Workers' Compensation: Office Accident Injuries
Some office accident injuries are immediately obvious — a broken arm caused by a fall on a slippery surface, for example. Other injuries develop over time — the effects of toxic mold or repetitive trauma (carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel syndrome). Whether you were hurt in a sudden accident or an injury that took time to develop, people injured on the job are entitled to workers' compensation.
Questions About Workers' Compensation?
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It is common for an employer and insurance carrier to accept a sudden accidental injury. However, injuries that develop over time can be difficult. If you have questions about workers' compensation and whether your injury is covered, you are welcome to contact an attorney at the Iaconis Law Office in Chittenango, New York. We serve clients throughout the Syracuse area.
- If you were injured at work, file a report. Your rights cannot be assured unless you promptly report your injury to your employer. The workers' compensation process begins with your injury report. You also need to see a doctor as soon as it becomes apparent that medical care is needed.
- Do not worry about what caused the office accident. Unless you deliberately injured yourself, or were engaged in criminal conduct, if you were injured while working, you are entitled to workers' compensation for lost wages and medical treatment. Benefits include reimbursement for some out-of-pocket expenses, costs of rehabilitation, and permanency awards, if there are permanent limitations from your injury. Examples include: falling on a slippery surface, being hit by a box of supplies falling off a shelf, or lifting something that injured your back. Each of these is an on-the-job injury and subject to workers' compensation. Do not blame yourself and fail to file a claim.
- "Hidden" injuries can be hard to prove. Some injuries take weeks, months or even years to become obvious. However, if the injury is related to your work, you need to file a claim and get the medical treatment you need. Repetitive stress motions can cause painful carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome. Having to work at a desk that is too high or too low can cause serious trauma over a period of time. Toxic mold or exposure to chemicals can cause emphysema and other respiratory injuries. When you become aware that your symptoms are not going away and you seek medical attention, ask your physician if the condition is related to your job activities or work exposures. If the doctor says yes, you must report your claim immediately.
- Did a third party cause injuries? There is one situation when it is important to establish blame in an office accident — third-party liability. If a manufacturer failed to warn about chemicals, or if a ladder used to get supplies collapsed, or if persons working for other employers enter your workplace for deliveries or construction and you are injured, you may have a personal injury claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or employer. Your additional rights against third parties have a direct impact on your workers' compensation claim, and a recovery for a personal injury claim must be coordinated with the compensation insurance carrier. It is important to discuss your office accident with a lawyer who is experienced in workers' comp and personal injury claims.
If you have any questions about workers' compensation and office accident injuries, contact our lawyer at the Iaconis Law Office.