Were you hurt due to a muscle overexertion or strain on the job?
Get legal advice from experienced Atlanta workers’ comp lawyers
“I need help.”
This simple phrase is so hard for many people to say, especially in the workplace. Whether out of a desire to prove themselves or a fear of appearing weak in front of their coworkers, many workers fail to ask for help when they need it. Instead, they push their bodies to the limit, sometimes going too far and resulting in overexertion injuries like muscle strains, sprains and tears.
Construction, warehousing, manufacturing and repetitive assembly line jobs are associated with some of the highest rates of overexertion injuries. However, these injuries can happen in almost any type of workplace environment — including the service, retail and healthcare industries.
Whatever the nature of your work, it’s important that you stand up for yourself and be an advocate for your own health. Your health and safety is more important than giving into the pressures imposed by an adamant manager.
Most overexertion workplace injuries are covered under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws. Those eligible for workers’ compensation must report the injury to their employer in a timely manner to receive benefits to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. Failing to follow proper procedures or file your claim on time can result in your employer denying your workers’ compensation request. This is why you should consider hiring an experienced work injury attorney to explain your rights and fight to get the benefits you deserve.
Never take your employer’s word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
What is an overexertion injury?
Muscle overexertion is a common workplace injury and occurs when a load exceeds the limits of the person doing the work, resulting in a strain or other injury. “Overexertion” is a general term that encompasses a wide range of injuries, from minor sprains to debilitating tears and fractures. This type of injury is broadly associated with sprains, torn muscles and joint problems.
Overexertion injuries are typically categorized into one of two groups:
- Non-impact injuries. Caused by excessive physical effort directed at an outside source. Examples include heavy lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying or throwing.
- Repetitive motion. Caused by microtasks resulting in stress or strain on some part of the body due to the repetitive nature of the task, typically without strenuous effort such as heavy lifting.
The most common overexertion injuries are sprains, strains, tears, soreness, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures and tendonitis.
- Overexertion is the most common cause of workers’ compensation claims in the United States, and the third leading cause of overall injury. An estimated 3.5 million overexertion injuries happen every year.
- The industries most at risk for overexertion injuries are transportation and warehousing.
- Average number of days lost after an overexertion accident is 13.
- The estimated cost of overexertion injuries is around $10 billion per year, accounting for 25% of all workers’ comp benefit payouts. This cost is more than double the second-highest cause (slip and falls), and four times more than repetitive motion injuries.
- Back pain is the most frequent symptom of injury after an overexertion accident.
How to prevent overexertion injuries in the workplace
- Stay healthy and hydrated. Even though strong individuals who are physically fit may also suffer from overexertion, being in poor physical condition, overweight, or less flexible makes a person more susceptible to sustaining an overexertion injury. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water so as to avoid becoming dehydrated, which could cause quick overexertion in hot, outside working conditions.
- Take breaks. Overexertion often happens when a worker is pressured into performing physical tasks beyond their true capabilities. To avoid overexertion, all employees deserve access to appropriate rest breaks as needed. If an individual has experienced a similar work injury in the past, it’s particularly wise to be cautious at work.
- Maintain good posture. When lifting, pulling or exerting yourself in any other way, it’s important to use proper technique and posture so that your joints, muscles and ligaments are protected. Your back and neck are especially vulnerable to injury. Bend at your knees, not your back!
- Respect each worker’s abilities. When employees are under undue pressure to deliver, managers and supervisors can be considered witting or unwitting accomplices of an overexertion injury. Too often, managers unwisely ask the wrong employees to carry heavy items repeatedly. Managers who ask their employees to overwork are putting their workers’ livelihoods and health at risk.
- Ask for help. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when you need it. If no one else is around to help and you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, use the appropriate safety equipment and tools provided to complete the task safely — or simply wait until help arrives.
- Know your limits. Workers should listen to their bodies when making determinations about the feasibility of work tasks. Pushing too hard can lead to debilitating, painful injuries.
Types of injuries covered by Georgia workers’ compensation claims
What to do after an overexertion injury
If you think you may have overexerted yourself and are hurt, you should see a doctor immediately to get diagnosed and start receiving treatment. This will help speed along your recovery and allow you to resume work sooner.
To protect your rights, you should immediately report any injury to your employer as soon as possible. Proper reporting can mean the difference between a successful disability or workers’ compensation claim and a dud.
Work with your company to file a workers’ compensation claim, if needed. Once all the information is gathered, your employer will submit a claim with their insurance company. The insurer will either approve or deny benefits.
Managers and companies sometimes lie about the circumstances of an employee’s injury in order to avoid paying compensation. In these situations, a lawsuit may be the only way to seek justice and redress.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Contact experienced Atlanta workers’ comp lawyers for help
Unfortunately, short-sighted desires for profit can cause management to cut corners in regards to workplace safety and workers’ compensation. They may try to claim that your injury was the result of a pre-existing condition or didn’t happen while you were “on the clock.” Irresponsible employers like these present a genuine problem to society and should be held liable.
Workplace injuries, even seemingly minor muscle strains and sprains, can have debilitating effects that cause tremendous financial burden to individuals and families in Georgia. In many cases, such injuries can cause people to lose some of their most productive adult years to illness and disability. Some overexertion injuries require surgery, which is the worst possible outcome for one’s physical and financial well-being.
During and after a health crisis like this, it can become almost impossible to continue working or hold the same position. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers have excellent reputations and we’ve helped thousands of injured workers secure the benefits they deserve, even after an employer initially denied their claim. Most employers have ample access to legal and financial resources, meaning they can make even the flimsiest defense seem formidable to a non-expert.
Overexertion injuries can be different in each case. Hiring a qualified attorney is a must for those who wish to challenge a denied workers’ compensation claim or sue for an unsafe workplace. Having an experienced attorney representing you greatly increases your odds of winning the case.