Invisible Injuries

February 27, 2019

Cuts, burns, and other readily apparent injuries are common in the workplace, however, some of the most serious work-related injuries are invisible. Although they may be invisible, occupational illnessespre-existing conditions, psychological injuries, and repetitive stress injuries may still be compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. The most common types of invisible injuries our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers have obtained benefits for include:

Occupational Illnesses

Some work-related illnesses take months or even years to show symptoms; for example, mesothelioma and asbestosis can take up to four decades to surface. Workers who handle hazardous substances and materials, such as concrete, coal, and wood may also develop serious lung diseases that typically take years to develop.

Healthcare workers are at risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) from needlestick injuries and other hazardous exposures. To be compensable in Pennsylvania, the occupational illness must have occurred within 300 weeks of the employee’s last exposure to the work-related hazard.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Workers who have pre-existing injuries may not immediately realize that their condition is being exacerbated by their work tasks or environment. When they do, they should report it to their employer immediately to get the workers’ compensation process underway.

Employers will often deny workers’ compensation claims for pre-existing injuries, however, in Pennsylvania, they are covered under the Act. Pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, broken bones, arthritis, and musculoskeletal injuries are compensable if they were worsened by work activities. Employees must be able to show that the worsening of the injury was due to work, and not the natural progression of the injury.

Psychological Injuries

Tow truck drivers face work-related mental stress, as they are often among the first ones to arrive at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Workers who experience mental stress due to work may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

In Pennsylvania, workers must either be able to show that a work-related physical injury caused their mental injury, that a work-related psychological stimulus caused their physical injury, or that a traumatic event or stressful working condition caused their psychological injury.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

These types of injuries slowly develop over time and can affect the nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. They are often caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, and working in awkward positions.

Office, warehouse, and assembly line workers are types of workers who are at high risk for these types of injuries. Some examples of repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, epicondylitis, and tendonitis. Employees seeking compensation for repetitive stress injuries must show that the injury was caused by work tasks performed frequently on the job.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Pennsylvania Workers Obtain Compensation for Their Injuries

If you have a work-related injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. to discuss your options. We have over 35 years of experience helping workers obtain compensation for all types of injuries. For a free consultation, please fill out our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.

Located in Philadelphia, our team provides skilled representation to those residing in and around Pennsylvania, including Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.