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Top 10 Most Common Workers Compensation Claims

By Workers Compensation

According to OSHA, 160 million individuals experience work-related injuries annually. In order to decrease this extremely high number, a bigger emphasis on the importance of workplace safety and training is critical. Employers and employees should be aware of the top hazards and injuries that occur on the job. This way, proper safety measures can be taken to reduce the chance of injuries from arising.

Below is a closer look at the top 10 most common work-related injuries and workers’ compensation claims. This study was conducted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Important to Note: The data used in the study was published in 2020 and is based on 151,959 work-related injury payments made between 2011 – 2018. 

  1. Strains | Total claims: 45,675

 Ranking in at number one is strains. Although this seems like a minor injury that can heal on its own, strains can have lasting repercussions. Strains inhibit worker’s ability to perform their job to their fullest potential and cause agonizing pain on muscles. Individuals who work in an industry where manual labor is required such as warehouse workers, construction, nursing, etc… have most likely experienced problem with muscle strains at one point or another. Employers can reduce strains from work by: 

  • Teaching proper techniques for lifting heavy objects
  • Provide employers with frequent breaks / time to rest
  • Emphasize the importance of stretching 
  • Enforce that employees should not pick up items beyond a weight limit they feel comfortable carrying

2. Contusions | Total claims: 31,651

Contusion is another word for bruising. Bruises can be very minor, disappearing on their owning just a few weeks. On the other hand, contusions or bruises can be very serious and result in blunt force injuries to the head, which can cause brain bleeding. This is very dangerous and can alter the course of one’s quality of living. In this case, a workers’ compensation case should most definitely be filed. Employers can reduce work-related contusions by:

  • Provide workers with hard hats / other personal protective gear
  • Ensure work space is clear and there are safe walkways 

3. Lacerations | Total Claims: 17,919

A laceration is a cut or skin wound, typically caused by a sharp object. This is a very common injury in the workplace, as hands and fingers are used in pretty much every task we do. Oftentimes, employees slip up and make the mistake of cutting themselves when they are not fully focused and paying attention to what they are doing. Other reasons for these injuries may be that the employee was not properly trained on how to operate power tools or other sharp objects. Employers can help reduce lacerations by:

  • Poviding proper hand protection (gloves)
  • Clean work environments
  • Training workers on use of sharp objects and power tools

4. Sprains | Total Claims: 13,449

Sprains are a common injury that often result from slips, trips, and falls. They also commonly result just from being on your feet for an extended period of time. For instance, nurses who walk around over the course of a 12 + hour shift are more likely to suffer from ankle sprains than someone who works a desk job. However, in any case, sprains can happen anywhere at any job. Sprains can negatively impact mobility, making it much more difficult for employees to return to their usual job tasks. In addition, ankle sprains may require physical therapy to heal and longer recovery periods. Depending on the severity of the strain, sometimes workers can bounce back quickly. But, usually it takes several weeks or months to regain full strength and functionality. Employers can reduce sprains by:

  • Providing employees with longer and more frequent breaks
  • Encouraging workers to stretch and rest

5. Punctures | Total Claims: 8,363

Punctures are deep injuries that involve a sharp object. In the construction industry, punctures are a common injury due to the fact that workers use power tools, nail guns, saws, and more on a consistent basis. If workers are not trained properly on how to use these tools, it is very easy for an extremely dangerous accident to occur. Punctures can cut deep into the skin, and result in some very severe injuries. Always use caution and pay close attention when operating with sharp tools. Employers can reduce punctures by:

  • Train all employees on how to properly operate power tools
  • Monitor and watch employees 
  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment 

6. Burns and Electrocutions | Total Claims: 4,661

Burn incidents in the workplace typically occur to individuals who work in restaurant kitchens. They are also common occurrences for individuals who work with hot furnaces, chemicals, steam, and electrical sources. Burns can range from very minor to extremely dangerous – it depends how hot the temperature the individual was working with and how long their flesh was exposed to the surface. Electrocutions are very dangerous as well and can even result in death. Employers can reduce burns / electrocutions by:

  • Proper training employees
  • Monitoring employees
  • Provide personal protective equipment
  • Make sure equipment is inspected regularly by a professional and cleared as safe to operate with 

7. Foreign Object Entering Body | Total Claims: 4,266

In construction, these injuries can be very painful and gruesome. Unfortunately, workers in this industry have suffered from impalement of objects entering the body such as nails, sharp debris, steel, and more. Employers can reduce impalement by:

