Most Common Work Injuries
The Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation keeps track of all reported work-related injuries and illnesses every year and publishes an annual report. The Bureau records information regarding the type of injury, the severity of the injury, the percentage of lost time injuries, as well as statistics regarding the industries and occupations most commonly associated with workers’ compensation claims.
The list below highlights some of the more common injuries sustained by Pennsylvania injured workers.
The most common injuries reported by injured workers in Pennsylvania are back injuries. Back injuries, particularly low back or lumbar spine injuries, can happen in a variety of ways.
Overexertion, such as lifting, pulling, and pushing, is generally the most frequent cause of injuries in Pennsylvania and this is particularly true for low back injuries. Employees who are required to lift, push, or pull continuously throughout the workday may suddenly feel a pop or sharp pain in their low back. Alternatively, the employee may return home after a particularly grueling workday and notice their low back is hurting.
The employee may develop low back pain after years of wear and tear performing the same types of jobs over and over again. All of these scenarios result in winnable workers’ compensation claims provided the treating physician determines that the work-related activities and job duties caused or aggravated the employee’s condition. Some of the low back injuries our Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys have handled over the years include the following:
- Bulging, protruding, and herniated or “slipped” discs
- Sprain and strain or soft tissue injuries
- Annular tears
- Aggravation of degenerative disc disease
- Fractured vertebrae
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal cord damage
This fact may come as a surprise to many, but finger injuries are another category of workers’ compensation injuries in Pennsylvania that occur regularly throughout the state. Most workers use their hands all day long, whether it be to operate machinery, drive a truck or tractor-trailer, type on a keyboard, or grab and lift objects at work.
Carpenters in particular experience a high frequency of finger injuries at work. It should not be surprising that many workers injure their fingers while working. Some of the finger injuries our workers’ compensation attorneys see regularly in our practice include:
- Broken fingers
- Fractured fingers
- Finger tendon injuries
- Finger ligament injuries
- Trigger finger
Approximately 8% of all reported injuries in Pennsylvania are knee injuries. Many of us are on our feet all day long at work, standing, walking, climbing, and engaging in other high impact activities that create stress on our joints, such as our knees.
Laborers, security guards, machine operators, and virtually every other category of worker is at risk for sustaining a knee injury at work. Even those workers whose employment does not necessarily create an added risk of sustaining a knee injury often report twisting their knee at work or falling unexpectedly and striking their knee on a hard surface. It really doesn’t take all that much to injure one’s knee. Our Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys frequently handle knee injuries involving:
- Meniscus Tears
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
- Knee Sprain and Strain
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tears
- Fractured Kneecap
- Aggravation of Degenerative Joint Diseases (DJD)
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Tears
- Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Tears
- Kneecap Dislocation
This category of injuries includes skull injuries, as well as eye and face injuries. Benefits are payable under the Workers’ Compensation Act for loss of vision and hearing loss resulting from work injuries or excessive noise exposure.
Additionally, employees who suffer scars on the face or neck may be entitled to disfigurement benefits under the law. Such benefits can include surgical scars resulting from cervical fusion or other surgeries involving the neck, head, or face, as well as benefits for a disfigurement resulting from a dental injury, such as the loss of a tooth. Head injuries our workers’ compensation attorneys in Philadelphia have handled include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Skull fractures
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Facial scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of teeth
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Hand and Wrist Injuries
Hand and wrist injuries, not including finger injuries, represent a significant percentage of the overall work injuries sustained by injured workers in Pennsylvania.
The hand and wrist are made up of bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments, all of which can be injured at work. We have seen a tremendous amount of repetitive use type injuries involving the hand and wrist. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience handling the following hand and wrist injuries:
- Wrist sprain or strain
- Broken wrist
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Fractured hand
- Fractured wrist
- Repetitive trauma syndrome
Ankle and Foot Injuries
Thousands of workers hurt their ankles and feet each year in Pennsylvania and file workers compensation claims as a result. The ankle is a joint between the foot and leg.
A great deal of stress is placed on the ankle joint throughout the day, as most of us spend a significant amount of time standing or walking at work. The following list highlights some of the ankle and foot injury cases our workers’ compensation attorneys have handled:
- Ankle sprain or strain
- Broken foot
- Broken ankle
- Ligament tear
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Stress fractures
- Plantar fasciitis
Whatever your injury may be, it is important that you speak to an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC immediately if you have been hurt at work. Getting the right treatment early on can make all the difference to your long-term recovery and prospects, and a top workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help you to obtain the treatment you need with doctors you can trust.