Most Common Work Injuries in Massachusetts
Getting hurt on the job and suffering a serious injury can be devastating to you and to your family. Bills can pile up if you are unable to return to work shortly after your injury. If you’ve suffered a permanent injury, your life may never be the same. You could need prescription medication, medical treatment and physical therapy for the rest of your life. The prospect of navigating a workers’ compensation claim can seem daunting. You also may not be sure whether or not you can file a personal injury claim against a responsible third party.
If you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, you owe it to yourself and to your family to contact a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Boston. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman understand the challenges of dealing with at-work injuries and handling complex workers’ compensation claims.
Whether you work in an office, factory, construction site or some other workplace, it’s critical for a worker who has suffered a common work injury in Boston to hire experienced and aggressive legal representation in Massachusetts. A seasoned personal injury attorney will fight for you and make sure you receive compensation for your injuries and lost wages.Work Injuries by the Numbers
According to statistics by the National Safety Council, every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job.
If you do the math, that adds up to:
- 510 injured workers per hour
- 12,600 injured workers per year
- 88,500 injured workers per week
- 6 million injured workers per year
Employees who are injured during the course of employment, or who suffer from work-related mental or emotional disabilities, as well as occupational diseases, may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits in Massachusetts. These benefits include medical and hospital services, medically necessary equipment and prescribed drugs, weekly compensation for lost income during the period the employee is unable to work, and vocational and rehabilitation services.
You can find more information about workers’ compensation in Massachusetts here.Types of Bodily Injuries
The three most common types of injuries keeping workers out of work are:
- Sprains, strains or tears
- Soreness or pain
- Cuts, lacerations or punctures
(Source: National Safety Council)
Other common work injuries include:
- Back and spine injuries
- Bone fractures
- Loss of limbs and digits
- Electric shock or electrocution
- Toxic exposure, including chemical exposure
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
This isn’t an inclusive list. There are many more injuries that qualify a worker for compensation.
Keep in mind that most common work injuries may have long-term effects. The crucial factor isn’t the type of injury that you’ve sustained but how that injury is affecting your ability to work. If you’re unsure as to whether you’re entitled to compensation for a work injury, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.The 10 Most Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
These are the top ten causes of workers’ compensation injuries based on information provided by U.S. insurance companies and as reported in 2019 by Farm Journal’s AgPro online magazine:
- Overexertion injuries, which include injuries related to lifting, pulling, pushing, holding, carrying and throwing activities. These injuries are the most common and account for $3.4 million in benefit costs per year.
- Slipping and tripping on wet and slippery floors or tripping on an object or debris on the ground. Employers have a duty to have policies in place to make sure that spills are cleaned up in a timely manner and that work premises are maintained in a safe condition.
- Falling from heights such as from a roof, ladder or stairway as a result of a slip-and-fall accident or faulty equipment. Fall protection equipment and employee training can prevent these types of accidents from happening.
- Reaction injuries, which are injuries caused by slipping and tripping without falling, can result in muscle injuries and body trauma.
- Falling object injuries often result in head injuries. Safety equipment such as hard hats can help prevent and mitigate these injuries.
- Walking-into injuries, which often involve objects such as walls, doors, cabinets and tables, can cause head, knee, neck and foot injuries. Again, employers have a duty to keep work premises in a safe condition.
- Vehicle and equipment accidents often occur when an employee drives for business purposes.
- Machine entanglement often takes place in a factory setting where heavy machinery and equipment are present. Employers should have policies in place requiring workers to wear proper safety gear and pull back long hair to prevent it from getting stuck in equipment.
- Repetitive motion injuries. Typing and computer use can cause strain on the body that leads to back pain, vision problems and carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression, is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist and leads to numbness and tingling in the arm and hand. according to information from the Mayo Clinic, there are more than three million cases of carpal tunnel syndrome in the United States per year.
- On-the-job violence
Top 5 occupations with the largest number of workplace injuries resulting in days away from work:
- Service, including police and firefighters
- Transportation and shipping
- Manufacturing and production
- Installation, maintenance and repair
(Source: National Safety Council)Common Questions About Work Injuries
A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney will help you answer any questions that you might have about your work injury, such as:
- Is my injury eligible for workers’ compensation?
- Can I file a personal injury claim against my company or the people who work there?
- What are my rights as an injured worker?
- Does my health insurance cover my work injury?
- Should I accept a settlement?
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation provides coverage for all types of on-the-job injuries, as well as all kinds of work accidents. Most employers are legally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.
If someone else is responsible for your workplace injury, you may also be able to file a personal injury claim. Based on the facts of your particular situation, an attorney will help you decide if this is an action you should pursue.
Typically, health insurance does not cover at-work injuries. Most individual and group health plans exclude work injuries. That’s one more reason why you need to consult with a personal injury attorney to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
If you have been offered a settlement for an injury you sustained at work, consult with a personal injury attorney before signing any documents. Oftentimes, a workers’ compensation insurer will try to get you to settle your claim for far less than it’s worth. An attorney will help you understand the long-term effects of your injury, including financial, physical and psychological consequences, and help you maximize your benefits.Steps to Take When Injured in a Work Accident
You’ve hurt yourself while working. What should you do?
First, obtain medical treatment as soon as possible. A delay could cause your employer to argue that your injury was not caused by a workplace accident. When receiving treatment, be sure to tell your medical provider that you’ve suffered a work injury.
In Massachusetts, a worker has four years from the date he or she discovers a work-related injury or illness to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, the sooner a claim is filed, the better.
You’ll need to report the injury to your employer, so that the employer can set up a claim with their insurer on your behalf. It’s important to notify your employer of any at-work injury that you sustain, even if the injury appears to be minor. A mild injury could turn into something much more serious, and a failure to report could result in denial of your claim.
If your employer has denied your workers’ compensation claim, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You have the right to appeal the denial.
Your employer could also claim that your injury did not occur at work or that you exacerbated your injury by failing to follow doctor’s orders. Your employer could claim that you’ve reached “medical maximum improvement,” even though you’re not fully healed. Consult a skilled Boston workers’ compensation lawyer to provide you with expert advice.
Because every case is different, the key to a successful outcome is personalized legal advice tailored to your situation and the facts of your case.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman has successfully handled workplace injury and workers’ compensation claims on behalf of individuals in Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Lawrence and other areas of Massachusetts.
If you or a family member is dealing with an on-the-job injury or workers’ compensation claim, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights at 1-888-367-2900. Or visit our website at https://www.jeffreysglassman.com/.