Despite state and federal safety laws and despite an employer’s best efforts to keep their workers out of harm’s way, accidents may still occur that can lead to serious injuries. Here in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, injuries to tendons, muscles and nerves account for a significant number of lost workdays every day. And unfortunately, there are very few occupations in which these injuries are not likely to occur.
With some occupations, such as those that require significant physical labor, musculoskeletal injuries are more likely to occur because of lifting or moving heavy loads, which can easily strain or severely damage tendons, muscles and/or nerves. In other occupations, such as desk jobs or occupations that do not require as much physical labor, there is a risk of repetitive injuries, which can be just as bad as a sudden catastrophic injury.
As you probably already know, workers do have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury. Oftentimes, the severity of an injury can be an indicator of what type of compensation you should receive. To illustrate this point, we will use a lower back injury that was suffered during a workplace accident.
If the injury was enough to result in lost workdays but is only expected to take the person away from work for a limited period of time, then temporary total disability may be necessary. If the injury was more severe though and is expected to leave the person permanently disabled, then seeking permanent total disability may be required instead.
It’s important to point out that even though Social Security Disability Insurance may be sought in the event of a disabling injury, a person must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. It’s also worth pointing out that SSD payments can be decreased by workers’ compensation benefits as well — both things our readers should keep in mind if they plan on filing for benefits after their own work-related accident.