Workers’ Compensation Injuries
What are the most common Workers’ Compensation injuries? Over the last decade in Washington State, roughly 115,000 workers were injured on the job each year. Accounting for about half of all accepted L&I claims, the most common workplace injuries in Washington are:
- Hand, wrist & finger
- Back & neck
- Leg & ankle
- Foot, ankle & toe
- Multiple injuries to multiple parts of the body
But that’s just the beginning. Many other types of injuries occur—from hip & knee, repetitive stress injuries and construction site accidents to occupational disease, hearing loss and depression. If you’re injured at work, it’s important to know your options. The following are examples of specific workplace injuries—contact Emery Reddy to help.
Neck & Back Injuries
If you experience a serious spine, neck or back injury on the job, your first step is to immediately seek medical attention—including a full written diagnosis. Often, medical facilities do not want to order an MRI, CT Scan, x-ray, or myelogram, but these diagnostic tests, and their results are the foundation of any injury claim. If you cannot get diagnosed, call an attorney for options on medical providers who will be willing to see you and diagnose your injury. The period of time immediately following a spine, neck, or back injury is the most critical in documenting your injury, which is necessary for your eventual Workers’ Compensation claim. This information is also critical if you have a third party claim for negligence against an individual or entity other than your employer.
Jobs involving physical labor and repetitive motion increase the risk of shoulder injuries. The impact of repetitive twisting, turning, lifting, and other apparently harmless motions can accumulate over time and lead to serious damage. Isolated accidents can also disable a worker who is otherwise in perfect physical condition, forcing them to alter physical activities as a result. Emery Reddy will fight for your interests when the Department of Labor & Industries or your self-insured employer denies compensation, benefits or the medical care you deserve for your injuries.
Hip & Knee Injuries
Knee injuries, especially traumatic injuries that require surgery or reconstruction, can occur from blunt trauma, repetitive stress, or simple aging. Acts such as lifting, crawling on an already injured knee, slipping, falling, or maneuvering in tight spaces or on ladders can result in injury requiring medical care and filing of a Workers’ Compensation claim. Workers may have claims against others, in addition to an employer, if a third party is involved. Call Emery Reddy’s experienced L&I litigation team to talk to an Intake Specialist and learn more about your options.
Construction Site Accidents
Construction jobs rank among the most dangerous work in the U.S. Thousands of Washington workers are killed or seriously injured each year. Frequent injuries include:
- Scaffolding accidents
- Crane accidents
- Accidents involving compressed gases or chemicals
- Defective machinery or equipment
- Welding & cutting accidents
If the party responsible is the employer, a coworker, or simply the injured worker, a Workers’ Compensation claim is handled by the Department of Labor & industries. However, when the negligence of someone other than the regular employer contributes to a construction site injury, or if an accident takes place off-site, workers may be eligible to bring a third-party liability claim for additional compensation and benefits. Unlike Workers’ Compensation claims, there is practically no limit to the amount of awards in third-party liability claims. This means an injured worker may receive further medical benefits, wage-loss compensation, and additional damages for personal pain and suffering.
Construction site accident claims are often highly complicated because of the multi-faceted structure of the industry. Emery Reddy’s Construction Accident Attorneys can help clients recover the maximum compensation entitled by Washington law. We founded our practice on a commitment to advocating for workers’ rights, and are proud of our record protecting the injured and disabled.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress or strain injuries involve conditions that arise from placing excessive stress on a joint by performing the same or similar actions again and again. Stress to a joint pulls on surrounding tissues, including tendons, muscles and bursae. Without time to recover, the affected area swells and becomes painful.
The most frequent repetitive stress injuries are tendinitis and bursitis. If you have a repetitive stress injury related to tasks performed at work, contact an Emery Reddy Workers’ Compensation lawyer for a free case analysis.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel syndrome is compression of the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel, and is most commonly associated with long spells of typing on a keyboard. Primary symptoms of CTS include sporadic numbness of the thumb, index, long and radial side of the ring finger. Long-standing CTS can result in serious and permanent nerve damage, with workers eventually experiencing constant numbness, atrophy of muscles in the hand, and weakness of palmar abduction.
Workers suffering from these conditions need an advocate who understands the legal and medical aspects of disability claims, and who will aggressively represent their interests. To ensure that you receive the maxim L&I benefits you deserve, contact a Washington Workers’ Compensation attorney at Emery Reddy.
Depression & Anxiety
Work-related injuries have multiple outcomes. While outward physical symptoms can be the easiest to recognize, anxiety and depression can also develop when an injury or illness causes prolonged pain, prevents someone from carrying on their work, or alters the nature of their family and social life or personal activities. While mental conditions cannot be diagnosed with a stethoscope or x-ray, it is important to identify and treat these conditions so that depression and anxiety do not impair a patient’s ability to return to work. The Washington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Emery Reddy take depression as seriously as any other physical injury, and will fight to ensure that you get the full treatment you need from your L&I claim.
An occupational disease is defined as any chronic condition or illness that occurred as a result of an injured worker’s job, career, or work-related functions or activities. Some commonly recognized occupational diseases are:
- Byssinosis (from exposure to asbestos)
- Coal miner’s pneumoconiosis (black lung)
- Skin cancer
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lead poisoning
- Disease related to the exposure to mold, silica, carbon monoxide, lead paint, benzene, chemicals & carcinogens
Occupational disease claims must be traced back to an exposure at a particular moment in time. The disease may have resulted from an initial exposure or a prolonged exposure, but the worker must first prove that they came in contact with a substance that caused the illness. If you feel like you developed an occupational disease as a result of a workplace exposure to a harmful substance, please call Emery Reddy’s Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers—they are highly trained in identifying and pursuing these types of L&I claims.
Hearing loss can negatively affect many facets of your life. It may make you less productive at work, and it can detrimentally affect your personal life. If your hearing has been damaged as a result of your work, you may have a valid Workers’ Compensation and L&I claim.
If you experience one or more the following symptoms, you should take immediate steps to protect your hearing using earplugs or a headset, make an appointment with an audiologist, ENT, or both, and call Emery Reddy to discuss a potential claim:
- Sounds or distorted ranges
- Difficulty (or complete loss of) hearing higher pitches
- Ringing sound in one or both ears
- Roaring or rushing sounds in one or both ears
- Difficulty understanding others
- Having to regularly ask others to repeat themselves
The award-winning attorneys at Emery Reddy regularly handle a wide variety of occupational illness claims and can assist you in your claim and potential appeal for your work-related hearing loss.
Our Philosophy: Compassion & Commitment
After the initial ordeal of an injury, victims may face another round of difficulties as they cope with chronic pain, medical bills, lost wages and emotional stress. We know how challenging this can be for you and your family, and are committed to supporting you through every step of the process with a full range of legal services. Knowing that you are represented by an attorney who will work tirelessly on your behalf can significantly lighten your burden, allowing you to focus on the highest priority of all: your recovery.