During 2013, there were 110,300 cases of work-related injuries or illnesses across Pennsylvania. Construction workers suffered nearly 8,000 of those accidents, including strains and sprains. For most workers, construction injuries were more likely to impact their upper bodies versus any other area. The average age of injured workers was nearly 42, which can mean, in many cases, it was harder for them to recover from injuries than it would be for their younger counterparts. A personal injury lawyer can help you when your workers’ compensation claim is denied.
What Causes Sprains and Strains?
Some of the most significant causes of sprains and strains are lifting accidents or work that involves a significant amount of reaching overhead, such as painting, nailing wallboard or other similar actions. In some cases, construction workers can suffer from tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder nerve pinching.
Avoiding Construction-Related Injuries
Safety is important on all job sites, and because a construction site can be more hazardous than other job sites, it is imperative that employers maintain strict safety standards and provide employees with the proper training. In addition, injuries can be caused by:
- Tool vibrations – Most construction workers deal with power tools, and those tools vibrate during use. Sanders, electric nail guns and more can cause numbness and lead to nerve damage.
- Stress nerve injuries – Sharp tools can press into soft tissue and cause nerve damage to those who are working with hand tools, such as awls, screwdrivers and saws.
- Back injuries – Construction sites are ideal locations to suffer back injuries, which can be caused by lifting, twisting or slipping and falling on a wet or cluttered surface.
Workers’ Compensation Reporting
Pennsylvania requires all employers who have more than one employee to maintain workers’ compensation coverage. The sooner you report your injury, the sooner your claim can be processed. In most cases, any time an injury causes time out of work, it is a good idea to file a claim immediately. It may take as many as 21 days to get your first payment, and the payment is retroactive to the date of your injury only if you have missed seven days from work.
When Claims Are Denied
Too frequently, workers claims for accidents are denied when they are initially submitted. This is particularly true with back and neck strains and injuries, because your employer and its insurer may feel the best way to avoid paying benefits is to attempt to show the injury was a result of an off-the-job-site incident. It is imperative if you suffer any type of construction-related injury that you keep accurate records of symptoms, pain and communications with your employer and its insurance company. A construction accident lawyer who understands how the process works can help. If you are injured in a construction accident, or you have a family member who died from a work-related accident, your best option is to work with a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer. The Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Solnick & Associates, LLC can be reached at (215) 481-9979.