  • Ensuring the work site is clean, and particles or miscellaneous items are swept up and removed from working zones
  • Provide safety gloves, proper footwear, and other personal protective equipment
  • Put up signs to warn workers of unsafe areas

8. Broken Bones | Total Claims: 2,182

Slips, trips, and falls are common causes of workers suffering from a broken bone. Although it is difficult to predict and nearly impossible to stop one from a slip, trip, or fall, there are precautions that can be taken to lessen the chance of an incident occurring. Employers can reduce broken bone injuries by:

  • Putting a “wet floor” sign up on slippery surfaces
  • Tuck cords and cables away from being in hallways or aisles
  • Encourage keeping a clean work station – such as closing file cabinet drawers and picking up loose items from the ground
  • Provide employees with proper footwear
  • Make sure workplace has proper lighting 

9. Crushing Hazards | Total Claims: 1,406

In large manufacturing operations, working with heavy objects is required of workers. These machines can be dangerous, especially if a worker is new and doesn’t know what they are doing. As a result, workers can suffer from being stuck and get crushed by heavy objects or machinery.

Employers can reduce crushing hazards by:

  • Informing workers of OSHA’s standards for machine guarding and proper protocols. Visit the link here to learn more.  
  • Regular training and monitoring of employees (especially newer employees) working with machines 

10. Concussions | Total Claims: 882

Concussions result from being struck by force to the head. They can also occur from falling from a great height. The effects from a concussion can completely change one’s life –  causing memory loss, headaches, noise sensitivity, insomnia, and more. 

Concussions range from fairly to mild to very severe. With more severe concussions, individuals can face very serious health consequences such as chronic encephalopathy, which is a degenerative neurological condition very commonly seen among veteran NFL players. This develops when one experiences repetitive injuries or blows to the head. Employers can reduce concussions by:

  • Providing hard hards and other personal protective equipment
  • Providing fall protection gear
  • Ensuring work site is clear and no heavy object can strike workers passing through

If you have been injured at work, do not hesitate to get the workers’ compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. 

Article Adapted from: https://madison.com/jobs/10-of-the-most-common-workers-compensation-claims/article_c2e57b54-13ae-5e3a-8966-93b3855b7167.html 

The Changing Workforce and How It will Impact Workers’ Compensation

By Workers Compensation

The workforce is constantly evolving in order to adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic. In recent years, employees have been quitting their jobs at a record setting pace. As a result, companies are facing labor shortages and desperately hiring in attempt to fill the gap. With new and inexperienced workers, there is an increased risk for injury. The same can be said for understaffed companies with overworked employees. 

The Great Resignation 

The pandemic completely changed the workforce and many companies are struggling to retain their workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.5 million workers quit their job in March 2022. We have now entered into a period that many are referring to as “The Great Resignation.” It is a difficult place to be in for businesses, as they now have to construct new methods and strategies that will ensure their employees are happy and want to stay working there. With a great number of employees leaving their jobs, companies are left to deal with a multitude of problems. 

From being understaffed and working longer hours, to figuring out how to train new hires, to making sure the business stays afloat — there are plenty of adjustments, challenges, and changes that companies are trying to navigate.

Inexperience Leads to a Higher Chance of Injury

Businesses are putting out their “help wanted” signs and desperately hiring in attempt to lift the load off of their overworked employees. Having extra hands can be helpful, but it can also bring along several challenges. For instance, new employees lack experience, which puts them at a higher risk of suffering from an injury on the job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data, more than one-third of non-fatal work relates injuries in 2019 happened to employees who had been in their current position for less than a year.

It is very common for new hires to jump into their roles with little time to understand the process of how everything works. Their lack of knowledge and inexperience often results in a serious injury. The worst part is, the injury is usually a simple and avoidable mistake. However, since the employer chose to not train their new hires properly, they now find themselves in this unfortunate situation. It is crucial companies are emphasizing the importance of teaching new hires the correct way to do things, no matter how busy they may be.

Understaffed Workplace Increases the Chance of Injury

Companies that struggle to hire new workers are left in a very difficult position. Their remaining employees are forced to pick up the slack, with additional responsibilities that don’t necessarily fall under their job title. Longer hours, lack of sleep, and increased stress levels can hurt the overall mental health and well being of employees. All of the following contributes to an increased risk of being injured while on the job.

