During the evaluation of injury claims made through workers comp, one must keep in mind that the worker’s comp insurance is purchased by the employer through a variety of insurance providers. After a claim is approved by the insurance company, they then begin to pay benefits to the employee.
Although this is the case most of the time, states create individual plans for worker´s comp that are used for regulating purposes, employee safety, and dispute resolution. It is for this reason that a lot of information concerning injuries takes place over a multitude of institutions.
In a 2020 report by the IJERPH, it was discovered that there were 5 main injuries that were reported to worker´s comp. These involved:
- A strain
- A Contusion
- A laceration
- A sprain
- A puncture
Below, we explain the top injuries reported to worker´s comp.
When an individual experiences a strain, it is due to the muscle or tendon being overly stretched or tears. The majority of strain injury is caused by performing repetitive motions while working such as pulling, pushing, or lifting objects that weight a lot.
A contusion is the medical term for a bruise that results from any body part getting hit hard. Although a bruise is not considered to be a major injury or having much significance, it does have the possibility to cause a substantial amount of pain- For a bruise that becomes associated with swelling may be a sign of an issue that is more severe in nature.
When a laceration happens while working, it is usually caused by an employee handling the wrong type of tool or having no knowledge of how to handle the use of the tool. Any machine tools that have exposed blades or protective parts may also cause a laceration. By ensuring that lighting is good, you will decrease your chances for lacerations.
Equal to a strain injury, the sprain also happens due to overstretching or tearing of a ligament. Sprains are also the result of repetition and manipulating objects of significant weight. The individual may also experience a sprain if they become uncoordinated in their actions.
Employees can experience a puncture injury as they handle tools that are sharp. Some examples include scissors, knives, working on surfaces that are splintered, nails, or glass. Dull items or even shards made from glass or metal can put an employee at risk for a puncture would to occur.
Having an idea of what injuries are reported the most to worker´s comp can help an employer instill ways to make a work environment safer. To get a better idea of what you can expect from reporting an injury to worker´s comp, contact us today and we will be happy to assist.
Posted on: Dec 23 2021
When it comes to reporting injuries in the workplace, it is preferred that they get reported shortly after occurring. The deadline to submit a worker´s comp claim will differ among each state. However, the normal timeframe seems to be ASAP, which is not a bad thing.
Having a flexible timeframe such as this can be justified by having some factors involved.
- Injury being deemed as work-related by a doctor
- Circumstances of the injury
- When the injury occurred
As far as the state that you live in is concerned, when an employee takes too long to report their injury, they may become ineligible for benefits or worse their benefit amount may be much less than it should be. A good example of this is in Colorado. For every day that reporting is late, you will be deducted an equal day.
Besides having the injury reported after the occurrence, an employee will need to file a claim for benefits if they choose to be compensated. All documents from a doctor will need to accompany the claim form when the employee makes the claim.
For filing a benefits claim for worker´s compensation, the timeframe can vary by state, but normally the variance can be more than 3 years. With that, it is also advisable to file a claim ASAP due to the amount of time the claim may need to be closed.
For instances where the employer declines to have the injury reported, then the employee has the right to make direct contact with the insurance provider to file their claim for benefits. If the insurance provider information is unknown, then the worker´s compensation for the state may be contacted to obtain the insurance provider information.
Timeframe For An Employer To Report Worker´s Comp Injuries
As an employer is notified of a work-related injury, they should work as a guide for their employee so that the insurance provider can be notified. As part of the process, the employer needs to furnish the following:
- Correct worker´s comp forms to the employee to get the claim process started
- Details concerning going back to work
Once an employer has been officially notified, the employee can begin their benefits claim. It is advised that all forms necessary should be provided to the employee within one day after the injury. As part of the claim forms packet, the employee should have one that covers the details of the injury and the circumstances surrounding it. The name of the form may be similarly known as an “Initial Report”. This form will request information regarding the following:
- Type of injury sutained
- Location of the injury
- Any injury treatment needed
- Any supplemental information
After filling out this form, it needs to be received by the insurance provider asap and in accordance with the insurer and state timeframes, they have set. Other than the forms for the claim, an employer may be required to submit additional forms to the insurance company. On top of all of that, the doctor treating the injured employee may have to submit all treatment documents to the worker´s compensation provider.
