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Workplace injuries can be prevalent in jobs such as construction, road maintenance, and any others that put workers in dangerous situations with intense equipment. But other jobs, like those in restaurants and even desk jobs, can also put workers at risk of an injury. It’s essential to know what constitutes a work injury in case you do get injured at work, and crucial to know what steps to take next. This article will explore some surprising workplace injuries that may require legal counsel afterward, especially those that don’t come to mind right away when you think of typical workplace injuries. 

What Are Workplace Injuries?

Not every injury that happens at work can be considered a workplace injury. If you’re engaging in horseplay or self-harm, whatever injury that is inflicted probably won’t be eligible for workers’ compensation. But, many of the other injuries that happen at work, even a car accident while doing work errands, can be considered a workplace injury. Employers must work with their employees to file a workers’ comp claim and see through the process of receiving workers’ comp. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you gain the benefits you deserve. 

Most Common Workplace Injuries

Before we talk about the surprising workplace injuries that can happen, let’s cover the most common ones first. Both employees and business owners should be aware of the risks at their workplace and establish protocols that will keep everyone safe. Not only will a safe workplace prevent injuries, but it also means you won’t have to engage in any costly lawsuits as a business owner. Here are some of the most common workplace injuries:

  • Slip and fall: wet floors or spilled liquid can lead to slips and falls.
  • Struck by moving objects: falling items or moving machinery can lead to severe injuries.
  • Hit against stationary objects: careless workers can run into machinery, walls, or vehicles when they aren’t paying close attention to where they’re going. 
  • Overexertion: this type of injury occurs when workers strain too hard, often resulting in strained or pulled muscles. 
  • Entanglement: one of the scariest workplace injuries, when a worker becomes entangled in heavy machinery.
  • Falls from heights: this can happen in construction and cleaning jobs when workers are suspended from tall heights. 

Some of the common workplace injuries listed above might happen quickly, leaving everyone shocked by what happened. While these injuries are definitely surprising, it’s evident that a worker would require legal counsel afterward to ensure they get the benefits they deserve. Some of the other workplace injuries, however, are a little more under the radar. You might be surprised to learn that you could benefit from the help of a personal injury attorney when dealing with something like carpal tunnel, for example. Listed below are a few more workplace injuries that require legal counsel, whether you realize it right away or not. 

Carpal Tunnel

There are a few reasons why carpal tunnel is cause for concern and might lead to workers’ comp with the help of a personal injury lawyer. In some cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can require surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. Milder cases might require only a wrist brace to repair the damage that’s been done. Either way, carpal tunnel can lead to missed days at work due to pain in the hands and wrists. Whenever an injury prevents you from working, you might qualify for workers’ comp if the damage is due to work. Whether with a computer mouse or a piece of machinery, any repetitive motion can lead to carpal tunnel. Here are a few of the typical jobs associated with a higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Typing or data entry
  • Sewer
  • Mechanic
  • Painter
  • Cashier
  • Locksmith
  • Agricultural worker
  • Assembly line worker
  • Musician
  • Anyone who works on a computer
  • Jobs with repeated use of vibrating tools

Car Accident

Believe it or not, car accidents can be considered a workplace injury when the person is driving a vehicle for work or in their own car doing work-related errands. Many jobs require the use of trucks or other vehicles, and unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are pretty common. You might be surprised that after a work-related car accident, you might need legal counsel. But a personal injury lawyer can be beneficial in keeping track of all the necessary paperwork and documents required to receive workers’ compensation. This is especially important if the car accident causes you to miss work and results in expensive medical bills.

Electrocution

Electrocution is a surprising workplace injury and one of the more rare injuries to occur, though it’s more common for those who work in construction or maintenance industries. Whether there’s faulty wiring to blame or dangerous digging that has to be done near power lines, electrocution can cause severe injury and should be taken very seriously. Enlisting the help of a lawyer with experience in workplace injuries can help you settle any lawsuits that may arise or help you follow through in receiving workers’ comp. 

What to Do After a Workplace Injury 

No matter what kind of workplace injury you suffer, it’s essential to know the next steps to take immediately after being injured. There is likely paperwork involved with your employer and insurance, not to mention the records you should keep of your doctor’s visits and medical bills. The following list explains what to do after being injured on the job:

  • Report the injury as soon as you can.
  • Inform your healthcare provider or doctor that the injury happened at work.
  • Follow your doctor’s recovery instructions closely so that the insurance company can’t deny your claim later.
  • Provide your employer with a written notice (within 14 days in the state of Minnesota).
  • Record missed days of work and any travel or out-of-pocket expenses. 
  • Find an attorney who is familiar with workers’ compensation.

Employers need to figure out how to prevent accidents in the workplace so that their employees stay safe at work. It’s easy to think that a workplace injury won’t ever happen while on the job, but you’d be surprised at how common workplace injuries actually are. Like carpal tunnel and other repetitive motion injuries, some of them might surprise you that they require legal counsel. But any injury that happens because of work should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, no matter the degree of severity.

Jerry Sisk

Jerry Sisk

Jerry is a Minnesota workers' compensation attorney and work injury lawyer. He a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Association of Justice, and Anoka County Bar Association. He has 10/10 on Avvo, 5 Stars on Google, AV Rated through Martindale-Hubbell and National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the Work Comp Section of the Minnesota Association of Justice.