Have you ever wondered what are the most frequent injuries in workers’ compensation claims? Well, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries provides labor statistics on their website that ranks injuries by fiscal year for accepted state fund claims. It is important that these statistics only include the numbers for claims that the Department has accepted – there could be hundreds more for each injury for rejected claims.
Here are the top ten injures out of the state fund accepted claims in fiscal year 2021:
- Open wounds of Finger(s), Fingernail(s) – 8,672 accepted claims
- Traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc of back, including spine, spinal cord – 8,547 accepted claims
- Traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc. of shoulder, including clavicle, scapula – 3,915 accepted claims
- Traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc of leg(s) – 3,746 accepted claims
- Multiple traumatic injuries and disorders of multiple body parts – 3,638 accepted claims
- Surface wounds and bruises of face – 3,123 accepted claims
- Respiratory system diseases of body systems – 2,935 accepted claims
- Open wounds of hand(s), except finger(s) – 2,754 accepted claims
- Traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc. of multiple body parts – 2,578
- Traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc. of ankle(s) – 2,240
We think everyone would assume that injuries to their fingers would be number one or close to it, when thinking about injuries on the job. There are so many different types of jobs which could cause injury to your fingers. The ones that may surprise some, but likely not workers compensation attorneys, are the traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints of the various parts of the body.
Typically, when a person is injured on the job, they will seek treatment right away. Sometimes this is with their general practitioner and most times its at the emergency room or urgent care clinic. Nine times out of ten, an injured worker is diagnosed with a sprain or strain of some sort. This is typically because there is not enough diagnostic testing to confirm there is something more happening and so the doctors diagnose the strain/sprain in the interim.
These strains and sprains cause a lot of grief for injured workers who more problems, as a result of their injury. For example, if you injure your back at work and go to the emergency room, the medical professionals are likely only going to perform an x-ray and physical examination. They may diagnose you with a strain of your back and tell you to follow up with your general practitioner, orthopedic doctor or neurosurgeon, if not feeling better in five days. Come to find out, after having an MRI, you actually have a herniated disc from your injury. The Department likes to make injured workers jump through hoops to prove that the herniated disc is related to the original injury, since the initial doctor only diagnosed a strain.
Because of this type of scenario, this is why strains and sprains are the majority of the top ten injuries in workers’ compensation claims.
Here at WWO, we have worked with many clients in the above situations and are skilled in navigating these situations. If you have been injured on the job and can relate to the above situation, give our office a call for a free consultation. You may contact us at 360.528.4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to helping you with your claim.