Work Accidents And Injuries - 7 Things You Need To Consider

Accidents at work remain all too common. If you've been hurt at work, it's important that you understand whether you may be entitled to a claim and whether you should hire a personal injury attorney. The information below is not legal advice and is for information only

    work accident statistics in the US

     

    Work Injuries - How Common Are Work Accidents In the United States?

    Zero injuries.  That should be every employer's goal throughout the United States.  With that said, work accidents remain part of life and are an all too common occurrence throughout the United States.  The good news is that work injuries have been on a steady decline throughout the United States over the last fifteen years.  Today, work accident statistics across the United States are estimated to be the following depending on occupation.

    How common are non-fatal work injuries in the United States? 

    1. Across all of the United States, 1 out of every 1000 workers suffered some type of work related injury in 2017

    2. Approximately 1/3rd or work injuries resulted in the employee taking time off work (882,730 accidents resulting in time off work in 2017); 

    3. In 2017, there were approximately 3,476,000 total recorded work injuries across all industries in the United States (source US Department of Labour);

    4. By occupation, the industries with the highest percentage of work injuries in the United States were: 

      • the manufacturing industry had approximately 429,000 recordable work injuries in 2017; 

      • the retail trade industry had approximately 396,000 accidents resulting in recordable work injuries in 2017;

      • somewhat surprisingly, the professional service industry had 207,000 work place injuries in 2017; 

      • the construction industry had approximately 191,000 recordable work injuries in 2017, with specialty trade contractors making up 131,000 of the workplace injuries; and

      • the wholesale trade industry had approximately 157,000 recordable work injuries in 2017.

    How common are fatal work injuries in the United States? 

    1. In 2017, there were approximately 5,147 total fatal work injuries across all industries in the United States (source US Department of Labour).  This means that approximately 1.5 people die from  every 1000 workplace injuries in the United States. 

    2. By occupation, the industries with the highest percentage of work injuries in the United States were: 

      • the construction industry had 971 work accidents resulting in death in 2017; 

      • the natural resources and mining industry had 693 work accidents resulting in death in 2017; 

      • the manufacturing industry had approximately 303 work accidents resulting in death in 2017; and

      • the transportation and trade industry had approximately 882 work accidents resulting in death in 2017.

    While the decreasing injury statistics are promising, and as we continue to move towards a world more and more focused on safety, the reality is that work accidents continue to occur and they are not going away in the foreseeable future.  

    So where do you begin if you've been involved in a work accident?  We are going to help you here. 

    How Common Are Work Accidents In the United States?

     

    1.  Am I entitled to take time off work after a work accident?

    If you've been injured after an accident at work (and your employer isn't legally entitled to fire you given the accident), in most States your employer is responsible to accommodate the fact that you are unable to work - assuming the employer isn't entitled to fire you because of your behavior causing the accident.  If your employer is demanding you work (and threatening to fire you) when you are physically unable to work because of injuries you suffered at work, you may have a remedy against your employer. Generally speaking, your employer is likely responsible to act reasonably with respect to work obligations and what you can/cannot do after your accident (requirements may vary State to State). 

    Workers' compensation laws typically define the compensation you are owed following an accident at work which has resulted in injuries and workers' compensation laws typically do not define your other employment rights (i.e. what happens in the event of a wrongful termination of your employment).  Workers' compensation laws typically do not define how much time you are allowed to take off after work, but do provide you and your employer financial relief if you are unable to work as a result of injuries suffered at work (by paying your salary or some portion thereof so your employer doesn't have to and so you receive funds while you're unable to work). 

    2.  Can I be fired following an accident at work? 

    While you can be fired at any time, it doesn't mean your work termination was legal or that your employer was allowed to fire you.  The nature and cause of the accident will define whether your employer has a right to terminate your employment (i.e. whether your wrongful behavior caused the accident and whether that behavior is grounds for dismissal).  Generally speaking, an employer is typically not legally entitled to terminate your employment just because you were injured at work, however, it depends what type of event caused the accident and the laws of your State.

    If you've been fired after an accident at work, its important to speak with a work accident lawyer to assess whether you may have a claim against your employer for wrongful termination. Your employer is generally not able to discriminate against you simply because you were injured at work.  Even if you caused the accident that resulted in your injuries, your employer may not be able to terminate your employment (may not be able to fire you). Generally speaking, workers compensation laws do not provide protection with respect to what your employer can or can't do with respect to your ongoing employment (source here). 

    With that said, and as noted above, the circumstances may change State to State.  If you are using drugs or alcohol at work, or the behavior is egregious which resulted in your accident your employer may be able to take recourse against you (and may be legally entitled to fire you).  If you've been fired after an accident at work, you may want to speak with a work attorney to see whether you may be entitled to a claim. 

