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Although many work-related injuries are serious, you don’t have to suffer a concussion or permanent spinal cord injury to qualify for California workers’ compensation. The state program extends to all injured workers, regardless of the severity of the injury, if the incident occurred during a job-related task and the employee qualifies for benefits. You can claim workers’ comp for many different minor injuries to avoid out-of-pocket medical expenses. The following are a few common minor injuries that qualify for a claim in California.
To learn more about what you need to file a work injury claim, contact one of our Orange County workers compensation lawyers today.
If you cut yourself at work, you may need to visit a doctor for disinfecting treatments, stitches, or bandages. Open cuts are prone to infection without proper medical treatment and follow-up care. A cut in the wrong place could force you out of work for a week or longer while the wound heals. If you work as a chef, for example, your employer may not permit you to keep working with an open cut on your hand. Although a minor laceration isn’t a serious injury, you could still seek restitution for your doctor’s visit, treatment, and time off work.
Working around hot equipment, electrical components, or harsh chemicals could result in minor job-related burns. A first-degree burn can be painful, but won’t form blisters or break the skin. Thus, the risk of infection is very low. Still, a first-degree burn could be enough to send you home for the day, or require medical care if it covers a large portion of your body or a vulnerable area, such as the face. If you lost hours or must visit a doctor for your first-degree burn injury, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation.
You should always see a doctor immediately after an incident that involves something striking your head, even if you feel normal and don’t think you have a concussion. Many head and brain injuries have hidden or delayed symptoms. A medical scan may be the only way to diagnose your brain injury in its early stages. If you fall and hit your head or something falls and strikes your head, tell your supervisor and request an immediate visit to the hospital – even if you don’t feel any symptoms. You may then request workers’ compensation coverage for the medical visit and any treatments the doctor recommends.
Bending and lifting objects, repetitive motions, and slip and fall accidents can all result in muscle sprains or strains. Soft-tissue injuries can cause significant pain and temporary disability. If a work-related sprain or strain puts you out of work or requires medical attention, file a claim for workers’ compensation. Request reimbursement for visits to a doctor, chiropractor, or rehabilitation center, as well as any days you had to miss from work. If a strain temporarily puts you in a different position for lower pay, you may also qualify for lost wage compensation.
If something at work – such as a bee sting – triggers an allergic reaction, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation for related health problems. Allergic reactions may require a hospital visit and treatment to reduce swelling, as well as emergency actions such as using an EpiPen. You may have to go home for the day or take a few days off to completely recover. Even minor allergies may qualify if they require medical care or days off.
Almost all injuries can qualify for workers’ compensation in California. Minor injuries will give rise to workers’ compensation claims if they cost the employee damages in the form of medical bills and/or missed income. You may not qualify for disability benefits or lost wages if your injury isn’t serious enough to put you out of work for at least a week. However, you can receive medical care compensation if you’re a covered employee and the injury occurred at work. Contact a lawyer if you encounter problems obtaining workers’ compensation for a minor injury in Orange County.