Each state may regulate how the specific process will take place and how forms will be submitted and the order in which they are submitted. Ultimately, the state has the final say in the entire process and could affect the way a worker´s comp claim is handled regardless of benefits being paid out.
Under normal circumstances, an evaluation of the claim will only take place after the necessary forms and documentation have been received by the insurance. Both employee and employer will then be notified later on if the claim for benefits will be paid or not. The timeframe for the payout of benefits will be determined by the rapidness of filing the claim, which could be more than a year. For injuries that are claimed quickly, the payout may also be quickly made, thus closing the case much quicker, too.
Keep in mind that not all worker´s compensation cases will be the same. Each of the state laws governing worker´s compensation will differ, which is why it is important to have all of the current information as soon as an injury takes place.
Submitting a claim for worker´s comp benefits should not feel like a chore, and it should not take a long time. When the claim is known and filed with the insurer, the benefits will be paid on a timely basis. If you see yourself in an uncomfortable situation with your employer concerning the worker´s compensation process, you should get ahold of us today. We will give you the exact information needed for your state and advise you on the options available to you.
Posted on: Dec 15 2021
A mention of work-related injuries paints a picture of a job site, especially a construction or manufacturing plant. But did you know that not all work-related accidents happen on the job, specifically in a building? Today, we’ll look at one such accident – Car accidents.
Car Accidents As Work-Related Accidents
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 percent of all work-related deaths are often a result of workers driving or riding in a motor vehicle on a public road. In 2019, this made up 1,270 deaths in the United States.
As of now, motor vehicle crashes are either the first or the second cause of death in every primary industry group. This means that workers who drive as part of their job might be at a higher risk for motor vehicle crashes than other motorists because they spend more time on the road.
With that in mind, here are the dangerous situations that a driver at work might face if they are on the road for extended periods:
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Distractions that can lead to reckless driving
- Dangerous roads
- Unfamiliar routes
- Different work zones
- Impaired judgment due to drug use of alcohol
While these issues are threats to every driver, they are more likely to be encountered by those who spend a significant amount of time on the road, particularly drivers at work. Additionally, some of these issues, like reckless driving or impaired judgment, might not be the drivers’ fault.
Also, certain occupations put drivers at greater risk than others because they require drivers to be on the road more than usual, or at least more than the average driver. These include:
- Truck drivers
- Police officers
- Taxi or rideshare workers
- Sanitary workers
- Oil and gas extraction workers
- Delivery persons
Some of these occupations, like firefighters and police officers, might additionally require them to drive at high speeds, even if it is late at night. This means that these drivers are often in danger of getting into motor vehicle crashes.
Another thing to note is that the risk extends to passengers or other pedestrian workers like highway maintenance crews or construction workers. They, too, could also be injured in work-related motor vehicle accidents.
Typically, the employer covers the driver, sometimes even when they are either partially or entirely at fault. But if they are at fault, the long-term benefits under the worker’s compensation claim might not be provided to the driver. Also, passengers or other pedestrian workers can get workers’ compensation with the help of an attorney if they are injured in a work-related crash. Having issues obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be frustrating, but when you get ahold of us, we will go over the details with you so you know what to expect from your claim.
Posted on: Nov 30 2021
Usually, when we hear post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we think about veterans unable to assimilate back into society. However, PTSD can result from traumatic experiences or injuries at work. In some cases, this can also make one eligible for worker’s compensation.
But showing the connection between work and PTSD can be challenging. With that in mind, let’s look at how one can claim to be experiencing PTSD while on the job.
PTSD On The Job
Specific work experiences can trigger PTSD symptoms in workers. These include:
- Developing depression or anxiety after a physical injury
- Getting assaulted or robbed
- Witnessing a fatality or another traumatic event when at work
The truth is that every worker is at risk of experiencing any of these traumatic events while on the job. However, certain workers have a higher risk of on-the-job PTSD because of the nature of their work since it exposes them to a greater risk of witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. These include:
- Law enforcement officers
- Fire Fighters
- Workers in any hazardous industry
- Medical workers
- Military Servicemembers
- Retail workers
How To Know You Have Work-Related PTSD
Flashbacks, mood changes, debilitating anxieties, and sleeping issues are common problems that follow work-related injuries relating to PTSD.
