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Common Workplace Injuries

Common Workplace Injuries

Here in Chicago, we had the highest number of workplace fatalities. Cook County accounted for nearly 30% of all workplace fatalities in the state.

It’s official: the most common cause of workplace injuries is working too hard. Since records have been kept, the most common type of workplace injury is sprains and strains, which account for more than 40% of all workplace injuries, and the most common cause of workplace injury is overexertion, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

When you have put your health on the line for your employer, it is only fair that you should receive compensation for your injuries so you can pay medical bills, rest, and return fully fit for duty. At Willens & Baez, we fight for the rights of injured workers. For a free workers’ compensation case evaluation, please call 312-957-4166 or email Willens & Baez to schedule an appointment at either of our Chicago area locations.

Most Common Nonfatal Workplace Injuries

The best statistics about the most common workplace injuries come from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which reports on both fatal and nonfatal workplace injuries. According to the IDPH, these were the most common workplace injuries in 2010 (numbers in parentheses indicate Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers for 2005):

  • Sprains and strains 39.8% (40.8%)
  • Other 22.1% (26.0%)
  • Soreness or pain 10.6% (N/A)
  • Fractures 7.7% (7.8%)
  • Bruises and contusions 7.3% (8.7%)
  • Cuts, lacerations and punctures 6.4% (8.2%)
  • Multiple injuries 2.6% (4.1%)
  • Heat burns 2.1% (1.4%)
  • Carpal tunnel 1.3% (1.3%)

BLS also separates out amputations, chemical burns, and tendonitis, which together account for 1.7% of injuries. The IDPH also tracks the causes of accidents, something BLS doesn’t do. The causes of workplace injury in Illinois are:

  • Overexertion 26.7%
  • Contact with object, equipment 25.0%
  • Fall on same level 15.2%
  • Other 10.8%
  • Slips and trips 5.5%
  • Exposed to harmful substance 4.2%
  • Fall to lower level 3.9%
  • Repetitive motion 3.2%
  • Transportation accidents 3.0%
  • Assault and violent acts 2.6%

These injury causes remain relatively constant over the years. For example, overexertion has been the leading cause of injury since at least 2003. However, the profile of fatal workplace accidents is very different.

Fatal Workplace Injuries

The IDPH also compiles information about the most common types of fatal workplace injuries. In 2010, fatal workplace injuries increased by 28% over 2009, likely in relation to improving economy and employment. The most common fatal workplace injuries were:

  • Transportation accident 35.5%
  • Caught in machinery, hit by object, or crushed by falling material 19.2%
  • Assault and suicide 18.7%
  • Falls 15.3% (11.3% were falls from height)
  • Exposure to harmful environment 7.4%
  • Fires and explosions 3.4%

The most common type of transportation accident was the truck accident, which most often occurred on the highway.

Here in Chicago, we had the highest number of workplace fatalities. Cook County accounted for nearly 30% of all workplace fatalities in the state.

Common Mistakes Following a Workplace Injury

Workplace injuries happen all the time. Most people are not prepared for such as situation, and often end up making mistakes. When you suffer an injury on the job, it is important that you know what to do and what not to do. Some common mistakes can jeopardize your claim or greatly reduce the benefits/settlement that you receive. In this post, we will discuss the five most common mistakes to avoid after a workplace injury.

Not Reporting the Injury Right Away

One of the most common mistake workers make is that they do not report the injury right away. In Missouri, workers compensation law requires that you report an accident involving a workplace injury within 30 days to your supervisor or employer. Occupational illness must be reported within 30 days of diagnosis of the illness. Not reporting the injury in time can jeopardize your claim. Waiting any longer than you should to report the injury can raise questions on the integrity of your claim.

Failure to Disclose Any Previous Injuries

Failure to report any past accident or injury, even if it seemed minor, can cause you to lose your compensation entirely. In fact, failure to report any previous injuries can be considered fraud. When it comes to speaking with an insurance adjuster or filling out medical history forms, you should be transparent about any history of workplace injuries. You should report your previous injury even if it is in no way related to your existing condition.

Failure to Report the Actual Extent of Injuries

You should report all the injuries, even the minor and seemingly insignificant ones. If you have had a fall, and injured your back, but your leg also hurts, make sure to report that as well. Failing to report secondary injuries, and bringing them up at a later stage can make it look as if you are trying to claim more than you deserve. Any accompanying symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness, headache, or body aches must be reported promptly.

Refusing to Return to Work Even When You are Able

Your doctor may recommend you to return to light duty work. Even though you may have to work for a lower wage, but refusing to accept the position can be considered voluntary loss of income. You may lose any further benefits and compensation. You may even be terminated for your refusal to work.

Not Seeking Legal Help

While you are not required to hire services of a workers compensation lawyer for your claim, but in some cases, especially those involving some kind of dispute, legal representation may be necessary. Thinking that you can handle your case on your own without legal help can prove to be a costly mistake. Insurance companies have a team of lawyers working for them, so it is in your best interest to have an experienced and competent Chicago workers compensation lawyer to fight for your rights.

We Can Help

Our skilled workplace injury attorneys can help protect you from making serious mistakes that can prevent you from getting workers’ compensation for a nonfatal injury, or the death of a loved one in the workplace. We have helped many injured Chicago workers and their families get the compensation they deserve after a workplace injury.

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Why Choose Willens & Baez

Millions in Case Verdicts & Settlements

Over the past two decades, Mr. Willens and his team of Chicago personal injury lawyers have been instrumental in obtaining numerous million-dollar-plus recoveries on behalf of clients in a wide variety of injury cases. One of the personal injury verdicts he was involved in was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the country in the year in which it was tried. One of the verdicts he helped secure set a state record.



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