What Is a Work-Related Injury, Exactly?If you were injured on the job, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman represent your best interests, and provide experienced legal guidance and support. Contact our attorneys in Wilmington, Newark or Seaford today to learn more about how we can help you.

Workers’ compensation law in Delaware provides medical and financial benefits to employees who suffer injuries on the job. Workers’ comp is considered a no-fault system, so it covers many injuries that otherwise wouldn’t be if they hadn’t occurred on the job.

You might be wondering, however, how to determine whether or not your injury is “work-related.”

In a nutshell, work-related injuries are any injury, illness, or condition you suffer during the course and scope of your employment. You can break these injuries down into three basic categories: physical injuries, occupational illnesses, and repetitive stress injuries.

Physical injuries on the job

The most common injuries that occur on the job are physical injuries. These can be injuries resulting from your own work (like hurting your back while lifting or falling off a ladder), injuries resulting from other people’s actions (being hit by a dropped object on a construction site), or general workplace injuries (like tripping and twisting an ankle).

Typical physical on-the-job injuries include injuries to the:

  • Muscles, tendons, and bones
  • Feet, ankles, wrists, and hands
  • Head, face, and neck
  • Shoulders and back

Occupational illnesses

Occupational illnesses are conditions or illnesses that you contract (or worsen) as a result of your job duties. For example, if you work in healthcare, you might contract a contagious disease or illness from a patient. If you work in a factory or in construction, anything like asthma, COPD, silicosis, or asbestosis from dust or fumes can contribute to occupational illness and disease – and these can develop immediately or over years of exposure.

Repetitive stress injuries

A repetitive stress injury, or RSI, is the third type of injury that may be covered by workers’ comp. These can happen when you perform the same task, day after day, over a long period. One of the most common RSIs is carpal tunnel syndrome, but RSIs occur across all occupations. If your job requires you to constantly bend over, lift heavy objects, scan items, or move in a certain way, you can develop an RSI.

Is it work-related if I’m commuting?

Many of our clients ask us if any injury, like a car accident, that happens on the way to or from work counts as work-related and is therefore eligible for workers’ compensation. Generally, any injuries suffered driving to or from work won’t be covered by workers’ comp, but there might be a few exceptions. If you were in the scope of employment at the time you were driving, your accident injuries might be considered work-related. For example, if you were running an errand for your employer, or on your way to a meeting, you should be covered. Your workers’ comp attorney can give you more guidance on this.

If you’ve hurt on the job and need assistance with your workers’ compensation case, talk to the attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman. We’re well versed in Delaware workers’ comp law and processes. Our skilled attorneys have offices in the Wilmington, Seaford, and Newark areas. Call 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form today.