Are You Entitled to Workers’ Compensation for a Reaction Injury On the Job?
It’s comforting to know that you will be paid during your recovery if you suffered a serious fall at work. While you don’t like the idea of being hurt in a work accident, at least you won’t have to struggle to pay your bills while you heal. But what if you’re not injured as a result of an accident, but an injury that has grown and worsened over time?
Unfortunately, this is the case for many workers who suffer emotional or physical reactions as a result of their workplace conditions. These conditions often go undiagnosed until they become unbearable, or are misdiagnosed as other conditions unrelated to the victim’s job.
The most common kinds of reactions that are covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Physical reaction. The most prevalent physical reactions include trauma without impact, such as a slip on a wet floor that results in whiplash or a meniscus tear. However, there are many different kinds of no-contact injuries, such as bending, reaching, climbing, or even standing or sitting for prolonged periods. In some cases, heart attacks are considered reaction injuries because the body is reacting to extreme stress.
- Allergic reaction. Victims may also suffer reactions to substances in the workplace, also called occupational exposure. Chemicals, mold and toxic fumes can build up in the body over time and may cause delayed-onset reactions, such as breathing problems, skin irritation and even lost pulmonary function.
- Emotional reaction. Some workers can suffer emotional effects of work demands, such as insomnia, PTSD, and anxiety disorders. If the workplace is continually stressful or the victim has been exposed to inhumane or disturbing conditions, they may be able to collect compensation for mental instability.
How Can I Tell If My Condition Was Caused by My Workplace?
Many reaction injuries place the burden of proof on the worker. For example, if an employee has developed an occupational disease, he must have medical evidence of the onset of symptoms, as well as evidence that the hazardous material was present in his workplace. Getting payment for an emotional injury can be even more difficult, since it can be hard to prove that a mental condition was caused on the job.
The best way to find out if you could be owed workers’ compensation is to have an attorney investigate your claim on your behalf. Fill out the short contact form on this page to get started, or download our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.
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