mission is to assure the health and safety of the country’s workers by setting standards that are enforced by certain rules and regulations. Despite their best efforts, it is estimated that, daily, at least 13 people routinely go to work, never to return home. It is estimated that almost 4 million people suffer a workplace injury each year, many of whom never recover.

Construction Industry Fatal Four

According to OSHA statistics, the highest levels of injury relate to construction jobs, which contribute to almost 20 percent of the over 4,000 worker fatalities each year. In fact, OSHA has designated 4 top injuries that regularly result in fatalities. Known as the Fatal Four, these accidents include:

1. Falls, which comprise 251 out of 721 deaths, or 35 percent of all construction deaths.

2. Struck by Object, which include 10 percent of all construction deaths, or around 73 deaths annually.

3. Electrocutions, which amount to 9 percent, or around 67 construction deaths each year.

4. Caught in/between accidents that comprise 3 percent, or 19 construction deaths annually.

The above Fatal Four accidents are responsible for almost three out of every five deaths for construction workers. That amounts to nearly 60 percent of all worker deaths according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accordingly, absent the Fatal Four, the lives of around 410 workers could be saved in America each year.

Repercussions for Families

Not only do fatal accidents mean the end of a worker’s life, but the impact upon the victims’ families and loved ones is devastating. In addition to losing their loved ones, families are often left to support themselves in the absence of the main breadwinner. What this can do to any family is create financial burdens that can never be recovered. This is why the family of any worker who is killed as a result of a workplace accident should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. It’s necessary in order to ensure that medical bills and living expense losses that occur as a result of their loved one’s death are covered.

As expressed by a North Carolina workers compensation lawyer, “If a worker suffers an injury or death on the job and it is caused by the negligence of someone other than the worker’s employer, there might be a separate claim or cause of action for third party negligence. Those situations are often very complex and require immediate investigation to determine what caused the accident and to preserve valuable evidence.”

Safeguard Investigations

Anyone who suspects that a workplace is unsafe for any reason should have the matter investigated. Also, if someone dies as the result of a workplace situation, OSHA or a similar state agency generally conducts an investigation to determine the cause of death. One aspect to watch for is if the employer has or has not posted the OSHA form 100 on a company bulletin board to inform all workers of their rights. If it is not present, this could be a violation that contributed to an unsafe work condition which was not reported.

Protecting the Family

If you have suffered an illness or injury as a result of a workplace situation, you should first ensure that adequate medical care is attained. All of the particulars including time, place, form and event, as well as whom the incident was reported to, needs to be recorded. Whether you ask a Los Angeles or a North Carolina workers compensation lawyer, they will agree that every detail should be included so that the claim may be handled correctly.

For instance, families of loved ones who become incapacitated or die will need all of this information to present to legal counsel. This is the only way that workers and their families can be assured that they will receive all of the compensation they are entitled to, including the replacement cost of future income.

The fact is, most all workplace injuries and deaths are actually preventable. However, these tragedies continue to disable workers, devastate families and damage the economy. This is why it is so important for workers and their families to understand what their rights are. They are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace at all times. When the situation is otherwise, tragedy strikes easily. Therefore, seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is critical in order to recover some of the financial devastation that families experience when a loved one is killed due to a workplace accident.

Nadine Swayne, a former television journalist, is a freelance writer with a B.A. in Communications. Being raised in the metropolitan areas of NYC/NJ helped to cultivate her interest in the arts, health, media and social communities.

Photo credits: http://artsonearth.com/www/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/INFOINEED-WORKER-COMP-1.jpg


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