Unlike falling off a ladder or losing a finger to machinery, not all work-related injuries are obvious or immediately apparent. Injuries can also come in the form of repetitive stress injuries or cumulative trauma such as carpal tunnel syndrome. You deserve to be compensated for these injuries, even if they are not sudden or catastrophic. Attorneys Byron Smith and Bernhard Baltaxe of Smith & Baltaxe, LLP in San Francisco, CA understand workers’ compensation coverage and can pursue the compensation you deserve for those injuries and their effects. If you believe your injury is related to work, schedule your free consultation today or call us at (415) 292-7800.
Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses Can Range from Minor to Catastrophic
Not all work-related injuries or illnesses are readily apparent. If a worker falls off a ladder and is diagnosed with head trauma, the injury can be directly connected to the accident. However, other symptoms from the same fall may take a day or two to manifest. Examples include stiffness, sore muscles, or bruising that a victim feels after the fall. As long as the injury occurred while at work and during the course of employment, it is considered a work-related injury.
The same is true for illnesses, which can develop after long periods of exposure to harmful chemicals or other substances. To qualify for workers' compensation and begin your road to recovery, you need a lawyer who can accurately determine the extent of your injury, present the facts, and establish that your injury or illness is work-related.
Workers’ compensation attorneys identify injuries, relate them to workplace incidents, and demand fair reimbursement.
Common Types of On-the-Job Injuries
Although the outcome of your case will depend on your unique circumstances, many of the following injuries are typically covered under workers’ compensation.
Repetitive Motion and Overuse Injuries
If a worker performs the same motion over and over, they have an increased risk of suffering a repetitive motion or overuse injury. The most common types of injuries in this category include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and chronic back pain from repetitive tasks such as computer use.
When a worker is exposed to harmful chemicals or substances over extended periods of time, it is possible for him or her to contract a condition like black lung disease or another illness. In the medical field, workers are at risk for illness by virtue of the work environment. In other professions, an employee may be required to work in areas infested with mold, asbestos, or other dangerous substances. Any illness contracted as a result of performing these types of jobs also qualifies as a work-related illness.
If a pre-existing condition is made worse due to the work you perform, the aggravation of that injury can be considered an on-the-job injury and covered by workers’ compensation.
Stress is linked to a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. However, it is difficult to prove that stress-related injuries are directly related to your employment. For this reason, you need a knowledgeable attorney to handle your case.
Employees Excluded from Workers' Compensation
In general, if an employee is hurt on the job, compensation is available under workers’ compensation laws. However, there are instances where an employee is denied coverage due to their own actions. When the employee partakes in reckless or intentional acts that directly lead to an injury, they might be excluded from recovering damages under workers’ compensation. For example, if an employee drives for work and makes the choice to drink and drive before being involved in an accident, he or she may not qualify for workers' compensation.
Learn More About Coverage from Our Lawyers
If you have been hurt while at work, schedule an appointment with the Smith & Baltaxe, LLP attorneys. We can establish whether the injury is work-related and pursue every available remedy. To schedule a complimentary case review, contact us online anytime or call us at (415) 292-7800.