Workplace accidents are, unfortunately, common these days; but when injuries to seniors at work occur, there can be a different set of issues to deal with. You may heal quickly and get back to your job, or you may need more time than younger employees to recuperate. If negligence is involved, you may also need to consider seeking important legal advice to learn your rights.
Years of work experience make you an asset to your employer and a valuable contributor to society. You have a lot to offer, and it shows in everything you do and how you do it while at work. While many workplaces have adapted to better employ older workers like you, accidents still happen. When they do, bills can add up, and medical treatments increase, keeping you away from your work.
If this happens to you, lower your stress by consulting with an experienced senior injury lawyer like those here at the National Injured Senior Law Center. With a quick call to (877) 228-4878 to schedule a risk-free case assessment, you’ll be on your way to understanding what your options are going forward.
What Are Common Causes of Injuries to Seniors at Work?
As your body ages, a number of changes take place that can put you at a higher risk for injury at work. This doesn’t mean you can’t work, and work well. As a matter a fact, many recent studies show that older workers are less likely to suffer an injury at work than their younger counterparts. This may be due to experience, caution, and a willingness to follow safety regulations and rules in the workplace.
However, when injuries suffered by seniors do happen, they are often severe and require longer recovery times. Seniors, in particular, are susceptible to a set of common causes and injuries. Knowing what these are, and taking measures to prevent them from happening, to the best of your ability, can help you contribute longer.
While there are many ways to injure yourself, here are a few of the common causes of injuries to seniors at work.
Slips and Falls
Slips and falls are among the top causes of injuries for all employees in the workplace, not just seniors. However, when they do happen to seniors, the risk for suffering more severe injuries is higher.
The troubling aspect of falls is that they can lead to several severe injuries, including fractures, head injuries, and various other health concerns. If any of these happen to you, you’re going to need medical attention and time to heal.
Improper Safety Measures in the Workplace
All employers are legally required to maintain a safe working environment for all their employees. From keeping aisle ways clear to posting signs warning of danger, the obligation falls on your employer. Your job may also require the use of safety equipment that your employer fails to provide.
While you have a responsibility to look after your own safety as well, sometimes things happen without your knowledge. Negligence may be involved, either by your employer, another co-worker, or a third party.
If your job requires heavy lifting, handling equipment, or various other physical tasks, the strain can often lead to back issues, sprains, strains, and even fractures. Even if your job doesn’t fall within this category, on occasion, you may be required to move something, which can lead to injury.
Getting into a routine at work often feels comforting, yet this can lead to repetitive motion injuries. Development of these types of injuries starts out slow, progressing as you continue. For example, constant use of your computer mouse can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Other musculoskeletal injuries can also occur, including back pain.
This is not an exhaustive list of the causes of injuries to seniors in the workplace. Much will depend on your work environment, so stay alert and know your rights.
What About Chronic Pain and Elderly Workers?
Suffering from chronic pain anytime is unbearable but can especially be so while at work. Everyday tasks become challenges. Limitations to your physical capabilities, as well as your psychological processes, can lower your productivity and affect your work.
Physically it can affect you by limiting your strength, mobility, and ability to sit or stand. Typing on a keyboard or doing any other type of repetitive motion can become difficult. Chronic pain can also lead to fatigue and insomnia, directly affecting your work ability. Psychologically, you may suffer depression, mood swings, irritation, excess stress, and tension.
Chronic pain and elderly workers are an upsetting mix, keeping you from the things you love and are good at. It may even result in lost wages and benefits.
When this chronic pain is caused by an injury you sustained at work, you are doubly affected. Your time away from your job may increase. Even if you do return, it will limit your capabilities of returning to the work you did prior to the accident and injury.
Rehabilitation strategies can help you manage your chronic pain and get back to work quicker. Seeking coverage for these under your health insurance or workers’ compensation insurance will be imperative.
What Options Are Available for Older Workers Injured on the Job?
While you may practice caution at work, not all accidents and injuries can be prevented. Seeking medical attention is the most important first step. Next, you need to follow your doctor’s recommendations fully to heal and recover.
While you may be anxious to return to work, you need this time to take care of yourself. You also deserve it. To lower your concern or stress about who is going to cover all the bills associated with the injury, you do have options. Working with experienced senior injury lawyers to determine what your needs are and how to obtain the financial compensation you deserve will be beneficial.
In the meantime, what options are available for older workers injured on the job?
When hurt at work, older employees are covered under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. You will need to report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible and file a claim.
Some of the benefits under Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Law include payment for medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complicated and also may be denied in some cases. Work with your employer to know what is needed and, if necessary, consult with our attorney to ensure you know your full rights.
You may also be eligible for other coverage, depending upon your state of residence. In Maryland, there is one such coverage known as the Subsequent Injury Fund. Created to compensate those workers whose injury classifies as severe in nature and is also accompanied by serious pre-existing medical conditions, it’s common that many older workers are eligible.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
When injured at work, you may be wondering if you can file a personal injury lawsuit. The answer to this will depend on a number of factors. If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you will most likely be barred from filing a lawsuit against them.
However, if your injury is the result of negligence on the part of a third party, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit against that party. The third party can be a contractor, a manufacturer of a defective product, or others.
If you suspect negligence led to your injury in some way, it’s best to consult with an experienced elder law attorney or one specializing in senior injuries. As an advocate for injured seniors in the U.S., Steven Heisler and the National Injured Senior Law Center will review your case and provide thorough advice regarding the possibilities of filing a lawsuit. Give us a call at (877) 228-4878 to learn more.
Do Aging Workers Need Special Accommodations?
Employers today continue to make improvements to their workplaces. These improvements are meant to increase productivity, cut down on accidents and injuries, and retain employees. Yet, they can’t anticipate every need of every employee.
But, do aging workers need special accommodation? Not necessarily. Not all aging workers need special accommodations. As long as your workplace is well-designed and follows safety guidelines, you may be fine.
Older workers rarely ask for special accommodations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a request, or won’t benefit from them.
Examples of special accommodations in the workplace that may be beneficial to seniors include:
- ergonomic furniture and interventions
- more optimal lighting
- newer technology, including hardware and software
- work schedule flexibility.
Talk with your employer about any concerns you have. Together you may be able to determine what accommodations to make to increase overall safety and productivity.
If your employer is not open to discussions on special accommodations, take time to learn your rights. This is another area where an attorney specializing in senior injury situations can assist you.
Contact the National Injured Senior Law Center for Your Legal Needs
You’ve given a lot of years to the working world; and if an injury interrupts your life and leaves you concerned about finances, you need legal help. Our priority here at the National Injured Senior Law Center is to help injured seniors get the financial compensation they need and deserve.
Located in Baltimore, MD, we proudly represent seniors anywhere in the country. Our experienced senior injury lawyers will review your case and advise you of your options, including whether filing a legal claim is in your best interests.
You can count on Steven Heisler at the National Injured Senior Law Center to address your needs and provide the legal help you need. Contact our office today by calling (877) 228-4878 and scheduling a risk-free consultation to get started.