Accidental Injury V. Specific Traumatic Incident
In general, there are two requirements for an employee who is injured on the job to qualify for workers’ compensation: (1) the employee must be in an accident; and (2) the injury must arise out of and in the course of employment.
As a general rule, employees must sustain an accidental injury to give rise to a claim under Workers’ Compensation laws. The term “accident” has been interpreted as an “unforeseen and adverse event that the injured employee did not expect or design.” For example, accidental injuries often arise in the context of construction. An employee who falls from a ladder or trips into a hole could likely claim any injuries resulting from that accident under the Workers’ Compensation statute. Likewise, a welder who is injured by an equipment malfunction or a supermarket worker who slips on a wet floor could also claim. Satisfying the accident injury standard does not automatically result in a valid claim. However, it is an essential element. On the other hand, an employee who claims a workplace injury but cannot reproduce any details about when, where, and how the accident occurred will have an uphill battle to file the claim.
Also, this claim cannot arise based on something that occurs in the normal course of an employee’s job. For example, if an employee normally lifts boxes and places them on a truck, an unforeseen knee injury resulting from that lift would likely not qualify as an accidental injury.
As an exception to the accidental injury standard, back injuries only require a “specified traumatic incident.” The main distinction between the two is that the specific traumatic incident may occur within the employee’s normal job duties. The unusual and unexpected appearance of the injury is not required here, but it does have to be specific. Going back to the previous hypothesis, if an employee lifts boxes onto a truck bed every day as part of his normal routine and one day insults your back while lifting them, that claim is likely to be filed as a traumatic incident. specific. The employee’s injury occurred during a specific instance on the job.
It is often frustrating for claimants that the types of injuries covered by the specific traumatic injury standard are so limited. Each case is very specific. If you feel you were injured on the job, you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney in your area for an objective evaluation of your case.