What Occupations Have the Most Workers’ Compensation Claims?

workers compensation

Injured workers deserve compensation, in fact, they are entitled to it. Your employer pays a monthly premium for workers’ compensation insurance with funds that you and your coworkers helped your employer accrue so that any workplace injury or illness that an employee suffers can be treated by a medical professional. Workers’ compensation also pays for partial wage replacement and vocational training.

The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

According to Industrial Safety News, the following jobs are the most dangerous in terms of fatalities per 100,000 workers:

  1. Logging (111 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  2. Pilots and flight engineers (53 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  3. Derrick operators in oil, gas, and mining (46 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  4. Roofers (41 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  5. Refuse collectors (34 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  6. Ironworkers (29 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  7. Delivery drivers (27 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  8. Farmers (26 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  9. First-line firefighter supervisors (20 deaths per 100,000 workers)
  10. Power linemen (20 deaths per 100,000 workers)

Other notably dangerous occupations include agricultural workers, crossing guards, crane operators, construction helpers, landscaping supervisors, highway maintenance workers, cement masons, small engine mechanics, supervisors of mechanics, heavy vehicle mechanics, grounds maintenance workers, police officers, maintenance workers, construction workers, and mining machine operators.

While these are the most dangerous jobs in terms of fatal injuries, they do not necessarily make up the largest numbers of workers’ compensation claims compared to commercial vehicle drivers (another dangerous position) there simply are not that many loggers, for example.

The Top 10 Private Industries With the Most Injuries and Illnesses

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the following 10 occupations account for 38.3% of all workplace injuries and illnesses. The number of injuries and/or illnesses is denoted in parentheses.

  1. Nursing assistants (96,480)
  2. Registered nurses (78,740)
  3. Laborers, freight, stock, and material movers (64,930)
  4. Truck drivers, both heavy and tractor-trailer (43,500)
  5. Stockers and order fillers (31,280)
  6. Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses (29,230)
  7. Retail salespersons (28,110)
  8. Personal care aides (27,750)
  9. Production workers (26,850)
  10. General maintenance and repair workers (23,400).

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

The most common types of workplace injuries are those caused in trip-and-falls, being struck by an object such as a falling tool, motor vehicle collisions, overexertion, and repetitive movements. Examples of these injuries include:

  • Concussion
  • Tendonitis
  • Torn ligament or torn tendon
  • Muscle tears
  • Sprained ankle or wrist
  • Herniated or bulging disc
  • Fracture to the rib, arm, or leg
  • Small bone fractures include the hands, feet, or nose
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic neck pain.

Any one of these injuries can result in days or weeks off work, expensive hospital or doctor visits, and substantial problems throughout other aspects of the worker’s life. A muscle tear may not seem like a big deal to an employer who is not experiencing the employee’s pain., It can be debilitating for a construction worker or warehouse worker who depends on their body performing to a high degree day in and day out.

No matter the injury, it deserves to be treated by a medical professional, and the injured worker should allow the injury to heal as much as possible before returning to their job duties. This can only be possible by seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

Life-threatening and life-altering injuries require lengthy hospital stays, rehabilitation, and possibly vocational training to set the injured worker on a new career path that is in line with their potentially permanent disability. Examples of catastrophic injuries and permanent injuries include:

  • Loss of a finger or toe
  • Larger amputation injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Fractured vertebrae not resulting in a spinal cord injury
  • Electrocution
  • Internal organ perforation or damage
  • Severe and/or multiple bone fractures
  • Scarring and disfigurement to the face
  • Substantial vision or hearing loss and
  • Severe burns

Most Common Workplace Illnesses

While you cannot seek workers’ compensation for the common cold you picked up at work, you can seek partial wage replacement, medical coverage, and other damages if you were exposed to a substance or other harmful work environment that caused you to become seriously ill. Examples of these workplace illnesses include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cancer
  • Hearing loss and
  • PTSD.

If you were exposed to a toxic substance on the job, such as asbestos (and you were diagnosed with mesothelioma), you may also be able to file a toxic tort against your employer. Not only would you be able to seek immediate financial relief through the workers’ compensation claim, but you would also be able to seek personal injury damages, such as loss of joy of life, emotional distress, pain and suffering, full lost wages, and lifetime earnings, and more.

Complications Involved in Proving a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are one of the leading types of occupational injuries. Examples of RSIs include the following:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Trigger finger
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tennis elbow
  • Focal hand dystonia
  • White finger syndrome
  • Herniated disk
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Degenerative arthritis

RSIs are typically composed of small tears in tendons, the wearing away of cartilage, an overactive pain pathway, or other damage to soft tissue. RSIs are hard to diagnose because their severity and pain is often not accurately displayed through X-ray or MRI imaging, and it is easy for your employer to argue that the injury was caused somewhere else—not on the job.

After all, RSIs take weeks or years to develop. It is vital that you work with an experienced Milwaukee workers’ compensation attorney if you have been diagnosed with a repetitive strain injury so that you are awarded the compensation to which you are entitled.

Call a Milwaukee Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

Employers and insurance carriers often deny benefits in an attempt to save money. This is why you need to reach out to an experienced Milwaukee workers’ compensation attorney. Here at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf, we handle all types of workers’ comp claims and can help you obtain the benefits you need to get back on your feet. Call us at 414-257-2667 to schedule a free consultation today.

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