Injuries in the workplace occur across all occupations and industries. In 2019, private employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Workers’ compensation provides important protection if you experience an injury or illness on the job. This insurance protects you from losing money due to medical expenses or lost wages as a result of an injury that occurs while you’re performing assigned duties.
Interventional pain management specialist and anesthesiologist Shoeb Mohiuddin, MD, and the team at Regenerative Pain & Spine in Chicago, Illinois, provide professional pain management for patients who experience injuries in the workplace.
Dr. Mohiuddin provides expert diagnosis and individualized treatment plans for symptoms such as shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, and neck pain, which can commonly occur with workplace injuries.
Our staff offers state-of-the-art pain management techniques to help you heal and return to work as quickly as possible. Find out more about workers' compensation coverage and what you can expect if you’re injured at work.
Workers’ compensation basics
Workers’ compensation is a type of state-mandated insurance that a business purchases. The coverage provides financial benefits to employees who are injured or become sick at work.
Workers’ compensation covers medical and rehabilitation expenses, as well as temporary disability payments for lost wages, when an employee can’t return to work because of their injuries. The coverage also extends to benefits for permanent disability and death.
Workers’ compensation only covers injuries that occur while you’re performing activities related to the normal course and scope of your employment. A covered injury can occur in your workplace, onsite at a remote job location, or anywhere you’re performing work as an employee. Injuries that occur during voluntary recreational activities, such as a picnic or party, usually aren’t covered unless you’re required to participate as part of your job.
Common covered injuries
Determining whether an injury is covered under workers' compensation depends on how your injury occurred. If you become sick or injured while performing activities within the range of your normal duties, your injury is likely covered under workers' compensation.
Covered injuries can occur as the result of a single incident or from ongoing or repetitive trauma. Based on an analysis of workers' compensation claims, the most common types of injuries that occur across all industries combined include:
- Strains and sprains
Strains involve a stretched or torn ligament, often affecting an area such as your ankle or wrist. Sprains involve a stretched or torn muscle or tendon, such as a back or hamstring muscle strain.
- Cuts or punctures
A cut, or laceration, is an opening or break in your skin. A puncture wound occurs as the result of a pointed object, such as a knife or nail, penetrating the surface of your skin. The severity of a cut or puncture depends on how deep it is and whether it affects a tendon, muscle, bone, or another part of your body.
A contusion is a bruise that occurs as the result of a sharp blow in which tiny blood vessels called capillaries break at the point of contact. Bleeding under the skin results, causing the skin over the injured area to turn red or blue.
A fracture is a break in a bone. Most fractures occur as the result of falls, auto accidents, or sports injuries. Smaller cracks in the bone, called stress fractures, can develop as a result of overuse.
How covered injuries occur
The causes of work-related injuries can vary depending on the industry in which you work. For example, falls from height rank among the most common causes of injuries in construction and retail jobs. Motor vehicle accidents rank among the most common injuries in the oil and gas industry.
For all industries combined, the most common causes of work-related injuries are related to the following circumstances:
- Material handling, including lifting, lowering, filling, emptying, or carrying an item
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Colliding with an object or being struck by one
- Accidents involving tools
- Cumulative trauma, including injuries caused by overuse or strain of one part of the body
What’s not covered
Whether you experience a chemical burn or a broken leg at work, you’re likely covered under workers' compensation, regardless of who is to blame.
You may lose your right to coverage if the accident occurred while you were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Injuries that are self-inflicted or occur as the result of a fight or policy violation are typically not covered.
Find out more about workers' compensation and how the professionals at Regenerative Pain & Spine can help you return to work. Call one of our convenient offices in the West Ridge area of Chicago today.