Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation

What Injuries Are Covered

The most common type of injuries covered by workers’ compensation are “soft tissue” injuries. This means that the injury affects muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves:

  • Neck sprains or strains
  • Torn rotator cuff and shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries including torn cartilage or ligaments
  • Cervical, eye, or bursitis pain (tendon damage)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (ligament damage) and wrist and elbow injuries
  • Sciatica and other damaged nerve injuries
  • Low back pain or herniated lumbar disc
  • Concussions or post-concussion syndrome
  • Repetitive motion injuries

Workers’ compensation claims also focus on common injuries in other areas of the body:

  • Fractured or broken bones and joints, including broken arm, broken leg, and fractured hip
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Ulcers and stress-related illnesses such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
  • Psychological injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety

An injury covered by workers’ compensation must be a physical injury. Often, treatments for psychological trauma or injuries will be covered if the condition is diagnosed as resulting from the initial physical injury. However, this policy varies from state to state. An injury that is only psychological and is not physical in nature is not covered in many states. Nonetheless, states will consider a claim of psychological injury based on the following federal regulations for a psychological claim:

  • Establish that an event, situation, or allegation occurred to precipitate the psychological condition
  • That this event occurred while performing official duties or an activity appropriately related to the employment
  • There has been a medical diagnosis of the psychological condition
  • That the medical diagnosis establishes a connection between the event, situation, or allegation to the psychological condition
  • Finally, the claim must be filed within the same regulations governing physical injury claims

If you believe you have sustained a physical or psychological injury that qualifies you for workers’ compensation, fill out our free case evaluation form here.

Defining Permanent Disabilities and Injuries

Permanent disability refers to the continued debilitating nature of your injury once your doctor has determined you have fully recovered. You may be eligible for permanent disability benefits if you have not made a complete recovery from your injury once it has stabilized.

Permanent disability does not describe a single degree of disability, but varying degrees of disability. For example, if you have permanently disabled your arms, your doctor will determine the percentage of permanent disability based upon the American Medical Association (AMA)’s standards. If your arm is determined to be 50% disabled you will receive compensation benefits based upon this evaluation. To receive full benefits you must be evaluated at 100% disabled.

The insurance company covering your workers’ compensation benefits will cover reasonable medical care related to the treatment of your permanent disability. If you have sustained an injury that you believe has permanently disabled you, then it is important to establish this condition with a medical professional using the AMA standard. This standard holds the most weight with insurance companies, workers’ compensation review boards, and state and federal courts.

Get a free evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim and determine if you meet your state’s eligibility requirements for permanent disability.

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