Muscle strains or sprains are usually caused by overexertion. Actions like pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting, or throwing, are often the culprits and are the most common causes of workplace injury.
The law regarding workers compensation and compensatory injuries differs from state to state, so you will need to check the laws in your state. But most states require that employers have workers compensation insurance, which protects them from employees filing civil charges after becoming injured, and requires that employees receive compensation for injuries that happen while at work. Usually, employees will be compensated for injuries regardless of whose fault the injury is, though if the employee was intoxicated there are exceptions.
It is a good idea to be familiar with workers compensation laws in your state, as well as company policy. You should know what steps to take if you become injured at work. Employees will have some misgivings about reporting an injury in different situations, but delaying reporting an injury can become a big problem later on. If a person has only recently been hired or has a preexisting condition, waiting to see if the injury persists or if it will get better on its own may seem like a better option than rocking the boat. But reporting an injury as soon as possible is very important. If further on down the road the injury becomes worse, a delay in reporting it could be enough reason for your claim to be denied. It is always good to have it on record, even if the injury resolves on its own.
Lumbar strain/sprain. This can be caused by lifting or bending at the waist. This part of the back is already vulnerable and can easily be strained.
Neck strain. Muscles and ligaments that hold the cervical vertebrae together can become wrenched out of place. Traumatic events like a car accident can result in a neck strain and so can overhead work or awkward posture.
Leg and knee sprain. A tear in the ligament that support the knee joint. Twisting, stomping, running, falling, or stepping down awkwardly can cause a knee sprain.
Shoulder and upper arm strain. Partially tearing the the tissue and ligaments of the shoulders can be caused by a fall, lifting with one arm, or twisting or pulling the arm.
Steps to take after becoming injured at work:
If you are injured at work and have strained or sprained a muscle, the first thing you will need to do is report the injury to a supervisor and file an incident report detailing what you were doing at the time of the injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Seek medical treatment. If you think you may have sprained or strained a muscle, you should seek medical treatment. Most injuries will heal without surgery but it is important to see a doctor to make sure that you are properly taking care of your injury. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation, and over the counter anti-inflammatories will usually help the injury to heal. In some cases you may need a brace or sling to support an injured limb.
If you have been injured at work and are having trouble getting the compensation that you need, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann by calling (314) 361-4300.