Lack of sleep impacts how we function, both physically and mentally. Brain fog is a common occurrence when you aren’t getting enough rest at night. Brain fog is described as a feeling of not being able to have full mental clarity. This can be very frustrating, especially when you’re at work and have a lot to get done. Since your brain is not operating at its highest capacity, your productivity levels and the tasks you accomplish throughout the day will be lower than you’d like.

Physically, your body is not as alert as it would be with a good night of sleep. Therefore, the chance of making a clumsy mistake is higher and this often leads to an injury on the job. It is so important that employees have enough time to take care of themselves and get the proper sleep they need.

What can Business Owners Do to Increase Safety?

The question to ask is, “What can businesses owners do during this time to increase safety for both new and old employees?” Trainings are one solution that can be highly effective. New employees should have required trainings to complete before starting work. Also, companies may want to consider doing monthly, quarterly, or annual training so the information learned is not forgotten and stays fresh on employees minds.

Businesses that are understaffed should recognize that workers health and safety is the top priority, no matter how busy they may be. Bosses should encourage workers to get enough rest each night before coming in for work. Also, companies should come up with a workflow system that everyone is on page with. This way, no individual feels they are being overworked to the point of burn out and exhaustion. Coming together and working as a team (especially when you are short staffed) is highly important. Recognizing who needs help and giving it can help alleviate the stress and fatigue that so many employees are feeling right now. 

If you have been hurt on the job, don’t hesitate to get the workers compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. 

Source: 

https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/case/cd_r71_2019.htm 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm 

Are Seasonal Workers Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

By Workers Compensation

The Holiday Season is here and it’s officially that time of the year where people are running around like crazy trying to find their last minute gifts. It’s the best time of the year for businesses as they’re making their most sales. However, it can be the most stressful time for workers who are trying to do a million things at once. Many businesses need help and hire seasonal workers.

Having more than enough staff on hand helps keep both workers and customers happy. Workers will get the chance to slow down and not feel like they’re being over worked. Customers will also be satisfied with a better shopping experience where their needs will be met from readily available workers. Oftentimes, seasonal positions are only available for a couple months just so businesses can survive the Holiday Season madness. Even though their time of employment may be short, there is still a likely chance that an injury can arise.

In the event of an injury for a seasonal worker, many want an answer to the following question : Do seasonal workers get workers’ compensation in the event of an injury? 

If you are currently working a seasonal position or know of someone who is, it’s important to know that seasonal workers’ are entitled to receiving workers’ compensation in New York State. There are many reasons why a seasonal worker may be more at risk for an injury as opposed to someone who has more experience there and is a full time employee.

Common reasons include the following : 

  • Lack of Training : Business owners don’t always have the time to sit down and make sure that new hires are fully trained on everything. However, inexperience and lack of knowledge can lead to a bad injury. Proper training should always be a priority no matter how busy things are. If you don’t have the time to train a worker, then you certainly shouldn’t be hiring seasonal workers. 
  • Doing too much at once : Seasonal workers get thrown into the mix at the craziest and busiest time of the year. Oftentimes, they want to be up to speed like the full time workers and over do it by going at a pace beyond their experience level. This then puts them at more risk for accidents like slips, trips, and falls. It’s important to remember that your safety is the most important even when you feel like customers and your co-workers are yelling at you to do things for them. Slow down and go at a pace where you feel comfortable
  • Lack of sleep: It’s very common that seasonal workers already have another job, but picked up the position to make more money. Working two or even three jobs is exhausting and can take a toll on your body. Balancing the long hours with no rest time can also throw off one’s sleep schedule. Working all day at your first job  and then going to your next job to work a late shift or even night shift means minimal sleep. Getting proper sleep is crucial for humans to function properly. Lack of it prevents the brain from thinking clearly, which puts yourself in harms way. 

Seasonal workers can be a huge help to businesses during the Holiday Season, but often times don’t get treated as fairly as full-time workers do. If you have recently suffered a bad injury at work or any other work-related injury, please contact Losi and Gangi at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case.

Article adapted from : https://www.insureon.com/blog/small-business-seasonal-worker-poll

Pre-existing medical conditions and workers' compensation

Will a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Prevent you from Receiving Workers’ Compensation?

By Workers Compensation

August 5, 2021

Workers’ compensation cases are often controversial, and pre-existing medical conditions add to the confusion as to whether or not one is eligible in receiving their claim. Work injuries happen very frequently and are likely to arise from working in physical industries like construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation jobs. Those who have a pre-existing injury are much more at risk to get injured working in these fields than those who do not. 

