If I asked someone on the streets to describe my typical workers’ comp client, they would likely have a very vivid picture of who I spend much of my day with. They may picture a firefighter, a construction worker, an electrician—someone whose job has clear and present risk every day. They would probably describe the injuries these men and women have suffered as the result of a terrifying workplace accident, something that most of us could only dream of.
Unfortunately, these people would be mostly wrong. While I do see individuals with dangerous jobs as part of my workers’ compensation law practice, the majority of people who come to me have average, run-of-the-mill jobs that seem perfectly safe and mundane. Nurses, flight attendants, teachers—none of these jobs scream “danger,” per se, but most of the people who suffer workplace injuries occupy what could be considered safe careers. What, then, is causing these men and women to be injured?
A Cross-Section of Workplace Injuries
Workers’ comp is a bit of a mythical creature for many individuals—something they hear about but never see. Because most people assume that workplace injuries are for jobs traditionally considered risky or dangerous, they may not consider workers’ comp as anything in which they will need to become proficient.
Have you ever hurt yourself at home, while having fun, cooking dinner, or doing simple chores? Odds are you probably didn’t cut your thumb completely off while preparing dinner, or accidentally cut your foot off with a lawnmower—you probably tweaked your back picking up the laundry basket or tore a ligament in your knee stepping off of your back porch. Most workers’ compensation cases are similar—ordinary people in ordinary jobs getting hurt doing very ordinary tasks.
The most common cause of all workers’ compensation claims is just that. Overexertion injuries such as pulling, pushing, or lifting are responsible for billions of dollars in workers’ compensation claims each year. In a close second place, falling—as in tripping on a doorjamb or slipping on a wet floor—is causing billions of dollars in workers’ compensation claims, as well.
Why Does This Matter to You?
While this may seem like little more than silly trivia to you now, when you are in the peak of health, I want to emphasize how a majority of workers’ compensation claims are caused by injuries sustained in everyday, boring ways. Many people (perhaps yourself included) assume it will never happen to them, and are uninformed and unprepared to handle a workers’ comp claim on their own.
Take this opportunity to peruse the website and learn about the basics of filing a workers’ comp claim, your rights as an injured worker, and important tips and advice. Hopefully, you never need the information; this way, however, you are covered if you do!