Common Installer Injuries
Cable installers and HVAC technicians exert a great deal of energy each shift. There are safety precautions which can greatly reduce the risk of getting hurt on the job, but serious injuries still happen. HVAC equipment supplier LennoxPROs sites three main categories of installer injuries:
It doesn't matter how experienced or physically fit you are, regular heavy lifting throughout the week will eventually take its toll. Installers frequently suffer from such heavy lifting injuries as:
- Muscle strains
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Slipped and herniated discs
Lifting with your legs and relying on lifting helpers such as dollies and carts can help reduce the risk of heavy lifting injuries.
Shoulder & Neck
Installers frequently work overhead and on elevated surfaces. This requires a great deal of stretching and contorting the body into unique positions.
These motions may lead to sudden shoulder and neck injuries after an awkward movement or accumulated stress injuries due to repetitive motions.
Installers should consider regular exercise and stretching in order to safeguard against shoulder and neck injuries.
Your hands are regularly in direct contact with equipment. Hand injuries may happen during heavy lifting or when working with electrical components. Cuts, scrapes, and burns are all common.
Wearing gloves can help limit the risk of hand injuries. These injuries should be treated as soon as possible in order to prevent further complications.
Obstacles Faced By Injured Workers
If an injury has affected your ability to work as an installer, you should immediately consider filing a Workers' Compensation claim. Unfortunately, filing a successful claim is not as simple as it probably should be.
Workers from all industries frequently encounter unexpected obstacles in the claims process. Common reasons for denied claims include:
- Injury reported late - PA law requires injured workers to file a report within 120 days, but if you wait longer than 21 days you will likely encounter significant delays. Ideally, you should tell your employer immediately.
- Employer disputes claim - Your employer may look for an excuse to dispute your claim. For example, he or she could claim that the injury happened outside of work.
- Medical treatment issues - Failure to receive medical treatment or discrepancies between your medical records and injury report could result in a denied claim.
- Insufficient evidence - The Workers' Comp Board requires detailed evidence in order to approve a claim. A work injury lawyer can help you compile what you need for a successful claim or appeal.
If your claim has been denied, you may be intimidated by the appeals process. Enlisting the guidance of an experienced work injury lawyer is often the best way to avoid further headaches. At Monheit Law, we know how the system functions, and what you need to do in order to file a successful appeal.
Do I Need To Hire A Lawyer?
Technically, you don't need to hire a lawyer. But denied claims are extremely common, and having knowledgeable legal counsel by your side is the best way to receive fair compensation as soon as possible.
Both your employer and their insurance company may look for reasons to deny your claim. They'll have legal experts on their side, so it would be wise to have your own representation as well. A contingency fee is a small price to pay to avoid weeks, months, or even years of litigation.
At Monheit Law, we'll gladly evaluate your case for free and only require payment after you've received your compensation.
Other Forms of Compensation
In the case of a serious injury, a successful Workers' Comp claim will provide the bare essentials for medical expenses and lost wages. But serious injuries often cause more damage than doctor's visits and time missed from work.
Social Security Disability
Injuries which cause a disability lasting over 12 months or resulting in death may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Depending on the particular circumstances behind your injury, you may be permitted to collect SSDI and Workers' Comp benefits concurrently.
If your injury was caused by someone who doesn't work for your employer, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. This concept is known as third-party liability. Examples include:
- Injuries caused by defective equipment resulting in a claim against the manufacturer
- A car accident with a negligent driver while driving to an appointment
- A slip and fall on an icy sidewalk while walking to an appointment
Filing a personal injury claim will not affect your ability to receive Workers' Compensation. A successful PI claim could provide compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional distress
During a consultation, a work injury lawyer will evaluate the possibilities for these additional forms of compensation in addition to your Workers' Comp claim. If you decide not to meet with a lawyer, you could miss out on the full compensation you deserve.