In the result of a workplace injury, workers’ compensation must be paid. However, employees with pre-existing conditions unfortunately get denied from their work place injury claim far too often. For this reason, we want to make sure you know and understand all of the facts and regulations regarding pre-existing injuries and workers’ compensation. We will also cover how to have a plan of action in the event you encounter a situation where this applies to you or someone you know. It is our goal to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to. 

What is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition? 

It is important to point out what exactly a pre-existing medical condition is. As defined, a pre-existing medical condition is any condition or injury that existed before the workplace injury. Many people deal with pre-existing medical conditions on a daily basis. Some conditions may be severe and create challenges with everyday tasks such as chronic back pain. 

Contrarily, other pre-existing medical conditions can be as minor as an injury that flares up every once in a while. For instance, a high school ACL tear injury from playing a sport may be healed from surgery, but can act up when you do certain motions or put too much pressure on it.

Pre-Existing Conditions Examined Under the Law

Under New York State law, it is stated that If the condition is due to a previous work-related injury in which you have been receiving workers’ compensation for, then you can be eligible to receive additional workers’ compensation if it is further aggravated or has contributed to another condition.

It can be a tough call to make if you are unsure if your pre-existing condition has become worsened from performing a work-related task. A good rule of thumb to follow is : If your work responsibilities caused the pre-existing condition to once again require care and treatment. Therefore, if you find you need to seek additional medical help, you are most likely experiencing an aggravation of your pre-existing condition. 

How do you prove that Aggravation to a Pre-Existing Injury Happened? 

It is very important that an employee is able to prove that the aggravation happened at work or else they will not be able to receive their additional benefits. In other words, one must need actual proof that their pre-existing condition was made worse from a work related task. It is not good enough to simply state that your pre-existing condition is acting up and bothering you for you to receive the additional workers’ compensation. 

So, what can you do to prove this? One way in which you can accomplish this is by getting medical attention from an experienced workers comp doctor. Documenting your injuries right after the accident is crucial and it will help strengthen your case. Also, you must inform your doctor about any pre-existing conditions and let them know of any symptoms or injuries that have worsened or changed after the accident. 

Finally, you should follow up with your original pre-existing condition treatment provider. This way, you will have a record of your initial report from the injury and be able to point out any new changes or symptoms that occurred since this accident. 

The Degree to which the Injury was Caused by a Work Environment 

There are several scenarios where pre-existing conditions can make it confusing when determining how responsible an employer is for a new injury. Let’s say, for example, a worker gets his hand caught in a machine and now his hand has permanent damage. However, in his previous job, he had already injured this hand and therefore was at a disadvantage working in his current job with limited functionality. 

The question now raised from this scenario is: To what extent is the current job responsible for his permanent hand injury? This will require lawyers as well as an examination from a doctor. it is especially important to analyze the medical records and use them to make a comparison between the new injury as well as the old injury charts. 

Losi & Gangi is here to make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to. If you have any questions regarding pre-existing medical conditions when it comes to reviving workers’ compensation benefits… contact Losi & Gangi to speak with one of our workers’ compensation lawyers at (716) 854-1446

 

Article Adapted from:

https://www.injuredcalltoday.com/do-pre-existing-conditions-affect-your-workers-comp-claim-in-new-york/

Understanding Workers Compensation: Is Your Injury or Illness Work Related?

By Workers Compensation

If you have recently been injured and are seeking workers compensation benefits, you will have to show that your injury or illness is work related.  Typically, if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer and you became ill or was injured as a result, then your injury or illness can be classified as work related.  You must meet the following eligibility requirements  to receive benefits: 

  • Be an employee 
  • Your employer must carry workers’ comp insurance 
  • You must have a work related injury or illness 
  • You must meet your state’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing a workers’ comp claim 

Here are some common situations: 

Lunch Breaks

Usually, injuries that happen on an employee’s lunch break are not considered work related.  If you were hurt while eating lunch on the company’s premises (lunchroom or cafeteria) the injury will generally be considered work related unless you were doing something during the lunch break that wasn’t allowed or fell within exceptions to workers’ comp coverage.  

Company Events 

If your company sponsors special events like parties, picnics or sporting games, injuries that occur at these events are usually considered work related.  There can be an exception if the employer doesn’t require their employees to participate in the off-duty events.  

