It is possible for any worker in any industry to get injured on the job. Although it is true that desk jobs present fewer hazards than manual labor jobs, dangers still exist. In fact, workplace injuries occur about once every 10 seconds in the United States. Most of these injuries occur in just a few industries where workers face more hazards than in many other jobs.
Many of these injuries are minor and can heal on their own within a few days. Other injuries can present more long-term consequences for the worker. Regardless of the industry, if you have suffered injuries at work, you could be entitled to compensation under your employer’s Workers’ Compensation policy.
The Most Dangerous Industries
Some industries are more inherently dangerous than others. And yet, hazards exist in every job, which is why, with very few exceptions, every employer in Delaware is required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage. For those employees who get injured at work, they have a safety net that can help them shoulder the financial burden related to their injuries. Although workers can get injured or ill at any job, the most common industries to see workplace injuries follow.
Construction. Nearly every year, the construction industry leads all other industries in worker fatalities. Although not every construction accident will result in a worker’s death, fatal injuries are more common in construction than in other fields.
Worker fatalities and injuries in construction are often caused by:
- Falling from a height
- Slip or trip and fall
- Being caught between heavy objects or machinery
- Being struck by an object
- Being struck by a falling tree
- Defective or broken tools and equipment
- Being struck by a log
Because of the nature of logging where workers are constantly dodging falling trees and timber being hoisted onto trucks, many of the injuries suffered by loggers are severe. In some cases, logging injuries can result in death.
Fishing. Commercial fishing is another top dangerous job. Many injuries suffered by fishing industry workers involve the upper parts of the body, a result of lifting heavy objects and fish out of the water.
Common causes of fishing injuries include:
- Falling into the water
- Vessel damage or destruction
- On-board injuries
- Unloading injuries
- Getting caught in a winch
Fishing industry workers must constantly be on the lookout for moving objects and work hard to maintain their balance as the vessel rocks in the swells. This often results in employees slipping on wet or uneven surfaces and getting caught in ropes and other fishing gear. Fishers also work long hours to make sure they do not lose any of their catch. This can contribute to increased injuries through sleep deprivation.
Transportation. Transportation results in many worker injuries every year. Workers transport goods of all kinds across the country daily. But like any other vehicle on the road, commercial trucks can be involved in accidents. Many of these accidents occur because of another driver’s negligence or an improperly loaded vehicle.
The transportation industry also includes planes and ground workers who support the aircraft. These workers commonly receive back injuries from lifting heavy objects and loading them onto planes. But even pilots can suffer workplace injuries and illnesses if they are exposed to toxic chemicals or are dealing with repetitive motion.
Warehouse positions. Specifically warehouse workers who are loading goods, they often see lower back and neck injuries. Lifting heavy items requires bending, twisting, and repetitive motion, all of which can easily result in serious injury.
Warehouse workers commonly suffer from the following injuries:
- Muscle tears
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Analysis. These industries round out the most injury- and death-prone jobs workers can have, accounting for more than half of all workplace injuries and deaths. Many workers mistakenly believe that if they are injured at work, their employer holds no responsibility, or if the worker contributed to their injury, they cannot collect benefits. As will be discussed, neither of those assumptions are accurate.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is no-fault insurance coverage that is required in nearly every instance. If a business does not carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, either they are breaking the law, or they have received an exemption.
Workers’ Compensation benefits are used to help workers who get injured on the job. These benefits can provide health care reimbursement and expense coverage, as well as lost income from being out of work because of your injuries. This insurance is also no-fault, meaning that, unless you deliberately harmed yourself, even if you are partly to blame for your injuries, you can still collect benefits.
No matter how you were injured or to what extent your injuries prevent you from going about your daily routine or working, Workers’ Compensation benefits could help you cover your medical expenses and lost wages. But like any insurance company, your employer’s Workers’ Compensation carrier will not be eager to pay out the full value of your claim. Because of this, you may need to partner with an experienced legal advocate who can help you get the benefits you deserve under your company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance policy.
Applying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
To receive benefits under your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance policy, you need to submit a claim. Just like any other insurance claim, you have limited time to do so, something that will be explained in your insurance policy documents.
You will also have to provide supporting documentation for your benefits request. This may include:
- Doctor’s notes
- Medical history
- Witness statements
- Your statement
The insurance company will do whatever they can to avoid paying the full value of your claim. They may offer you a settlement that is woefully inadequate to cover all your needs. Unfortunately, many workplace injury victims simply accept the offer because they need the money to cover their medical expenses. This could leave them paying out of pocket for future medical bills related to their workplace injury, not to mention the lost income they need to replace because of their inability to work.
What you need at a time like this is an aggressive legal advocate who knows the games that insurance companies play to try and keep as much money in their pockets and out of yours. If you miss a document in filing your claim, the insurance company could use that as a reason to deny your claim. To help combat the insurance company and to ensure that you provide as much evidence and documentation as possible, partner with a trusted legal advisor today who can deal with the legal complexities while you focus on your recovery.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, Help Injured Workers Get Better
When you suffer injuries at work, you can be frustrated because now you have limited ways to support yourself if your injuries prevent you from working. But with the right legal guidance and support, you can seek to get the Workers’ Compensation benefits for which you are entitled under your employer’s policy. To help you collect these benefits, speak with the Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We will investigate the circumstances of your injury and fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 302-888-1221 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, Newark, and Middletown.