    If you've been involved in a work accident, it's important that you speak with a work accident lawyer to provide you with some advice with respect to the compensation you are entitled to, how much time you are entitled to take off work and what responsibilities your employer may have with respect to your employment going forward. 

    3. Do i get paid my salary after my work accident?  Who pays my medical expenses after a work accident?

    Generally speaking, if your injuries prevent you from performing your job and you are physically unable to work, workers' compensation insurance/protection is intended to provide you with some compensation following your accident (all or some portion of your salary for a period of time you are physically unable to work). 

    Workers' compensation insurance may not reimburse you the full amount of your salary, however, you should be entitled to some compensation. With that said, it depends on the workers' compensation laws in your State and it depends on the nature and extent of your injuries.  Furthermore, not all employees may be covered by workers' compensation insurance and an assessment needs to be made on a case-by-case basis depending on your State. 

    Second, even if you suffered injuries but your injuries do not require you to take any time off of work, you still may be entitled to some form of compensation for your injuries.  In addition, often workers' compensation insurance will provide you with certain medical and health benefits to help you get the medical attention you need to recover as quickly as possible. 

    Third, in additional to workers' compensation insurance legislated in your State, you may also purchase private insurance to protect you and your family if you suffer a serious accident at work. 

    So what is workers' compensation insurance (or work injury compensation insurance)?

    Workers' compensation insurance is typically mandated by an Act (legislation) in your State which regulates how much insurance employers must obtain to to protect employees injured at work and what amounts employees (workers) are entitled to be paid or reimbursed if they are injured on the job.  The laws and compensation regimes may slightly vary State by State, but the principle is generally the same.  Texas is the only State that does not have any mandatory workers' compensation laws in effect. Workers compensation insurance is typically provided for by private insurance companies, however, may be publicly funded in certain States. You can find out more here with respect to what insurance regime may be applicable in your State. 

    It is also possible for both employers and employees to obtain additional private insurance coverage to the extent there are any types of claims or exposures that they would like protection against in addition to protections afforded under applicable workers' compensation laws. 

    4. Can I bring a claim after my work accident? 

    Yes, however, depending on the State you work in the laws may be different with respect to who your claim may be against and the potential value of your claim.  As noted above, every State in the US has workers' compensation laws (excluding Texas).  This regime means that your employer is required to obtain insurance to pay you and/or your employer if you are injured at work and are unable to work (see the applicable workers' compensation acts or regulations in your State or contact a lawyer for work accidents for further details).  Generally speaking, workers' compensation laws mean that: 

    1. Your employer is responsible for paying premiums to the insurance company providing workers' compensation insurance for each of its employees and to protect that employer from claims by workers if an employee is injured at work; and

    2. An employee needs to seek compensation from the employer/insurance company that provided insurance if that employee is injured at work.  The workers compensation laws in each State may define or prescribe how much you are entitled to after your work injury.  The proceeds of insurance will then likely pay you something for your injuries and for your salary (or portion thereof) for the period you are unable to work.  

    The result?  Other than in Texas, you are generally not permitted to bring a claim against your employer in the US for injuries you suffer in an accident at work - as the claim will be resolved in accordance with workers compensation laws (and an insurance company will pay you).  In Texas, you would typically bring your claim directly against your employer.  

    With that said, in any case, you are entitled to bring a claim if you are injured at work and, in most cases, there should be insurance in place to pay you compensation for your work injury claim (in particular if it is a serious injury).  You can speak with a work accident lawyer near you to find out more (or you can use Adidem to find the best work accident lawyer for your claim). 

    In addition to the above, if you were injured as a result of the actions of a third party other than your employer (for example, a defective product causing injuries at work), you may also be entitled to bring a separate claim against that third party and the workers' compensation laws in your State may not apply to the claim against the third party.  Legal advice is required. 

    work accident claims and work accident injury lawyer

     

    5. How much is my work accident claim worth? 

    Consistent with the information above, it depends.  It depends on the State you are working in and how the workers' compensation regime in each State works and what expenses or injuries are eligible for compensation.  Generally speaking, insurance will reimburse you for all or a portion of the following: 

    1. cost of medical treatment (including chiropractor, physical therapist, drugs, etc);

    2. cost of potential future medical treatment or rehabilitation after your work accident; 

    3. compensation for time off of work; and

    4. compensation for a specific type of injury.  These are typically general damages, but the workers' compensation laws will typically define an amount you are entitled to for the pain and suffering associated with a particular injury. 