These are also signs that a worker is struggling with PTSD symptoms. Therefore, under such circumstances, these mental health conditions are considered work-related illnesses. And because they are work-related, the worker is deemed eligible for Workers Compensation coverage of PTSD.
This would typically include payment for any mental health services and compensation for lost wages. The latter is expected if the worker is out of work due to a psychological condition stemming from PTSD.
Compensation For PTSD
Since diagnosing PTSD can be challenging, especially concerning work-related injuries, receiving compensation becomes problematic as well. PTSD treatment following work-related experiences is also rarely provided – and when it is provided, it is barely adequate.
Applying for compensation is even more of a challenge since there is no direct connection between work and PTSD. However, with the help of experienced medical and legal professionals, workers can get the support they need to pursue treatment and care.
If you are diagnosed with PTSD following a work-related injury, ensure you seek the help of an attorney to help you get the compensation, treatment, and care you need. It is not unusual to get coverage for a psychological injury. Therefore, don’t shy away from obtaining compensation for work-related mental health conditions. Get ahold of us today so that we can discuss the options you have to receive your work-related compensation for PTSD.
Posted on: Nov 15 2021
Are you a worker who has had a back injury recently? Well, good news because you can use the workers’ compensation insurance program and avail some monetary benefits or medical aid yourself. The condition is that the injury must have occurred either during work or while doing some work-related activities. Employers who have at least 500 employees working under them have the power to manage their own compensation programs. Anything apart from this is state-managed. However, generally, the state controls all compensation programs for workers.
Nipping Back Injuries
Worker’s compensation is quite convenient for the employees. However, this does not mean you should not take any precautionary measures at work. Preventing back injuries during work should be a priority. First things first: if you do not have the built required for construction work, it is not meant for you. Cut down on carrying as much as possible if you think you are susceptible to a back injury, have previously had one, or working a demanding shift. Another thing you must do to avoid getting hurt is to store materials at waist height, so they are easily reachable.
Falling on your back is the worst possible way to get an injury. Make sure you wear firm footwear that is not slippery. All walkways being used by you need to be clear of wet material or sharp objects. If possible, always work with another employee nearby so you can take care of each other during emergencies.
Prevention is better than cure. There is more than one way to prevent back injuries, and being careful is only one of them. If you cannot afford to switch to another job, make sure you are built to face all the responsibilities and crucibles of the current one. Build upon body mass if you lack in that area, and go to the gym frequently to strengthen muscles. Take a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and skip unhealthy street food.
Reducing Risk Back Injuries
Move around, take breaks, and don’t sit in awkward positions for longer than necessary to avoid muscle spasms. Reducing the risk of injuries to your back helps a great deal. Most construction companies provide training to their employees regardless of body type to avoid back injuries and other possible health issues that may arise due to the nature of work. This involves the provision of literature and safety equipment.
Stick to the rules and follow them diligently. You are not Superman, so work accordingly and avoid taking tasks that seem unsuitable for you.
Posted on: Oct 27 2021
When you talk about job site hazards, physical injuries caused by unprotected falling, or perhaps a restricted zone you might walk into, come to mind. But some dangers can only be felt and not seen.
Suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression are equally dangerous to workers’ safety as any other hazards. But due to lack of awareness, the mental health issue among construction workers is growing day by day. A study published in 2020 revealed that as many as 83% of construction workers in the United States have suffered from a mental health issue. This could strongly mean that the guy who always brings in donuts or that woman who is always kind to everybody on-site could be facing a crisis but is not letting anyone see it.
Here are some of the common mental health issues faced by construction workers.
Construction sites, according to CDC, have the highest suicide rate of all industries combined. Looking at the numbers, suicides could easily top the OSHA’s Fatal Four Hazards list. The tell-tale signs of this illness are pretty apparent. However, employers and coworkers fail to notice them. We urge you to talk to everybody present, even those who prefer being alone. Communication is the key to helping people around you.
