Q: What is a work-related injury?
Work-related injuries are ailments suffered by a worker during the course of his employment. Though these injuries are typically sustained at the workplace, they may also occur while an employee is driving on behalf of his employer, or working at an alternate location.
In Texas, only those injuries stemming from the performance of job-related duties are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.
Unfortunately, work-related injuries are a common occurrence. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses during 2016.
Types of Work-Related Injuries
There are two major types of work-related ailments—traumatic injuries and occupational diseases.
Traumatic injuries typically occur suddenly, such as when a worker gets caught in a piece of equipment, or if he slips and falls. These may be anything from minor cuts and scrapes to extremely serious long-term debilitating injuries.
Some of the most common traumatic injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Crushed or amputated limbs
Occupational diseases may be caused by thousands of different workplace exposures. The onset of an occupational disease typically takes place over time, and often produces few or no symptoms until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Occupational diseases are primarily caused by repetitive motions; frequent exposure to toxic substances; contact with irritants such as dust and mold; and workplace stress.
Typical examples include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Black lung disease
- Blood poisoning
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you’ve suffered traumatic injuries or developed an occupational disease while on the job, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These may include coverage for your medical bills, temporary disability payments, permanent disability payments, and death benefits for your family should you pass away.
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