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The Most Common Work-Related Injuries and What You Can Do



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Anyone can suffer an accident or injury at work, but according to the National Safety Council (NSC), the three most common work-related injuries are:

  • Overexertion and bodily reaction – These are excessive physical and non-impact injuries from physically demanding and repetitive work activities.
  • Slips, trips, and falls – These workplace injuries involve falling through or from a structure, tripping, slipping, and injuries related to catching or bracing for impact.
  • Contact with objects or equipment – These are work-related injuries created by pressure, friction, heat, and other hazards that involve machinery, objects, and equipment.

About 84 percent of all non-fatal injuries fall into these three categories. The nature of these top work-related injuries typically affects certain industries more than others, including construction, agriculture, warehousing, and transportation.

What Are Other Common Work-Related Injuries?

In addition to the above listed work-related injuries, there are other workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses that frequently happen, including:

  • Transportation accidents involving cars, trucks, and other vehicles
  • Violence or intentional harm by a co-worker or other individual
  • Animal bites or other animal injuries
  • Exposure to toxins and environmental hazards

Some work-related injuries are fatal. There were 4,572 workplace deaths in 2019, according to the NSC.

We Get Results for Injured Workers

Oresky & Associates, pllc has recovered more than $400 million in damages for clients, including those who suffered a work-related injury:

  • $18 million judgement for an undocumented construction worker injured after a scaffolding fall
  • $9.9 million settlement for a worker injured in a building accident
  • $7.5 million settlement for an undocumented worker who needed several operations after a construction accident
  • $6 million awarded to a construction worker injured after a ladder accident

Your legal status does not matter if you are injured on the job. We have won many cases for people who are undocumented workers.

What You Should You Do After a Workplace Injury?

If you are injured at work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that you:

  • Get immediate medical care – The type and delivery of medical care depend on your injuries; it may be as simple as on-site first aid or as critical as an ambulance to the nearest hospital.
  • Report the accident – Tell your supervisor about the accident as soon as possible.
  • Keep all documents – Keep copies of your medical bills, accident report, and other related documents.
  • File a claim with workers’ compensation – Most workers in New York State are protected by workers’ compensation that can pay for medical treatment and other expenses when you are injured on the job.

You might also want to speak with an attorney who can help you understand your legal rights. Oresky & Associates, pllc has helped thousands of injured New Yorkers recover damages after a work-related injury.

What Is OSHA and How Does It Protect Me?

Established in 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency under the United States Department of Labor. OSHA’s mission is to make sure that American workers have a safe place to work through training, education, outreach, and enforcement.

You are probably protected by OSHA if you work for a private company and certain public sector employers.

These protections include:

  • Your right to receive safety equipment and to work on safe equipment.
  • Your right to protection from toxic substances.
  • Your right to report an injury or illness.
  • Your right to receive copies of your medical records and test results for workplace hazards.

You may anonymously file a safety violation report and request that an OSHA inspector visit your workplace.

What Is Workers’ Compensation and Do I Have It?

Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits, medical benefits, or both for workers who are injured or become ill on the job. These benefits are directed through a state Workers’ Compensation Board.

Employees do not pay for workers’ compensation. Virtually all employers in New York State are legally obligated to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. They must post notice of this coverage in the workplace.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Help You and Your Family?

Workers’ compensation is insurance used for:

  • Medical care including emergency room services, surgery, prescription medicine, and other medical treatment
  • Cash benefits to offset lost pay if you must take time off from work for your injury or illness
  • Supplemental benefits for disabled workers or surviving family members

Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Taxable?

Typically, workers’ compensation benefits from a work-related injury are not considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This general rule also applies to surviving family members who receive compensation for a loved one’s work-related fatality.

However, there are exceptions. You are advised to speak to an accountant or other financial expert to make sure that you are not violating federal or state income tax laws.

Can Your Boss Fire You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Your employer may not fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, or for acting as a witness in a workers’ compensation claim.

Additionally, you may not be legally fired for filing a report with OSHA if you believe that your employer has violated health and safety regulations. Your employer may not legally retaliate against you for exerting your legal right to a safe workplace.

What if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?

Workers’ compensation benefits are paid when the insurance provider approves the claim. Sometimes the provider denies a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation claims are denied for several reasons, including:

  • You waited too long to report the injury or file a claim.
  • Your medical records do not support the details in your injury report.
  • Your initial medical report showed evidence of illegal drugs in your system.

Under state law, you may seek an appeal.

Can You Be Fired for Being Injured Off the Job?

Your employer does not have to keep your job open for you if you miss work due to a work-related or off the job injury. You could be entitled to state unemployment benefits or through the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

If you believe you were unfairly terminated from your job after a work-related injury, it may be time to talk to a lawyer who can protect your rights.

Is Workers’ Compensation Enough to Pay for Work-Related Injuries?

While workers’ compensation offers some financial protection for injured workers, it may be inadequate. You may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for additional compensation depending on the circumstances of your injury or illness.

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Can I Sue for Damages for a Work-Related Injury?

It is possible that you may take legal action for a work-related injury. A workplace injury lawyer in New York can help you understand your rights and options for seeking compensation and justice.

Oresky & Associates, pllc has helped injured New Yorkers and their families for over  30 years to recover compensation for such damages as:

  • Lost pay
  • Lost union benefits
  • Past and future pain and suffering caused by injuries
  • Medical care and treatment
  • Loss of services
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Wrongful death

Many of our clients have shared their personal stories about their cases, including this testimonial: “I am so happy with the outcome of my case and I would recommend the firm to everyone who has been involved in an accident.”  See our testimonials pages for further client statements.