Drug and Alcohol Use
Because of problems at home and a job they cannot afford to leave, construction workers also restore to alcohol and drug abuse, as per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This misuse also serves as a two-fold risk. By consuming opioids and cocaine, these workers are also impairing their ability to work on-site. They are putting both their safety and those of others at risk.
What Causes These Mental Health Issues?
The mind can be affected by several elements. Common contributors to mental health issues in construction workers include high-pressure and competitive work environments. This leads to substance abuse, alcohol, and drugs consumption which ultimately causes them to be separated from their children or family and even layoffs at the end of the season.
Employers are urged to take care of the construction workers and create healthy cultures and environments for them. Monetary compensation helps, but the workers also need a break. We recommend on-site therapists lend an ear or help out any worker struggling with such issues. After all, they are human beings, too and require constant attention to their well-being.
Posted on: Oct 15 2021
The pain of any kind causes a great disturbance in one’s life. While many people turn to high-dose pain killers and injections to relieve their pain rapidly, some look for other suitable alternatives.
Pain can generally be categorized into two types; acute and chronic. Acute pain is a sharp, intense sensation of pain that one experiences immediately after getting hurt or post-surgery. Although this pain is very hurtful, it usually diminishes with proper treatment and care within a few weeks. On the contrary, chronic pain is more persistent and is not relieved by a definite dose of medicines. One of the most common examples of chronic pain is an extreme case of osteoarthritis in which pills do not work substantially, and the pain is never permanently gone.
Techniques of pain management are diverse, including massages, medicines, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Other methods that are more commonly used in homes include heat or cold compresses, ointments, and meditation.
Non-Medicine Pain Management Techniques
- Massage: Massage is a proven method to relieve stress and muscular pain. While massage can be adopted regularly, one should always be cautious of the materials used in massage and whether the person providing massage services is professional or not.
- CBT: Also known as cognitive behavioral therapy, this method focuses on making the patient aware of their feeling and how their brain functions while perceiving pain. This therapy is very well recognized due to its vast implications. It has successfully made people more aware of themselves, thus enabling them to be in control of their bodies.
- Acupuncture: Although medical practitioners do not commonly accept this method, doctors in China use it broadly. In this method, the trained professional pricks tiny needles into the affected area, which triggers the body to release pain-killing hormones such as endorphins.
Medicinal Pain Management Techniques
- Aspirin: This medicine is usually prescribed to relieve cases of acute pain temporarily.
- Opioids: The prescription of these medicines is very rare as it is given only in cases of terminal illnesses such as cancer and tumor.
- NSAIDs: The most common NSAID is ibuprofen which reduces swelling, inflammation, alleviates pain, and promotes quick healing.
It would be best if you used the correct pain management technique that suits your particular injury case. To know more about choosing the right approach, contact Maximum Orthopedics and book an appointment now.
Posted on: Sep 30 2021
A chiropractor is a trained professional specializing in treating many physiological problems using hand techniques and prescribing different exercises. The field of chiropractors remains intact due to their belief in the power of diagnosis and treatment without drugs or any invasive procedure.
A widespread belief in a group of chiropractors is that treatment through drugs and intensive procedures is hazardous for a person in the longer run. These treatments may be effective temporarily, but they affect the nervous system in many ways as time passes. Therefore, chiropractors use manual adjustments and manipulation of the muscular system to diagnose and treat a disorder.
Through several techniques used by chiropractors, a lot of problems have been diagnosed and treatments, namely;
- Pain associated with bones
- Spinal Injury
- Strained muscles during sports
- Constant neck pain
Based on the severity of your problems, your chiropractor may suggest a variety of treatments. While doctors prescribe medications, chiropractors use their manipulation techniques to restore the functioning of muscles.
- Bracing of Joints: At times, your chiropractor will prescribe joint bracing to support your joints and improve their mobility. Also known as Kinesio taping, this method aims to lift the sagging skin, reduce pain, and improve lymphatic drainage.
- Exercise: To increase the range of motion, chiropractors, often advise regular exercise so that your muscles are flexible.
- Soft tissue therapy: Delicate tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments are addressed in this form of treatment. In this therapy, muscles tears, poor posture, and tight muscles are improved.
