Injury in the workplace is bound to happen no matter how careful you are. Learn about common workplace injuries in Florida and your compensation options.
No matter the industry you work in, chances are you may suffer a work-related injury while performing your task. For this reason, Florida law mandates every employer with four or more employees to have workers' compensation insurance. Those in the construction industry must have workers' comp for every employee.
Workers' compensation pays for the medical treatment of injured workers and their wages while away from work. There are different types of injuries that Florida workers sustain on the job. Our workers' compensation lawyers will discuss the most common workplace injuries.
If you suffer an injury while carrying out a work function, our workers' compensation attorneys at VG Law can help you. We will commence the compensation claim process with your employer's insurer and file a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary. So contact us immediately after a work accident.
Not all injuries sustained while you're employed constitute a work-related injury. For an injury to be work-related, it must be a wound or illness connected with your job duties and tasks while at work. Thus, the wound is not work-related if a worker gets injured while fighting, playing, or horseplay during working hours. This is because they were performing an act outside their work description.
However, if an employee assaults another worker during office hours, any injury sustained would be work-related. Consequently, the injured worker would be eligible for work comp benefits. This is because, in Florida, there is a presumption that the employer is aware of the potential danger from the aggressor. Workplace assaults also open up an employer to negligent security claims.
Furthermore, an employee who works from home and suffers an injury may claim it is a work-related accident. However, the accident must have happened within the employee's workspace for the wound to be work-related. If it happened in any other part of the house, the employer would claim the worker was on unauthorized break, and as such, their wound is not work-related.
Intentional injuries do not also qualify as work-related, even if the employee sustained the wound while at work. This is because the worker set out to hurt themselves to get work comp benefits. Lastly, an injury sustained outside the office but while performing a work duty is work-related. Thus, an employee who gets in an accident while making deliveries or returning from a job site would have suffered a job injury.
Accidents in the workplace can result in fatal injuries and nonfatal injuries. Generally, nonfatal workplace injuries are classified into three broad categories. They are occupational injuries, occupational illnesses, and repetitive stress injuries. These wounds are caused by workplace accidents, exposure to harmful substances, and repetitive motions.
Below, our workplace injury lawyers look at the most common workplace injuries in Florida.
A head injury is a trauma to the scalp, skull, or base, and it can be closed or penetrating. When it is closed, it is mild and affects the outer base of the skull. Penetrating head injuries go beyond the skull to the brain. Often it results in traumatic brain injury (TBI), which has life-threatening consequences if not treated in time. A construction worker is at high risk of traumatic brain injuries, and those in smaller companies are 2.5 times more likely to die from a TBI.
A spinal cord injury (SCI) affects the spinal cord and results in temporary or permanent disability. This is because when the spinal cord gets damaged, the message from the brain cannot get through to the body. Thus, SCIs are considered severe injuries due to their life-altering consequences.
A soft tissue injury is a damage to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons throughout the body. Most soft tissue injuries are repetitive motion injuries resulting in sprains, strains, or contusions. Workers who overuse their bodies often suffer this injury type.
Bone fractures happen when an external force applies pressure to the bones. Fractures can be simple or compound, and the severity determines how long it takes to heal. For example, a worker can break bones due to a slip and fall accident, motor vehicle accident, or a heavy object falling on them. Fractures are common among workers who perform manual labor or work with heavy pieces of equipment.
Neck injury is one of the most common types of workplace injuries resulting from sudden trauma or cumulative stress. Most neck injuries are whiplash, a soft tissue injury to the neck caused by strain or sprain. Other common wounds in the neck are stiff muscles and tendons, herniated disc, pinched nerve, and cervical vertebrae. The latter is a severe injury that requires immediate medical attention.
Other common workplace injuries are:
Sometimes accidents result in workplace fatalities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,333 died from work-related injuries in 2019. Work-related deaths mean death benefits for the survivors of the deceased worker. This would cover lost wages and funeral and burial expenses. Contact an experienced attorney to learn more about work-related fatalities and workers' compensation.
Most workers' compensation claims or injury lawsuits fail because injured workers failed to take the right step after the work accident. However, Florida law requires you to take certain actions before getting compensation benefits. Thus, do the following after a workplace accident.
There are two main compensation benefits available to an injured Florida worker. They are medical benefits and wage benefits. Medical benefits cover the cost of treatment of your injuries. This includes the money spent on medications, surgery, transportation to the hospital, and purchase of medical equipment, like a clutch, where applicable.
Wage benefits cover the salary lost while you are away from work and recovering. In addition, if you suffer a catastrophic injury that leaves you disabled and unable to work, you'll get disability benefits. However, the benefits would be based on whether your injury is partial or total, temporary or permanent. Our workers' compensation legal team at VG Law will expound on these benefits when you contact us.
While the work comp process may seem easy, it is not as employers and insurance companies continue to look for ways to avoid paying benefits. However, working with our experienced workplace injury lawyers at VG Law gives you a better chance of getting what you deserve. So, did you suffer an injury at work? Contact us today to commence the claim process. We offer a free initial consultation.