Repeated work activities can result in invisible work injuries. Invisible work impairments can be physical injuries, psychological injuries, or pre-existing conditions. If left undetected, invisible work afflictions can prevent a worker from performing their job duties. Here is a brief look at some examples of these invisible injuries and how to claim compensation.
Physical Work Injuries
Physical invisible injuries include strains, sprains, soft tissue damage, and whiplash. These injuries can arise because of lifting, pushing and pulling heavy objects, repetitive tasks like assembling parts or typing, and frequent bending to execute tasks.
Injuries from Hidden Hazards
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hidden hazards can cause serious injuries. These hazards include invisible gases, toxic mold or dust, and chemical vapors. Injuries from these substances may surface years after a worker has been exposed.
Psychological Work Injuries
Many psychological work injuries are invisible. When bullying, aggression, or harassment causes trauma and stress for an employee, they could suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or some other form of psychological injury.
Invisible injuries may also arise among workers with pre-existing conditions. This occurs when these conditions are aggravated by work-related events. Some typical examples of pre-existing conditions include fibromyalgia, sciatica, chronic pain, and hypertension.
What Damages Can You Expect For Invisible Injuries?
The damages you can expect for invisible injuries are no different from those given for visible injuries. These payments include:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of retraining
- Replacement income
- Compensation For permanent injuries
- Payments to the beneficiaries of workers who died on the job
How to Pursue Compensation for Invisible Injuries
- Report the Injury Immediately
As soon as you notice an invisible injury you should report it to your employer immediately. Workers compensation insurers are known to turn down a worker’s claim because they delayed to file a report. According to workers compensation laws, you should report injuries within 30 days from the time you are aware of them.
- Find Witnesses
A workers compensation claim is strengthened by having witnesses. If you have anyone in mind who can attest to your injuries, you should request them to be your witnesses.
- Seek Medical Attention
The moment you realize you are injured, you should consult a doctor. Not only will a medical report show that you are injured, it can also help prove that your injuries are work-related. In many cases, workers who delay to consult a doctor for their injuries are denied workers compensation benefits. In such instances, insurance adjusters will normally claim that the injuries are not work-related.
What You Need to Prove to Get Benefits For Invisible Injuries
To get workers compensation benefits for your invisible injuries, you will need to get an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer such as the Work Injury Lawyer Port St. Lucie locals trust. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will need to prove the following:
You must prove that you are covered under the workers compensation system. You only qualify for workers compensation if you are an employee and not an independent contractor. Your employer must also have a valid workers compensation policy.
- Injuries are Work-Related
Workers compensation covers employees who are injured in the course of executing their jobs. You either have to prove that there is a direct connection between your injuries and a work-related task, or that you were at the workplace when you sustained your injuries.
- Extent of Injuries
Before you receive workers compensation benefits, you need to show the extent of your injuries by presenting medical bills and/or medical records. Your doctor might also be required to state how an injury will impact on your job performance. If you suffer temporary or permanent disability, you may be eligible for benefits that pertain to your condition.
Summing It Up
If you are suffering from invisible injuries due to a work-related task, don’t hesitate to file a report and seek medical attention immediately. As long as you can prove your injuries are work-related and you have sufficient evidence to back-up your claim, you may have a fair chance to receive compensation. Consult a workers comp lawyer to determine your options and the right course of action.
A special thanks to our authors at Franks, Koenig,& Neuwelt for their insight into Workers’ Compensation.