Over the 23 years I’ve been a workers comp attorney in Chicago, I’ve heard some crazy stories of people getting injured on the job. One person fell on a wet bathroom floor thanks to a co-worker who had clogged the toilet and kept flushing it to make their mistake go away. Another was making a delivery to a shop when a cat jumped off the counter and caused him to lose his balance and fall. One attorney friend of mine told me about a case where a company did a mock robbery to prepare in case a real one ever happened. During the fake one, the “robber” slammed the head of a worker on a table and caused a concussion.
Those types of cases make for the best stories, but they certainly aren’t the most common. Today I’m going to write about the accidents that we see the most because it’s important to know you aren’t alone if something like this happens to you. In no particular order:
Lifting – Whether it’s improper technique, carrying too much for too long, a co-worker who doesn’t do a good job or a patient that puts too much weight on you, lifting injuries at work are surely the number one accident we see. They can cause just about any injury imaginable, but back injuries are certainly the main one.
Slip and falls- Whether it’s wet stairs, greasy floors or some obstacle that is in your way, workers in Illinois fall all the time. It happens a lot in the winter in parking lots and all of the time inside, especially in hospitals and grocery stores where there are often liquids on the ground.
Reaction accidents- These go hand in hand with slip and falls. I’ve probably talked to more than 500 injured workers over the years who hurt their shoulders or other body parts when they went to catch themselves while falling.
Burns- We of course see a lot of cooks get burned, but from chemists to factory workers to nurses, many workers are exposed to hot materials that can damage your skin.
Car accidents- If you are driving for your job and get in to an accident, it’s a work comp case if you are injured. This happens all of the time.
Repetitive trauma claims- The number one issue is probably carpal tunnel from typing. I expect we will see a lot more of this with people working from home. There are also a lot of repetitive injury cases for people who do the same job every day or work with heavy materials and have their body break down over time.
Robberies- I’m kind of stunned by the number of people who have had a gun pointed at their head while working. If it leads to a psychological trauma, you likely have a case.
Assaults- This number will go down with all of the people working from home, but if a co-worker punches you over something related to the job, it’s a work comp case in Illinois.
Those are eight common reasons, but just about anything can be a work comp accident. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us any time.