Sprains: A Common Workers’ Compensation Claim
Over 1.5 million workers’ compensation claims were under review by The Travelers Companies to release a report between the years 2010 and 2014 showing the most common types of worker injuries. These worker injuries result in the most workers’ compensation claims each year. The report also studied what some of the most common claims are and why these numbers are so important.
The most common injuries included strains and sprains (30%), cuts or punctures (19%), contusions (12%), inflammation (5%), and fractures (5%). Strains and sprains were at the top of the list except in small businesses, which topped with cuts and punctures. In construction and manufacturing jobs, eye injuries were the most common. Some of the most expensive injuries sustained in the workplace included amputations, dislocations, electric shock, crushing and multiple trauma injuries, and more.
As for the most frequent causes of workplace injuries, this included material handling (32%), slips and falls (16%), being struck by or colliding with an object (10%), accidents involving tools (7%), and traumas that occur over time like overuse injuries (4%).
It was found that, overall, even the most minor injuries can impact the employee and slow down the productivity of a business. If more workplaces would consider safety measures, then safety issues would be addressed and these injuries could be prevented.
Looking into Sprains
By far one of the most common sprain injuries includes that of the ankle. Since sprains were at the top of the list for workers’ compensation claims, let’s investigate how these claims work. If you have received an ankle sprain, you may wonder how this injury will affect the value of any settlement or court award that you are planning on receiving. Of course, this will depend on the facts surrounding the case but there are many considerations to be made.
These injuries are actually more common than you think. In fact, many huge settlements have been claimed over the years due to ankle sprains. In one huge case, $2,700,000 was awarded to a plaintiff after they fell at a construction site, suffering ligament tears and requiring two arthroscopic surgeries. In another incident, $203,000 was paid to a plaintiff who suffered nerve and subcutaneous damage to the right ankle and foot, which resulted in permanent partial disability. So, as you can see, what may seem like a very minor incident may actually be extremely severe and cause life-long injuries.
These injury claims are valued when a jury comes up with a figure on how much should be owed and what the defendant would be willing or able to pay. There are two huge factors involved in these considerations: How bad was the injury? What is the expected duration of the injury? Another concept to be considered is how likely the jury is to find the defendant liable if the case makes it to trial.
Ankle injuries such as a sprain may only be paid out by the workers’ compensation carrier. Depending on the state you reside in, standards of compensation may vary. If the plaintiff is not completely disabled by the injury and the medical bills are not relatively high, the workers’ compensation payment may not be very high. However, with a relatively high amount of sprains taking place in modern workplaces, these numbers add up.
If you have received a workplace injury, you may need legal representation on your side. If you decide not to file a workers’ compensation claim and take matters in a court direction, an attorney will be able to help you every step of the way. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for more information on where to turn.