Every year, millions of Americans are killed or injured at their jobs - when are these workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC?
The general rule is: If you are injured while you are on the job, regardless of whose fault it was, you are covered by workers' compensation. This covers just about every type of injury that you can imagine, with very few exceptions.
Despite this, employers and workers' comp insurance companies will often try to deny your workers' compensation claim or limit your claim unfairly. Your Myrtle Beach workers' compensation lawyer at Axelrod and Associates will help you to file your claim, gather and present the evidence that is needed to prove your claim, and appeal the workers' compensation commission's decisions when necessary.
What are some of the more common workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC?
Types of Workplace Injuries Covered by Workers' Compensation in SC
Although just about any injury that you suffered while you were on the clock is covered by workers' compensation, some types of injuries are more common than others. Below I'll discuss ten of the more common types of workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC.
Injuries caused by overexertion are by far the most common type of workplace injury covered by workers' compensation in SC. These injuries may involve sprains, torn ligaments, breaks, or other types of damage that results from attempting to move objects that are too heavy for the worker, including:
- Throwing; or
- Holding heavy objects.
Overexertion injuries are not only the most common, but they are often the most expensive types of injuries for the insurance company to cover.
Falls are also at the top of the list of workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC and can include falling on the same level or falling from a different level.
Slip and fall or trip and fall injuries can be serious, resulting in torn ligaments or tendons, broken bones, head trauma, or other injuries. They can be caused by any type of slip or trip hazard in the workplace - debris or clutter on the floors, cords or wires, or spills that were not immediately cleaned up.
Falling from heights - or falling from a different level - may result in even more serious injuries or death. Falls from heights can happen on roofs, ladders, stairways, or balconies, and may be caused by faulty equipment, slip or trip hazards, or failure to use proper safety equipment.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Typing on a computer all day or operating equipment using the same repetitive motion all day can result in:
- Strained muscles and tendons;
- Back injuries;
- Arm, hand, or leg injuries; or
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Repetitive motion injuries can be serious - they can require expensive surgeries to correct and some may be lifelong injuries.
Caught in Equipment or Other Objects
When you are operating heavy machinery on the job, your clothing, hair, jewelry, hands, arms, or other parts of your body may become trapped in the machinery. Machine entanglement can cause devasting injuries including the loss of limbs or even death.
Other common workplace injuries may be caused when you walk into machinery, walls, doors, or other objects in the workplace.
Auto Accidents or Other Injuries in the Roadway
Although auto accidents are usually covered by tort law (you sue the other driver) and not workers' compensation, if the accident occurs while you are on the job or, in some cases, on the way to or from your job, they might be considered workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC.
In some cases, although you can only recover damages once, you may be able to file both a lawsuit against the other driver and a workers' compensation claim.
Especially on construction sites and in warehouse environments, falling objects can be a serious job hazard - objects falling from a shelf above you or a tool dropped from a level above you on a construction site can cause severe head injuries or even death.
Particularly on construction sites, it is critical that employees always take care to secure loose items, secure tools, and wear hardhats to protect against falling objects.
Violence by coworkers or supervisors on the job may also be covered by workers' compensation insurance when there is a physical injury. (But, see mental or psychological injuries below...)
Death or injury from electrocution is a job hazard that is most common on construction sites, although it can happen anywhere. Obviously, electricians are in the most danger from electrocution injuries, but loose wires, standing water, and other electrical hazards can be a danger to any person on the job site.
Reaction Injuries Without a Fall
Often, a person will slip or trip, catch themselves before they fall, but still suffer injuries from their reaction to the near-fall.
Even though the slip or trip did not result in a fall, injuries to muscles or other damage that results from the reaction are workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC.
Mental or Psychological Injuries
Work-related stress or unusual, traumatic experiences on the job can result in severe mental or psychological injuries that may require counseling or other treatment.
These cases may be more difficult to prove, but they may be considered workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC when:
- They are accompanied by a physical injury; or
- They are not accompanied by a physical injury and the cause of the psychological injury was extraordinary and unusual for your type of employment; and
- We can prove causation through medical evidence or testimony.
Your Myrtle Beach workers' compensation attorney can help you to:
- Determine whether your injuries are likely to be considered workplace injuries covered by workers' compensation in SC;
- File your workers' compensation claim;
- Gather the evidence that you will need to present your claim;
- Present your case to the workers' compensation commission; and
- File any necessary appeals.