Travel 

Under the “going and coming rule,” workers comp generally doesn’t cover injuries sustained during your commute to and from work.  There are exceptions to this rule including: 

  • Driving a company vehicle 
  • Required to bring your own car for business use during the work day 
  • Doing special errands for your employer 
  • Traveling on a business trip 
  • An employee who regularly travels for work or doesn’t have a regular fixed work site 

Misconduct

If you were injured while breaking a workplace safety rule or doing something that your employer has prohibited, your injury might still be covered by workers’ comp.  This is part of the workers’ compensation bargain. Employees do not have the right to sue their employer for work-related injuries but those injuries are usually covered by workers’ comp regardless of fault.  There are some exceptions to the rule.  For example, workers’ comp usually doesn’t cover injuries that happen because an employee was under the influence of alcohol or using illegal drugs.  Several states rule our workers’ comp coverage when the injured employees were: 

  • Trying to hurt themselves or someone else 
  • Committing a serious crime 
  • Horseplay
  • Breaking a workplace rule on purpose 

Illness, Cumulative Injuries and Stress-Related Conditions

Workers’ comp may also cover cumulative injuries developed over time (repetitive stress injuries RSIs) occupational diseases and other illnesses resulting from on the job exposure and physical or psychological illness resulting from workplace stress.  In these cases, it may be difficult to prove that the illness or injury is work related especial in the case of infectious diseases like COVID 19.  If a pre-existing condition was irritated at work, it could possibly be considered a workplace injury.  

If you have questions regarding your injury or illness call Losi & Gangi today at 716-854-1446.  Our attorneys will help answer all of your questions and find out whether you might be eligible for benefits under worker’s comp.  

Article adapted from: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/workers-compensation-injury-or-illness-32964.html

Show your local representatives why injured workers are so important and shouldn’t be forgotten about.

By Workers Compensation, Workplace Safety

                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

            Losi & Gangi wants to take the time to tell our clients, affiliates and friends how happy we are that you allow us to work for you. We appreciate everyone who lets us fight on their behalf when it comes to their legal matters. Whether you were hurt at work, hurt in a motor-vehicle accident, or slipped and fell, you shouldn’t be punished.

             The Injured Workers’ Bar Association on behalf of claimant attorneys, and injured workers across the State of New York has been fighting to correct the broken legal system we find ourselves in.

              Please read the information from https://www.protectinjurednewyorkers.org.  Next please go to the website and voice your opinion by submitting your electronic letter to the local representatives in your area. This will show the amount of people being effected by the below information, but most importantly shine a spot light on how injured New Yorker’s are being treated as a whole.

            Workers’ compensation payments, meant to serve as income protection for workers injured on the job, have been declining in New York since the 1990s. Legislative and administrative changes in 2007 and 2017 decreased workers’ compensation benefits and minimized employer costs, leading to its steady decline.

            New York was the first state in the nation to adopt an effective and efficient workers’ compensation system. Today, New York ranks 29th in workers’ compensation.

           While injured workers have been receiving low workers’ compensation benefits, if any at all, insurance companies have been making billions. A recent report by James Parrott at The New School found that insurance companies profited $1.6 billion from New York workers’ compensation in 2018 alone.

           We need a workers’ compensation system that works for Hard Working New Yorkers.

Legislative Bills currently being proposed are to help fix the protections that are supposed to be in place for injured workers.

  •   Bill A9900/S7850 would provide a hearing for every workers compensation case to allow injured workers to be heard
  • Bill A9955/S7954 would define temporary total disability as the inability to perform the job, in which injured, or a job offered by the employer that has been modified to meet the abilities of the injured worker
  • Bill A10472/8396 would enact the COVID-19 injured workers’ protection act to offer protections to workers who contracted the virus on the job
  • Bill A9920/S7726 would amend Section 35 (Safety Net) to define extreme hardship and apply it to cases with 50% LWEC
  • Bill A9924/S7751 would include a presumption of permanent total for those on social security disability insurance as a result of an injury or inability to perform sedentary work
  • Bill A10067/S7843 would provide a live verbatim stenographic record, make decisions issued in the native language of the injured worker, and make a hearing or stipulation required at the closing of the case

               These bills will make New York the leader it once was in protecting injured workers. With your support, we can ensure that all working New Yorkers have the protections they deserve.

                If you have questions about this article, please visit the website above. Contact our office at (716)-854-1446, if you want clarification on these issues and submit your letter to show your approval to take back your injured worker protections.

