You build your career on the fact that you can excel at certain tasks, and you will be used to doing them day in and day our as part of your work. However, doing the same thing day after day, year after year, will have its drawbacks, and eventually, it could begin to wear you down. After all, even the most well-oiled machines wear out over time, and humans are no exception.
We all face occupational injury hazards every day while at work. However, sometimes, the effects of those hazards take a long time, even years, to fully appear. Still, once the damage is done, it could still cause you a lot of pain, lead to a lot of stress and even impact your ability to continue working. Under the circumstances, your risk of income insecurity could increase, and you might feel you need assistance getting back on your feet.
If this is the case, then you might qualify to file a claim on your company’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. These benefits are carried by most businesses and are designed to assist employees when they sustain injuries through their duties on the job. They can prove instrumental in helping injured employees remain secure even if they cannot support themselves.
Injuries sustained over the years are often termed as either chronic exposure or repetitive motion injuries, depending on their root causes. They are prime examples of why the average employee should be able to rely on workers’ compensation for their needs.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of employee benefit, designed to protect those injured on the job.
When someone gets hurt at work, they could face several challenges, including:
- Medical bills related to treating the injury and recovering from it
- Income lost as a result of being unable to work because of the injury.
- Temporary or personal disabilities that force them to either stop working altogether or considerably reduce their working hours.
- Long-term care expenses related to their injury.
Any of these challenges could cause the injured party to face financial insecurity, and since their injury occurred on the job, they are usually entitled to the assistance offered by workers’ compensation. The policy can cover their medical bills, help them replace their lost income and otherwise manage their finances even though they are not able to work.
There is a myriad of injuries that might qualify an employee to file for workers’ compensation benefits, and policies can even provide benefits to an employee’s survivors if they die on the job. Two types of injuries that, while less obvious and less sudden, could still prove devastating are repetitive motion and toxic exposure injuries.
What is a Repetitive Motion Injury?
Years of doing the same task over and over again might trigger a significant strain on different parts of your body. For example, someone who does heavy lifting as part of their duties might eventually experience trouble with their back or spine. Someone who spends a lot of time typing on their keyboard might eventually develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Under the circumstances, the employee might require treatment, therapies, surgeries and even be forced off the job.
What is a Toxic Exposure Injury?
Hazardous materials might be present in abundance in numerous businesses—hospitals, laboratories, waste disposal companies and mines to name a few. Of course, these businesses will have strict protocols in place to help keep employees safe.
Still, even with every possible safeguard in place, the conditions present might eventually harm an employee. For example, someone who works in a mine for years might eventually develop breathing issues and chronic diseases, including cancer, COPD and more. These toxic exposure injuries were directly linked to the employee’s duties, and they therefore might qualify for workers’ compensation.
Proving Your Claim When These Injuries Occur
If you want to file a claim for workers’ compensation due to a toxic exposure or repetitive motion injury, then you might wonder what challenges you might face. After all, someone might not believe that your injury truly arose from your duties. These are not obvious injuries like a head injury you sustain because something fell on you. They are often harder to trace.
Workers’ compensation regulations are designed to help you through situations like these. When you start the process of filing a claim for your injury, you will have to visit a medical care provider. They will help you document the injury and can verify that it arose as a result of your duties. Once they submit the appropriate documentation, the insurer will follow the appropriate guidelines to calculate both what benefits you can receive, and for how long you can receive them.
Additionally, if you face challenges from your employer, your insurer and state workers’ compensation board will provide outlets to help you mediate disputes and manage your benefits. Furthermore, they will continue to monitor you during your recovery or disability and guide you down the appropriate path to either return to work or file for more permanent income support.
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