Types of Injuries Handled by the Workers’ Compensation System
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Types of Injuries Handled by the Workers’ Compensation System

Injured employees are not always sure if they can receive benefits for their type of injury. Pop culture and the news media show workers in serious, often gory accidents receiving workers’ compensation benefits or disability payments. The truth is, many workers who could receive benefits have less dramatic injuries. Sometimes the injuries are entirely invisible to coworkers.

Physical Injuries

Workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits for all different types of physical injuries, external and internal. These injuries can occur quickly, such as in a fall or after lifting a heavy object. These injuries can also occur over a long period of time, such as by performing repetitive motions or working in a non-ergonomic environment. Some examples of physical injuries include:

  • Lower back strain
  • Herniated discs
  • Whiplash
  • Hernias
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Occupational Diseases

Minnesota workers’ compensation laws allow workers to recover medical and wage-loss benefits for occupational diseases. Occupational diseases are physical and mental injuries “peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged” and “due to causes in excess of the hazards ordinary of employment”. (Minn. Stat. § 176.011.) In other words, these diseases happen to people who perform a particular kind of work. They occur because in that occupation, there are unusual risks not normally present for workers in other jobs.

Examples of occupational diseases include:

  • Breathing problems
  • Mesothelioma
  • Black lung
  • Silicosis
  • Eczema and contact dermatitis

Mental Injuries

Workers can recover for certain mental injuries that are diagnosed by a doctor. To receive benefits, a doctor must find that a mental condition was related to work conditions. Some workers suffer from mental conditions caused by physical injuries suffered at work. Others develop mental conditions due to work that lead to physical injuries. Both of these types of mental conditions may be compensable. In addition, Minnesota permits workers to obtain benefits if they are diagnosed with PTSD arising from work.

Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.