Share This Article
A review of all of the workers’ comp cases in Virginia demonstrates that there are countless causes of work-related injuries. However, the cases also show that some causes are more common than others.
In every case, injured workers have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. If you are injured at work, you should consider meeting with a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible.
How Common Are Work-Related Injuries? (Sharing Stats)
Unfortunately, work injuries are more common than they should be. They occur in every industry, from construction to fast food. According to the Virginia Department of Labor, over 50,000 non-fatal work-related accident injuries and illnesses occur every year in the private sector.
Regarding fatalities, 144 workers were killed on the job in Virginia in 2022. According to numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation incidents were the most common cause.
In reference to non-fatal injuries, the Virginia Department of Labor reported that the educational and health services industries account for the highest incident rates of injuries in Virginia and across the country. The most common types of injuries in these industries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Bruises and contusions
As far as the most common causes of injuries in these sectors, they include falls, overexertion, and violence.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Regardless of the industry, slips, trips, and falls account for a large number of work-related accidents in Virginia. These types of accidents occur when a person loses their footing and falls.
Situations that typically lead to slips, trips, and falls in the workplace include:
- Spilled liquids
- Debris or objects on walkways
- Blocked egress
- Poorly lit areas
- Snow and ice
- Electrical cords
- Uneven walkways or floors
- Missing or faulty handrails and guardrails
- Broken stairs
Because workers’ comp claims are paid out regardless of fault, injured workers do not have to prove that someone else’s negligence caused their accident to receive benefits.
Occupational hazards are risks that are inherent in a particular type of job. For example, truck driving comes with the inherent risk of a catastrophic crash and other risks, depending on the cargo. Roofing, oil rig work, and demolition work also have specific risks associated with them.
In many of these industries, falling from high places is one of the primary causes of injuries to workers. As they work atop unfinished structures, construction, oil, and other workers put their lives on the line. To prevent a fall, they must use protective equipment. Sadly, human error, faulty equipment, or unexplained events lead to falls and often catastrophic injuries.
Exposure to dangerous substances is another occupational hazard that causes numerous injuries in the workplace. Often, the injury comes about due to a singular incident of exposure. However, the exposure can also occur over time, leading to a buildup of dangerous substances within a worker’s body. In these cases, a worker may not even be aware that they are being poisoned for months or longer.
Machinery-based accidents can and do occur at dangerous work sites. Construction workers use powerful tools and equipment to cut, bend, and affix materials on a daily basis. Oilfield workers manipulate heavy machinery to extract and transport crude oil.
However, machinery is not only used in dangerous industries; it is even utilized in numerous industries throughout Virginia that are considered safe. Workers in the education, healthcare, entertainment, and other fields use potentially dangerous machines every day. A problem typically only occurs when safety standards are not followed or when a machine is operated in an improper fashion.
Defective machinery also leads to machinery-based accidents. When cases of faulty machinery arise, the injured worker may have a personal injury claim against the maker of the faulty machine in addition to workers’ compensation claims.
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Injured workers in Virginia have two years to file a worker’s comp claim, after which a valid claim becomes void. Before filing a workers’ comp claim, injured workers should report the work accident to their employer within 30 days of the incident or 30 days of being diagnosed with an illness.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury?
Injured workers are normally barred from suing their employers for a work-related injury. However, there are rare exceptions to this ban. If your employer intentionally harms you or willfully disregards your safety at work, you may also have a personal injury claim for damages.
Can I Sue Someone Else?
You can potentially sue a third party if they caused your work injury. A third party is a party unrelated to the workplace and might include the:
- Product maker
- Employee of another company
- General public
- Delivery drivers
- Independent contractors
- Drivers on the road
If any of these parties negligently, recklessly, or intentionally injures a worker, they can be held liable for damages. Such damages typically compensate victims for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Should I Do After a Work Injury?
Get medical attention and notify your employer of the injury. If your injury is serious enough to lead to time off work, contact an experienced Virginia workers’ comp attorney immediately.
Been Injured at Work? Our Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured at work and need compensation, our team of workers’ comp attorneys is ready to help you with the next steps. Give us a call for a free consultation to learn what you truly deserve for your injuries. Contact Commonwealth Law Group today.
If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.