Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries

Many work-related injuries are covered under workers’ compensation, but not all. Here, the legal experts at the Law Offices of Douglas T. Sachse provide clarity on what injuries do and do not qualify for workers’ compensation.

Legally Defining “Work-Related”

By legal definition, a “work-related” injury in Maryland is any accidental injury that happens “arising out of and in the course of employment.” A work-related injury does not have to happen at your place of work to qualify. For example, an HVAC technician who injures themselves while repairing a unit in a client’s home would qualify for workers’ compensation. Commutes to and from work, before work has begun or after work has ended, do not qualify, however. Neither do social events involving coworkers—an injury that occurs during happy hour with colleagues will likely not be covered by workers’ compensation, unless the happy hour attendance was mandatory to the job or by an employer.

Conditions That Qualify

Slip-and-fall injuries, equipment accidents, strains, breaks and sprains are all very common injuries covered under workers’ compensation. The death of a worker is also covered under workers’ compensation, and the surviving family members are often the recipients of these benefits. But, workers’ compensation injuries are not always physical, and nor always caused by a sudden incident.

While occupational diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma or black lung disease, are not technically accidental, they too qualify for workers’ compensation. Similarly, work stress-related injuries, and repetitive motion injuries are becoming more common reasons for workers’ compensation claims, and include injuries resulting from cumulative stress, and one-time stressful events that cause PTSD. Repetitive motion injuries arise from small, repeated movements that accumulate over time, resulting in conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, among others.

A preexisting condition, which is exacerbated by your job, can also usually be covered by workers’ compensation, even if the position did not originally cause the condition.

How Employee Fault Can Impact Claim

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that a worker’s carelessness or negligence does not necessarily negate their ability to receive workers’ compensation. There are a few instances, however, when the fault of the employee can impact their claim. Injuries sustained during an on-job dispute with a coworker are unlikely to be covered, as are injuries arising from drunken or drug-induced behavior. Because these actions or conditions are not required for job execution, they are not likely to be covered by workers’ compensation.

Why a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Attorney is Necessary

Many workers’ compensation injuries, especially those that are mental or stress-related, can be difficult to prove and exhausting to handle alone. Even seemingly straightforward cases require a myriad of phone calls and emails, and stacks of paperwork. No one injured in the workplace should feel as though they must fight for their rights under workers’ compensation law alone. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable legal professional will give you the peace of mind you crave, and help you receive the full compensation you deserve. We urge you to contact us today for a consultation of your workers’ compensation claim.

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