If you are not able to work as a result of an injury or illness that happened on the job in Westland, you might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. When a workplace injury occurs, you might find yourself missing out on paychecks, accumulating medical bills, and being overwhelmed with paperwork. This can be a very difficult and uncertain time. Thankfully, Michigan law protects workers from negative fallout related to work injuries by requiring companies to carry workers' compensation insurance.
What is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work?
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that is purchased by a company to protect their workers from job-related injuries and illness. It offers a safeguard for injured employees so that they are not left with no job and no money while trying to recover from an injury. Some jobs can be dangerous, and it shouldn't be the responsibility of the worker to handle all the repercussions that come with an injury. Under the Michigan Workers' Compensation Act, individuals that are hurt on the job can get different kinds of financial support to cover their injury-related expenses. This includes:
- missed income from time off work
- medical bills
- job training if you need to change careers
- death benefits if a worker dies in a job-related accident
Unlike a personal injury case, workers can receive benefits regardless of being at fault for a job-related incident. However, injured employees can not recover compensation for damages normally awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
The top three leading causes of work-related injuries make up more than 84% of all nonfatal injuries on the job. This includes:
- overexertion and repetitive motion injuries
- slip and fall injuries
- injuries from contact with equipment and objects
Overexertion and Repetitive Motion Injuries
Overexertion injuries can happen when a worker uses excessive physical effort to do a job and becomes injured. This includes lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, or throwing.Repetitive motion triggered by stress or strain on some part of the body is because of the repetitive nature of the task. Common repetitive tasks include lifting boxes, typing on a computer, using a ten-key machine, sitting for long hours, and working on an assembly line.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are among the most frequent on-the-job injuries. They represent 25% of annual injury cases, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Falls at work include falling from slippery floors, from tripping, and from heights like ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or various other structures.
Injuries from Contact with Equipment and Objects
Contact with equipment and objects refers to injuries that occur when an individual is struck by something or runs into something. This can include an employee being struck by a moving object, running into or being pushed in front of an object, being crushed in equipment, or being caught in cable or rope. It might also include accidents like an employee being struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or materials.
Workers' Compensation May Also Cover Occupational Illnesses
In addition to being hurt, employees can also get sick with an illness due to their job. When this occurs, workers compensation insurance is designed to help cover some of the expenses.Work-related illnesses include diseases that develop from hazardous work environments or workplace exposures. Some common illnesses that occur on the job include:
- Hearing loss
- Respiratory diseases
- Skin conditions
- Toxic chemical poisoning
Cases involving occupational illness are complex for a few different reasons. One of the main reasons is that you will have to prove that your illness was caused by your job, and not from some other factor like genetics or something that happened during your personal time. This is further complicated by the fact that many illnesses develop over time, which makes them more difficult to notice and to identify the origin.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured on the job?
If you become injured in the course of your employment, you should always report the accident, injury, or illness as soon as possible to your employer. This is essential even if an injury appears minor. This, because injuries that seem minor at first can become much more serious in the coming days or weeks. For instance, an injury that may seem like only a strained muscle can turn out to be a symptom of permanent nerve damage. Or a sore lower back from lifting a heavy object could be a disc herniation that needs surgery. Additionally, you should always have a work-related injury examined by a medical professional. This is the only way to find out the extent of your injury, and what can be done to recover. This is particularly important for stress or repetitive motion injuries. In this case, making changes in the ergonomic environment might not only cure the injury, but help to prevent injuries to others. Further, to preserve the long-term ability of an employee to maintain and carry on in their job. Finally, waiting too long to report an injury at work might seize your right to claim any workers' compensation benefits.
Should You Contact a Westland Workplace Accident Lawyer?
Consequently, if suffer an on-the-job injury in Westland, consult with the Westland personal injury attorneys at Marko Law. Don't go through these difficult times on your own. We are here to assist you with your claim. We understand the causes and impacts of job accidents and injuries. Also, we understand the laws and regulations associated with workers' compensation in Michigan and will work to make the most of the compensation you receive.