Some on-the-job injuries clearly warrant workers’ compensation benefits, such as when a construction worker fractures a leg in a fall. It is difficult for an insurance company to deny such a claim when the cause of the accident is clear and the effects of the injury are apparent. This is not the case for all injuries. Sometimes, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause or to document the full impact the injury has on the worker. This presents a challenge to the worker, but these challenges can be overcome.
Repetitive trauma injuries
One type of injury that is often difficult to prove is a repetitive trauma injury. These injuries are the result of trauma inflicted upon the worker over months, years, or even decades.
Workers in a wide range of fields are vulnerable to this type of injury, from truck drivers who must constantly shift gears to office workers who type on their keyboards all day. The effect of this long-duration trauma can result in disabling conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and tendonitis.
In denying such a claim, the insurance company may argue that the injury is not work-related but rather due to activities outside of the job or even just the result of aging. The injured worker can benefit from working with a legal team that knows how to draw a clear link between a repetitive trauma injury and the workplace activity.
Minnesota workers’ compensation laws address psychological injuries that occur in the workplace. Workers can seek compensation for:
- Physical trauma that results in mental injury
- Mental stress that results in physical injury
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
As an example, many first-responders suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to traumatic events that happen during the course of their work. Such cases require a diagnosis from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. The worker must also prove that the stress was caused by his or her job duties and that the event that caused the injury rose above the standard day-to-day stress experienced by all workers.
Injuries caused by violence
Assaults and other forms of violence can result in severe workplace injuries, but are they compensable? Generally, if the violence arose in the course of employment, the worker will be eligible for compensation. Certain jobs place workers at a heightened risk of violent attacks, including police officers, and health care workers who must deal with unruly patients.
Just because an injury is harder to prove, it doesn’t mean the injured worker deserves less compensation for his or her injuries. A skilled legal team knows how to handle the most difficult cases and overcome the tactics insurance companies use to deny workers’ compensation claims. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Klampe Law Firm LLC if you need help with a claim.