Abels & Annes

Strains and Sprains are the Most Common Workers’ Compensation Claims

52016Any job poses certain risks to the employees who perform them, even if those jobs seem routine or possible mundane. Certain field and types of work are more dangerous than others and those who are employed in construction, healthcare settings, the airline industry, and factory workers are some who face harm on a regular basis. But what happens when risk turns to incident and a worker finds herself injured? If the accident happened in Illinois, the victims are protected by state law which enables them to seek relief for their damages. In a typical claim, damages may include things like the medical treatment needed to get well, any medical treatment reasonable believed to be necessary in the future, lost wages, pain and suffering, and inconvenience to those involved.

While the ability to recover is a substantial right of victims, it is in everyone’s best interests to prevent and eliminate as many work injuries as possible so that these employees never become victims in the first place. To do that, it is helpful to know what types of injuries plague workers with the greatest frequency so steps can be taken to avoid those incidents.

The Travelers Companies, the nation’s largest workers’ compensation carrier, released annual numbers related to on-the-job injuries and resulting claims across many types of employment. The statistics reflect claims between 2010 and 2014 and determined that strains and sprains were the most common injury occurring approximately 30 percent of the time. Cuts or punctures were responsible for 19 percent of injuries, contusions made up 12 percent of claims, and inflammation and fractures each accounted for five percent of injuries. Sprains and strains were the most common injury across all employment platforms except for small employers where cuts or punctures predominated.

The activity engaged in which led to injuries was also analyzed and material handling led to the most accidents at 32 percent. Next, slips, trips, and falls were the cause of 16 percent of all injuries, then being struck by or colliding with an object at 10 percent, accidents involving tools at seven percent, and chronic or repetitive traumas or injuries at four percent.

From these conclusions, several things can be taken away with regard to safety in Chicago, Initially, all workers should exercise particular when handling materials or when faced with a possible sprain or strain. This may mean carrying product, climbing on a ladder or other surface, walking on uneven ground, or traversing through a manufacturing plant. These statistics also serve as a reminder that all injuries can be compensable if they happened while working in Illinois, including soft tissue injuries like sprains.

Victims of workers’ compensation accidents should make sure they are well versed in the laws as they apply to a victim’s particular accident as failing to act within a time period specified by law will result in the waiver of that victim’s right to obtain relief.

Prior Blog Entry:

What are the Risks of Working in Chicago’s Construction Industry?, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 18, 2016.

Resource:

Top 5 Workers Compensation Claims and Their Causes, Insurance Journal, published May 18, 2016.