Almost everyone knows that employees in industries such as construction or truck driving work dangerous jobs. But did you know that working in an office can be just as dangerous? It might seem highly unlikely when imagining rows of people sitting in their chairs, but thousands of workers are hurt in accidents in the office every year.
Top Accidents That Take Place In An Office
On a daily basis, office workers are rushed to the emergency room because of:
The top causes of falls in an office environment include:
- Drawers that haven’t been closed.
- Loose carpeting or tiles.
- Spilled liquids.
While this might not seem like that big of a deal, the fact is that according to the CDC, office workers are 2.5 times more likely to be injured in a fall than any other type of workplace. Those who fall aren’t usually able to get back up and dust themselves off due to the serious injuries they have sustained.
Even a light load of documents can cause a back or neck injury if lifted at the wrong angle.
It’s no secret that office spaces frequently run out of space to store things and that extra space is often sought on top of refrigerators and cupboards. If an object falls and hits an employee on the head, serious damage can be done to the brain, neck, and shoulders, not to mention that the employee will likely fall, causing other injuries.
Just like the parts in a machine, the body can wear out if the same motions are made over and over and over again. Typing, filing, and making phone calls for hours on end can all result in inflammation and pain in any joint in the body, although the shoulders, wrists, and hands are the most common. Nearly ⅔ of all workers suffer from a repetitive stress injury.
The Cost Of Medical Care
Whenever a worker is seriously injured there is a great chance that they may also sustain a financial loss on top of their physical one. Even with the best health insurance, medical care is not cheap. It’s easy for a patient to suddenly find themselves thousands of dollars in debt due to surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and labwork. To make matters worse, most patients are unable to return to work to earn a wage that will cover those costs for an extended period of time due to their injury.
In an attempt to protect injured workers, workers’ compensation was invented. In New York, nearly every employer is required to obtain workers’ compensation benefits to cover all of their employees. This insurance policy should provide an injured worker with coverage for their medical expenses and in return, employees are prevented from filing a lawsuit against their employers.
The problem is, despite the fact that workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance, claims frequently don’t get paid.
Why Don’t Claims Get Paid?
There are several common reasons why an applicant receives a denial:
- Their employer has contested the claim.
- They made a mistake on the claim form.
- Too much time has passed since the accident occurred.
- Their medical records don’t support the claim.
Why Would An Employer Contest A Claim?
Employers frequently contest claims for one simple reason: they don’t want their insurance premiums to go up. On paper, they will claim that the employee isn’t actually as hurt as they say they are or that the injury didn’t occur on the job. But usually it boils down to their desire to save a few dollars.
What Can Be Done If A Claim Is Denied?
An appeal can be made if a claim has been denied but without the help of an attorney, it’s likely that the denial will be reversed. The first thing that happens is a hearing before a judge who will review any additional evidence obtained by the applicant. If the judge also denies the claim, another appeal must be filed within 30 days.
An attorney can help find the proof needed to get a claim paid so that the injured worker can afford to get the treatment they so desperately need. In addition to this, in most cases it is also possible to file a personal injury lawsuit which will provide the plaintiff with additional compensation.
How Can A Lawsuit Help?
By holding the party whose negligence resulted in the accident responsible for their actions or inaction, it may be possible to obtain additional compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and even emotional trauma.
Lawsuits can be filed in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.