Do White Collar Work Injuries Qualify for Workers Compensation?
Most people associate work injuries with dangerous occupations or jobs that are physically demanding. White collar jobs may conjure up pictures of paper cuts or at worse, stress. However, some of the most prevalent work injuries happen in the office, including serious falls and repetitive motion injuries that can lead to disability. Iowa workers compensation attorneys often handle workplace injury that filed by people who occupy desks rather than forklifts.
Most Common Office Injuries
Slip and Fall Accidents
These are the most common of all workplace injuries, even in a relatively safe office environment. Most are due to:
– Workplace clutter
– Reaching for objects on high shelves
– Falls on stairs
– Tangled Cords
– Icy or wet parking lots, walkways and entryways
Repetitive Motion Injuries
The most common is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a nerve injury associated with heavy typing. However, bursitis – otherwise known as ‘tennis elbow’ – and rotator cuff injuries are also common among office workers, especially clerks, typists, and technicians. All of these injuries are extremely painful and potentially debilitating.
This includes chronic back, neck or head pain. Usually caused by sitting at a desk or hunching over a computer for hours on end, they can also be caused by non-ergonomically designed office furniture and accessories. They can also lead to chronic problems. Eye strain falls into this category, too, and is related to recurring headaches.
Emotional and Mental Problems
This type of injury falls under the category of Occupational Stress and can be accompanied by physical symptoms. Although these conditions are a little more difficult to tie to your work environment, they are covered by workers compensation. Toxic work environments, high-stress positions, and even physical injuries can lead to psychiatric or emotional problems. These include:
– panic disorder
– post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How Do I File a Claim?
As soon as you are injured or develop symptoms, you should report it to your supervisor and have the incident or injury recorded. Next, you should seek medical or psychiatric care. Document the circumstances surrounding you injury or condition as well as ongoing situations that contributed to any emotional or mental stress. You should also get statements from medical professionals and an official diagnosis in writing.
Work injuries don’t always have to happen on company property or during work hours. You may also be covered while traveling for your job or during company-sponsored events and activities. Even poor air circulation in an indoor environment can lead to chronic problems like asthma.
Once the injury or condition has been reported and documented by the company, it should be forwarded to their insurance company. Their adjuster will investigate the claim and decide if you’re entitled to compensation. If you’re turned down or the injury is especially serious and ongoing, you should retain a personal injury lawyer who specializes in workplace injuries.
If you have an injury or disability that’s related to your work causes you to lose time from work or leads to disability, you may have a claim. Talking to an attorney who specializes in workers compensation can give you further insight. You should talk to a personal injury lawyer in your area right away to get a case evaluation.
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