Vermont Workers’ Compensation Injury Lawyer
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Vermont
Vermont workers’ compensation covers accidental injuries that occur on the job. An “accident” is defined as “an unlooked-for mishap or an untoward event which is not expected or designed,” and an “Injury” is defined to mean “any harmful work-related change in the body, whether occurring instantaneously or gradually, and includes a claimed or apparent injury or disease.” After an accident or injury at work, workers’ comp should pay for your medical expenses and help with wage replacement while you are out of work recovering. Other benefits may be available as well.
Below we look at some of the most common types of injuries that happen in the workplace. If you suffer any injury or illness at work and need help getting workers’ compensation for your medical care, wage replacement and other applicable benefits, call Sluka Law for advice and representation from a seasoned and dedicated Vermont workers’ compensation lawyer.
Shoulder & Knee Injuries
Knee injuries can keep you from driving or even walking, and they can certainly keep you from working, depending on your job. Shoulder injuries, meanwhile, can keep you from performing even the most basic tasks of daily living, such as dressing, toileting, eating and bathing. Injuries such as muscle tears, tendinitis, and torn tendons and ligaments can require a range of treatments from rest and medication to physical therapy to surgery. Shoulder and knee injuries at work can happen due to heavy lifting, having to catch a falling object, a slip or trip and fall, falls from heights, and repetitive motions including bending and reaching overhead. Insurers might say your injury is non-work-related and comes from a sports injury or degenerative disease; Sluka Law can help prove your injury is work-related and compensable.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries can come about from something as catastrophic as a trench cave-in or as mundane as tripping on an obstacle on the floor or falling down the stairs. Injuries can range from the mild to the severe, from sprains and tendinitis to tendon tears and fractures. Treatment likewise can range from rest to surgery and bone grafts. Workers need to get an accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and adequate time to heal, including time off or light duty as necessary. When the insurance company resists a referral to a specialist or balks at approving the recommended course of treatment, Sluka Law can help ensure you get proper care and compensation.
Hand and Elbow Injuries
Hand and elbow injuries can keep you from working or even performing activities of daily living and self-care. Proper diagnosis might require nerve compression testing or diagnostic imaging, but workers’ comp insurers don’t always want to pay for extensive testing and the treatment that follows. Whether due to a single traumatic event or repetitive stress over time, we’ll work to see that your hand or elbow injury is appropriately documented as a work injury so you can get the benefits you are due.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
According to Vermont workers’ compensation rules, “injury” means “any harmful work-related change in the body, whether occurring instantaneously or gradually…” Workers who perform the same motions repeatedly throughout the day are at risk of injury in the overused body part, such as the hands or back. These injuries are often challenged by the insurance carriers, although they are clearly included in the definition of “injury” in Vermont workers’ compensation law.
The definition of “injury” in Vermont workers’ compensation law includes “a claimed or apparent injury or disease.” Some illnesses can potentially come from different sources, giving employers an excuse to deny a workers’ comp claim. Sluka Law can help you prove a direct connection between the disease and conditions at work. Call today to help ensure your claim is timely filed so you can get the care and benefits you need.
Factory workers and employees who regularly work with power tools or heavy machinery may be exposed to loud noises at hazardous levels daily. Long-term exposure to hazardous levels of occupational noise can lead to hearing loss, as can a traumatic head injury or exposure to a single loud noise such as an explosion. However, hearing loss can also be attributable to conditions outside of work, such as age, illness, medications, or even high blood pressure. Sluka Law can help ensure that job-related hearing loss is accurately measured and linked to the workplace for appropriate benefits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide personal protective equipment to employees whose work involves being exposed to industrial solvents or other toxic chemicals. Workers in any occupation or industry can be exposed to toxins in the workplace such as mold, lead paint, or asbestos. Exposure can cause a range of injuries and illnesses from skin and eye irritation to respiratory illnesses to liver damage, brain damage, and cancer. Insurance companies often challenge the worker to prove that toxic exposure at work caused the illness, including identifying the source of exposure, the amount of chemicals involved, and the causal link between exposure and illness. A skilled workers’ comp attorney can help prove your case for benefits.
Vermont workers’ compensation law specifically includes mental conditions resulting from a work-related event or work-related stress as compensable injuries when the worker demonstrates the event or stress was extraordinary and unusual in comparison to the pressures and tensions experienced by the average employee and that the work-related event or work-related stress was the predominant cause of the mental condition. You can expect the insurance carrier to push back on these claims, but you can also expect Sluka Law to prepare and present a compelling case that proves your claim by a preponderance of the evidence as required by Vermont workers’ compensation law.
Get the Help You Need After an Accident or Injury on the Job in Vermont
For help with an occupational injury or illness in Vermont, call Sluka Law at 802-457-1000 to share your concerns with an experienced and successful Vermont workers’ compensation attorney. Your call is free, and we only charge a fee if we are successful in recovering workers’ comp benefits for you.