    Again, the laws of each State may vary with respect to what compensation you are entitled to.  Your workers' compensation claim could also have the following challenges: 

    1. Does your employer report the claim to its insurance company or the workers' compensation agency in your State? It should be noted that your employer may not want to report your accident or your injuries (even though they are likely obliged to do so).  Your employer's insurance premiums may increase as a result of accidents or claims, and your employer may not want to increase their costs associated with workers' compensation insurance; 

    2. What information do you need to maximize your workers' compensation claim? The information you provide to the workers' compensation insurance company will be reviewed and assessed with respect to the value of your claim and reviewed relative to the laws in your State that may define what compensation you are entitled to.  It's important that you know what compensation you may be entitled to, what the full nature and extent of your injuries may be, how it may impact your current employment or future employment and what documentation or evidence you need to support your claim.  You can do this by contacting a lawyer for work accidents near you so they can advice on the relevant work accidents laws for your claim and how you can maximize your claim;

    3. The workers' compensation agency may deny your claim for administrative reasons.  That doesn't mean you don't have a right to appeal or challenge that denial - and legal advice should be sought if your claim was initially denied and you think it was wrongfully denied; and 

    4. Insurance companies are generally not in the business of paying you as much as possible or as much as you may be entitled.  Workers' compensation insurance companies will typically offer your some type of work accident settlement, although the settlement offer may be less or significantly less than you are actually entitled.  It is important that you speak with a work accident attorney or search for "work accident lawyer near me" to find an attorney who can help you assess whether you are getting fair compensation for your work injury claim. 

    6. What should I do after my work accident? 

    Report and document the accident and the nature of your injuries.  It is important that everyone, including your employer, understand exactly what happened and the nature of your injuries.  With that said, you may be askinig "what if the work accident was my fault?" You should also be careful admitting fault (if the work accident was your fault) as that could have some impact on your future employment or the extent of compensation you may be entitled to (legal advice is required).  By reporting your accident, you should also consider doing the following: 

    1. Documenting and reporting how the work accident happened and the nature of the accident.  Draft a statement describing what happened, how you were injured and your initial assessment of your injuries (you may find the work accident report form online at your State workers compensation website).  Also consider getting a witness to do the same; 

    2. Visit a doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist (as applicable depending on the nature of your injuries).  It is important to ensure that you obtain the medical treatment you need and to ensure that your injuries are properly documented.  You can find a work accident doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist near you here

    3. Contact your employer and workers' compensation insurance company/agency in your State that provided insurance to your employer to understand how your medical costs will be paid; and

    4. If your injuries are relatively serious or painful (or it was a bad or catastrophic work accident that may have a long term impact to your health or your employment, you should contact a work accident lawyer to understand more about your claim and how to obtain the value you deserve).  You can use Adidem to get quotes from multiple work accident lawyers near you so you can compare attorneys and see who is the best attorney to hire. 

      It should be noted that many work accident lawyers can be hired on a "no win no fee" basis.  You can find out more by getting quotes from work injury attorneys now.  Work accident attorneys will have calculators which can quickly assist in determining the value for your work accident claim (not all attorney estimates may be the same - compare lawyers to get the best value for your claim).  If the work accident resulted in someone's death, you can get quotes on behalf of the person who died or his or her family. 

    Get Quotes From Work Accident Lawyers Now

     

    7. Should I obtain legal proposals?

    After reading the above, it should seem obvious that you should obtain legal proposals if you are considering a work accident claim.  So why doesn't everyone do it?  Well, it's difficult and can be intimidating.  How do you know how the legal process works and a lot of people assume all lawyers will do the same job.  Unfortunately that is not true, and hopefully we have now given you some tools to help you obtain legal proposals before deciding whether to hire a personal injury lawyer or which injury attorney to hire for your work accident claim.  

    We've done one better.  Adidem has provided you with software which will conduct the proposal process for you.  Without you ever leaving the comforts of your home or without you having to contact a personal injury lawyer.  

    How do I obtain legal proposals?

    Well, you could do all the work and call a number of lawyers yourself, or you could simplify life and just use Adidem and let Adidem do the work for you. 

    At Adidem, we use software to simplify the process to hire a personal injury lawyer and to provide you with the relevant information you need to help decide which is the best personal injury lawyer near you to hire.  

    We also allow any lawyer to sign-up to use Adidem. No restrictions, no-sign-up fee and no exclusivity with any particular firm or lawyer. Rather than you having to look for the right lawyer, we bring the legal market to you.

    This is important, as Adidem:

    • can provide you with access to the broader legal market in your city without you needing to contact all those lawyers;
    • allows any lawyer with an opportunity to offer their services for your claim;
    • allows you to obtain information with respect to your claim to determine which lawyer you may want to hire; and
    • makes lawyers compete for your work.

     

    Get Free Legal Proposals Now

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