 

Losi & Gangi Prevails in Two Death Claims under New York State Workers Compensation Law

By Workers Compensation

Under New York State Workers Compensation Law, a death will be deemed compensable if the Estate proves the Claimants work or work injury contributed, predicated, or played a part either directly or indirectly in the decedents demise.

Additionally, there are multiple presumptions in favor of the Estate that can be used in proving causation of the death to the decedents work.

After protracted litigation, Losi & Gangi was successful in obtaining benefits for two Estates in death claims under the Workers Compensation Law.

A registered Nurse working for the Buffalo Psychiatric Center was originally injured on 10/13/2010. She hurt her back, right shoulder, and neck. She had multiple treatments including surgeries and medications including opioids. Unfortunately, on 5/15/2013 the claimant committed suicide. On behalf of the Estate, Losi & Gangi claimed that the Claimants ultimate suicide was related to her pain, treatment, stress and opioid medications from her ongoing Workers Compensation Claim.

After protracted litigation, and shortly before trial, Losi & Gangi was able to obtain Workers Compensation Benefits for the claimant’s husband and two daughters from her date of death until present. Additionally, the husband will continue to receive weekly benefits for the rest of his life.

In a second death claim, Losi & Gangi obtained a settlement for the widow of a local Attorney who worked for a Personal Injury Firm.

The claimant was a 43-year-old attorney who, while arguing a motion in court experienced sudden onset of sharp and severe leg pain. He suffered an aortic dissection and was rushed to the hospital. After a lengthy hospital stay, the claimant ultimately perished due to multi organ failure and infection.

The defense presented evidence that the death was not related to his employment but rather it was due to some previous health issues. 

Just prior to trial, a settlement was obtained compensating the widow and avoiding the uncertainty of future litigation.

Are Wear & Tear Injuries Compensable?

By Workers Compensation

Many jobs require you to perform the same motions over and over everyday.  The repetitiveness of these motions could result in you developing a number of small injuries over a period of time.  Most people think of carpal tunnel syndrome when it comes to repetitive motion pain, often coming from typing and overusing computers but it can be repeated stress on your back if you are a baggage handler or a hospital worker who lifts patients in and out of gurneys all day. 

As small traumas build up over time, these injured employees may need medical treatment and take time off of work to deal with the pain.  Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) include more than 100 types of injuries and ailments caused by the body’s wear and tear over time.  If your job requires you to repeat similar motions day after day you might be at risk of developing this condition.  These injuries are considered compensable and should be claimed under the Workers’ Compensation law.  An RSI, otherwise known as a continuous motion injury, is caused by repetitive stress and strain to muscles and other body parts such as ligaments, tendons, spinal discs and nerves.  If you have this type of injury you might notice constant and reoccurring aches and pains in your hands, back, legs, neck and shoulders. 

Workers in any industry can develop RSIs.  If your job involves repeating any of the following job duties overtime they may become problematic:

  • Moving heavy objects
  • Computer typing and using a mouse
  • Stocking inventory
  • Digging and landscaping
  • Using machinery and power tools
  • Lifting hospital patients
  • Lifting a heavy weight (boxes, pallets, loads)
  • Standing in the same position

If your injury is not listed, it does not mean it is not an RSI.  This is where you should contact a Workers’ Compensation attorney to answer your questions. 

The RSI category is very broad and the intensity of pain and discomfort varies case by case.  Common problems include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – specific nerve damage in the wrist, which can lead to aches, numbness and tingling in the hand or fingers.  This is common in jobs that require computer, shifting or joystick use.
  • Irritation and inflammation of a bursa, which is a fluid filled sac that helps cushion a joint and is often associated with overusing joints, carting heavy items and reaching overhead.
  • Tearing and irritation of the tendons, which connect bones to muscles and can be linked to overusing or over-stretching specific muscles
  • Stress fractures – small bone cracks due to repetitive actions or overloading that could come from running, walking, jumping and other rhythmic actions
  • Patellofemoral syndrome – the weakening of kneecap cartilage due to repeated kneeling, squatting and climbing
  • Epicondylitis – otherwise known as Tennis Elbow, which causes swelling and pain in the elbow often due to joint strain and overuse
  • Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes

It is important not to ignore warning signs of RSIs.  Your injuries might build up slowly but they can lead to pain that can be just as intense as a dramatic accident, like a fall. 

