What if you get hurt at work? Does your employer have to foot the bill for health care and lost wages?

Workers’ compensation can help.

Workers’ compensation is meant to cover injuries that happen on the job. It’s a benefit that provides payment to an injured worker based on their inability to work due to an injury or illness. Employers in California are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which is included in your paycheck. Under this system, an employee files a claim when they’re hurt on the job, and their employer pays the medical bills and pays a percentage of their lost wages in a lump sum.

The amount of money owed depends on how much time you were off work and how much money you missed out on. Generally, if you miss less than one-third of your pay, your employer will pay it.

The injuries covered include everything from sprains and bumps to broken bones, cancer, and permanent disabilities. If you’re hurt at work, it’s important to understand your rights, because if you don’t take your injury seriously — or don’t act quickly enough — your employer might try to deny payment or push back against the claim by trying to argue that you should have left work sooner or differently. If this happens, make sure to get assistance from a work injury lawyer.

What Exactly is Workers Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that covers the cost of lost wages in the event of a workplace accident. It’s also paid for any medical care you receive, and it covers up to $10,000 per year for temporary disability.

Some states have laws that require employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage, while others only require it if they have more than 20 employees. In addition to protecting your financial health in case of an injury, workers’ compensation benefits can also help reduce stress around work-related injuries.

Typical Workers’ Compensation Injuries

Since workers’ compensation benefits are designed to compensate the injured employee for lost wages and medical expenses and can also provide payments for pain and suffering if the injury causes mental distress – It’s important to know what type of injury you have so you can make an accurate claim.

Employees who are completely disabled from an accident are eligible for full disability benefits, which may include disability income, medical care, vocational rehabilitation, transportation, and other aids to help them recover.

Employees who are partially disabled may also be eligible for partial disability benefits. Partial disability usually means that employees can only return to work part-time or with light duties; however, they may still be eligible for medical care and other benefits. Partial disability benefits are generally not life-changing because they don’t replace lost wages or other personal expenses.

According to the National Council for Compensation Insurance, typical workers’ comp injuries include:

Musculoskeletal injuries: Muscle sprains, strains, and tears

If you work in a job that is physical, you could be at risk for musculoskeletal injuries. In general, the more physically demanding your job, the greater the risk of injury.

Musculoskeletal injuries are usually caused by overexertion. They can include pain and swelling in any part of the body, but they’re most often caused by sudden or excessive force placed on a joint or muscle. This type of injury usually involves muscle or tendon damage. A person may lift a heavy object with one arm, and during the movement, the muscles around the elbow or shoulder joint may stretch beyond their normal range of motion. This can lead to tears in the muscle or tendon and a sprain in some cases.

Bone fractures

A bone fracture is caused when a bone breaks through the skin. This can happen when a person falls or slips and falls on an uneven surface or an object (such as a chair leg). These injuries are often severe because they involve broken bones that go deep into the bone tissue.

Bone fractures can be a big problem for workers, especially those in dangerous occupations or working with heavy machinery. For example, roofers are prone to bone fractures because they’re constantly falling down ladders and roofs, and construction workers often suffer stress fractures from lifting heavy materials daily. Bone fractures can also result in long-term disabilities like arthritis.

Head injuries: Concussion, whiplash, and amnesia

Head injuries can happen in a variety of ways. They’re usually caused by normal activities — working in an open-plan office, for example. But sometimes, someone slips or trips over something and ends up with a head injury. And sometimes, things happen that are much more surprising: A worker may get whacked by something unexpected like a heavy object or fall down the stairs.

You may have experienced a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, in the workplace when you fall from a high level. Common head injuries include concussions, whiplash, and amnesia. A concussion is a general term used to describe the brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of the body; whiplash is an injury to the neck muscles. Amnesia is the inability to remember things that happened immediately before or after an accident.

Hearing loss

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an average worker suffers a hearing loss every two hours, costing them more than $800 a year in lost wages. Hearing loss is one of the most common types of occupational injury. If you’ve been exposed to industrial noise for just a few months, few people would consider you “hearing impaired” or “disabled.” And if someone has a large amount of noise-induced hearing loss but hasn’t lost all of their hearing yet, they might not qualify for a disability rating. In addition to the financial consequences, hearing loss can also lead to serious social complications. People with impaired hearing often struggle to communicate effectively with others, making it difficult for them to find and keep a job.

Cuts, lacerations, and punctures

These can be caused by accidents at work — like being cut by a piece of equipment or a sharp object — or by an attack from another person or animal. Cuts that require stitches or bandages can make it difficult for you to use your hands for about two weeks. Lacerations, which involve deeper cuts into the skin, can make it hard to use your fingers for about five days.

These injuries involve damaged blood vessels or nerves. You may have heard that puncture wounds are always serious; however, some cats don’t require stitches and close without medical care.

Amputation

An amputation usually means that a portion of a limb has been removed. This includes the top portion of the arm or hand, the lower portion of the leg or foot, and even parts of the torso. These injuries can be devastating and lead to permanent disabilities, but they’re also very common in the workplace.

In most states, these injuries are compensable under workers’ compensation laws. But they don’t have to be life-changing catastrophes to qualify — something as minor as a nick or a scratch can lead to an injury that would get you compensated under workers’ comp laws.

Takeaway

There are a lot of different kinds of work injuries, some of which are covered by workers’ compensation. If you’re hurt on the job and your employer fails to get you help, you can sue them for causing your injury. In that case, you would be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for the rest of your life. Learn more about this by consulting a work injury lawyer.

Author Atty. Lem Garcia

Lem Garcia founded Lem Garcia Law in 2014. It has become one of the fastest-growing and most well-respected personal injury law offices in Southern California, having recovered millions of dollars for clients. He received a journalism degree from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and loves to share personal injury law with the world via social media platform TikTok with over 20,000 subscribers.