A chiropractor is trained to work with any muscle in the body. They use their hands to know of any abnormality in the body and then suggest treatments according to the problem. Since their treatment is not through any medicines and surgeries, everyone can see a chiropractor, including a pregnant lady, a child, or an older person.
Since many people refrain from taking unnecessary medications, they prefer a more traditional diagnosis and treatment method. Due to this reason, the field of chiropractors has recently witnessed a considerable uplift.
If you are suffering from any pain, going to a chiropractor is the best choice as it prevents any drugs and invasive procedures. Need to contact a chiropractor? Head over to Maximum Orthopedics and book an appointment with our specialized team of chiropractors.
Posted on: Sep 15 2021
If you have been injured, you may want to get back on your feet as soon as you can. It can be frustrating to have to cut down on your physical activities or even spend several days or weeks in bed as you heal. However, not doing this can result in making your injuries worse, even if you don’t intend to do that. Here are a few ways you can accidentally make your injuries worse.
Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders
When you get injured, your doctor is going to give you a list of things you should and should not do. They may also give you medication to take or physical therapy exercises to do regularly. By following these instructions, you will help your body regain its strength and flexibility while avoiding things that will cause further injury. If you ignore any or all of these instructions, you’re likely going to injure yourself further or, at best, make the healing process take longer.
Rest is important to healing. Your body needs you to take it easy when you’ve been hurt. If you have injured your ankle, you need to stay off your feet for a while so the ankle isn’t put under stress. It’s important that you don’t try to do too much right away. If you do, your body may not get the time it needs to repair the damage.
This may include taking a break from your hobbies and from work in the short term. However, resting and rebuilding your body can be a long-term task. You may need to put your normal exercise routine on hold even after you can go back to work and have no trouble doing day-to-day tasks. Instead, you might need to do physical therapy or other special exercises that focus on the injured part of your body. Trying to accelerate your therapy plan or exercise more often may hurt more than it helps.
Not Changing the Habits that Led to Injury
In many cases, your injury was an accident that you couldn’t have anticipated. However, there are some injuries caused by doing something unsafely. If you don’t change these unsafe work habits, you can injure yourself further. For example, not wearing the proper safety gear or failing to take breaks can lead to getting hurt again. Be sure you take all necessary steps to make certain you don’t get hurt again.
Have you been injured and need a trusted doctor? The team at Maximum Orthopedics can help you with physical therapy, workers comp, and more. Contact us today to make an appointment.
Posted on: Aug 30 2021
Workers’ comp laws come into play if you are injured on the job, but that may not be the only benefit that comes into play. FMLA, which is short for the Family Medical Leave Act, provides qualifying employees to take up to 12 weeks off of work for illness, injury, and other specific health issues. FMLA protects your job while giving you the time you may need to recover. The injury that qualifies you for FMLA does not have to have occurred at work. However, it could.
What Does FMLA Cover?
FMLA is a very broad act that covers many different types of injuries. It even includes events such as the birth of a child or the adoption of a young child who needs care. You can also file for FMLA if your spouse, parent, or child has a serious health condition that requires you to take care of them for a short period of time. FMLA can give you time off to attend to an injury or an illness that makes it difficult or impossible to perform your normal job duties.
When FMLA and Workers’ Comp Cross Over
If you have been injured at work and require time off to rest and heal because you cannot do your job without rest, you likely qualify for both workers’ comp and FMLA under the last point mentioned above. You can take FMLA and workers’ comp benefits at the same time. You can also take FMLA time off instead of filing a workers’ comp claim or file a claim without using any FMLA leave.
The Differences Between the Two
The biggest difference between FMLA and workers’ comp is that FMLA is unpaid time off. Your employer can opt to pay you, but they are not required to. However, FMLA does protect your job. Your employer cannot fire you or eliminate your job. They have to continue to employ you in your position or an equivalent one.
Workers’ comp, though, does provide paid leave. However, you can only take workers’ comp leave if you were injured while at work. You will typically receive two-thirds of your normal salary, plus your medical bills will be covered. However, while employers cannot fire you for taking workers’ comp, they can eliminate your position, include you in company-wide layoffs, or even give you a lower position when you return to work.
Need help with a workers’ comp claim or determining which option you should take? Maximum Orthopedics is here to help. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.
Posted on: Aug 15 2021