If you notice any of these problems you may have an RSI:

  • Joint or muscle weakness
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Lack of endurance
  • Clumsiness
  • Hands and joints feel like “dead weight”
  • Coldness in your hands that won’t go away
  • Using your non-dominant hand to avoid pain in your dominant hand
  • Adopting “awkward” posture to make common actions more comfortable

You may be susceptible to these injuries if you work in a high stress job, use a computer for several hours a day, are not active and lead a sedentary life, have loose joints and are sleep deprived.

If you are having similar problems and think you have developed an RSI from repeating the same motions at work, you could be entitled to Workers’ Compensation.  You should report your injury immediately to your employer and seek medical care.  The attorneys at Losi & Gangi can help you file a claim and advise you on your benefits.  Call us at 716-854-1446 and we can start working on your case today. 

Article adapted from: https://blogs.lawyers.com/attorney/workers-compensation/are-wear-and-tear-injuries-compensable-59768/

What is Workers’ Compensation Fraud?

By Workers Compensation

Workers’ compensation fraud occurs when someone willfully makes a false statement or conceals information in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits or prevents someone from receiving benefits to which they might be entitled.  The people who may be committing this fraud can be employers, employees, providers or anyone else involved in the system. Unfortunately, the people that commit workers’ compensation fraud are making your premiums higher, higher prices on goods and services and lost pay due to draining business profits. 

When employers commit workers’ compensation fraud, they are usually doing this to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums.  Employers can use a variety of tricks to accomplish this goal such as using shell companies.  Shell companies are inactive companies without significant assets that can be used to disguise business ownership from law enforcement or the public. 

Here are a few examples of Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Claimant Fraud

  • Malingering or exaggeration of symptoms
  • Working while allegedly disabled and not reporting income
  • Claiming a job-related injury that never occurred
  • Claiming a non-work related injury as a work-related injury
  • Falsifying mileage reports

Employer Fraud

  • Underreporting payroll or misclassifying employees for lower insurance premiums
  • Deducting premium dollars from employee’s wages
  • Employer knowingly fails to have necessary workers’ compensation coverage

Medical or Health Care Provider Fraud

  • Providing unnecessary testing or treatment of injured workers to reap financial benefit
  • Billing for services or treatment never performed
  • Billing the workers’ compensation insurer and the workers’ health insurer for the same services

Workers compensation is a benefit to all employees.  The Office of Workers’ Compensation is there to protect injured workers and if you need help understanding your workers’ compensation rights call the attorneys at Losi & Gangi at 716-854-1446 to help give you all of the information you may need. 

Article adapted from: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/workers-compensation-fraud-examples-4101604

What If My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Comp Insurance?

By Workers Compensation

Most employers offer their employees numerous benefits including health and dental insurance, 401K and more. When employees are injured at work, they usually have to go though New York State’s workers’ compensation system to get reimbursed for medical treatment and to receive other benefits.

New York State Employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance through a third party insurance carrier or through a self-insured program set up by the employer. In most cases, employers must get workers’ comp insurance when just one person is hired. Large employers may insure themselves but need to apply with the state and meet very stringent self-insurance requirements. Even if they aren’t required to buy workers’ comp insurance, many employers choose to have it for their employees.

But what happens if your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance? You may sue the employer in a civil court by filing a personal injury claim. In this case you can seek the full amount of your losses without being subject to an arbitrary cap set by law. Most states only pay around two-thirds of the worker’s wage loss for temporary disability benefits only up to a certain amount for a limited period of time. You can also collect money damages for emotional distress caused by your injuries otherwise known as “pain and suffering” and may be able to collect punitive damages which are intended to punish the employer if its bad misconduct caused your injuries. Neither of these can be rewarded through workers’ comp.

If you sue in court it can be a much slower process. It can be months or even years before you see any money through a lawsuit rather than a few weeks with workers’ comp. Since workers’ comp is a no-fault system you will need to prove that your employer was at fault for the personal injury accident. Talk to a lawyer immediately so that you can start the process and make sure your suit is filed in a timely matter.

Many states have special funds reserved for people who are injured while working for an uninsured employer otherwise known as “Uninsured Employers’ Funds”. Under these funds you may be able to get your medical bills covered or receive payments for a portion of your wage loss from it. Check with New York State’s workers’ compensation office for more information on how to file a claim or call the Workers Compensation Attorneys at Losi & Gangi today at 716-854-1446 and we can get you the proper representation you will need in your case.