If you’ve ever been injured at work, you know that filing a workers’ compensation claim is not easy. There’s a great deal of paperwork to do, the process is a lengthy one, and receiving compensation to cover your medical expenses may seem like an endless battle you just cannot win.
For these reasons, many people who are injured at work end up hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help them through the maze of paperwork that’s required to receive payment.
Another reason people feel they need an attorney’s help is that often, the injury will be challenged by the workers’ compensation carrier, and the injured employee will have to wait for compensation while a decision is made. Having a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer on your side speeds things up and allows you to collect the money you deserve more quickly.
While workers’ compensation covers numerous injuries, the most common are strains and sprains. Factory employees, construction workers, electricians, plumbers, and other hard-working men and women are prone to sprains and strains due to lifting, stretching, climbing, and pulling necessary for them to complete their jobs.
Strains vs. Sprains
A sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament, which is the fibrous band of connective tissue that joins the end of one bone with another and stabilizes and supports the body’s joints. A strain is a twist, pull, or tear of tendon, which are the fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone.
A sprain or strain really must be diagnosed by a doctor through medical testing and based on his or her experience. While you may know what a strain vs. a sprain feels like due to past injuries, only a doctor can tell you with medical certainty which one you have suffered while on the job.
A sprain may be caused by direct or indirect trauma such as a fall or a blow to that body that knocks a joint out of position, over-stretches, and, in the most severe cases, ruptures the supporting ligaments. Typically, this injury occurs when someone lands on an outstretched arm; stops and changes direction suddenly; jumps and lands on the side of the foot; or walks on an uneven surface.
Chronic strains are the result of overuse (usually prolonged repetitive motion) of the muscles and tendons. Inadequate rest breaks during intensive work hours can lead to a strain. A direct blow to the body, overstretching, or excessive muscle contraction can cause acute strains, which often result in severe pain.
Depending on the severity of your workplace injury, you may need days, weeks, months, or years to heal. No two healing plans are alike, and many factors must be considered to create the right healing plan for you: age, physical shape at the time of the accident, general health, past injuries, and willingness to comply with your doctor’s orders.
Find a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have suffered a workplace injury like a sprain or strain and need help with the workers’ compensation process, please contact an experienced workers’ comp lawyer in your area to schedule a consultation.
One small mistake on the paperwork for workers’ comp may result in a delay of payment or no payment at all. A lawyer with experience in these complex cases will work hard to make sure you’re paid in a timely manner.