All types of work environments can lead to nerve damage and other nerve injuries. Some of these cases stem from falls or other sudden traumatic injuries, while others arise because of repetitive stress. No matter what the source, these injuries can be painful and debilitating, not to mention disruptive when it comes to your ability to make a living.
In this article we'll look at different types of nerve damage and how these kinds of on-the-job injuries can justify a claim for worker's compensation benefits.
There are primarily two categories of nerve damage, with numerous types of conditions (varying in severity) that can stem from each:
The three most common causes of nerve damage are:
Generally, work-related injuries fall into the first two categories. In some occupations, such as construction and similar lines of work, nerve damage can be coupled with head or spinal trauma. These cases can result in the most serious type of nerve damage, including permanent disability, paralysis, and even death.
For those injuries that do occur in the workplace, each state has laws in place that require most employers to pay into a workers' compensation insurance system, and in turn most injured employees are eligible to make a claim for workers' compensation benefits. (Notable exceptions are shipbuilders and dockworkers, railroad workers, and those working onboard a ship.)
Though the system varies from state to state, most injured employees can receive the following kinds of benefits via a workers' compensation claim:
(For a breakdown of the amount and types of benefits available, see How Much in Workers' Compensation Benefits Will You Get?).
For most injured workers, the biggest drawback to a workers' compensation claim is the fact that they can't file a lawsuit against the employer. The workers' compensation system is almost always an exclusive remedy for on-the-job injuries. Thus, although salary compensation and payment of medical bills are included in benefits, compensation for pain and suffering and other negative effects of the injuries is not an option.
Seeking workers' comp benefits for a minor workplace injury is fairly straightforward, and claims can usually be handled without an attorney. However, there are times when an employee may have difficulty in filing a workers' compensation claim, an employer disputes the claim, or the injured worker is allowed to step outside the confines of the workers' compensation system. In such cases, it's a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to make sure you get all the benefits you deserve.