According to a recent study by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, on-the-job injures resulting in joint pain are becoming an increasing expense in workers’ compensation claims.

According to researchers, more than 40 percent of joint-related workplace injuries result in permanent disability, compared to only 16.7 percent for other types of injuries. That high rate of permanent disability also means that many joint-related workers’ compensation claims remain open more than two years after the injury was sustained. The closure rate at 24 months post-injury for these claims is only slightly more than 50 percent, compared to 73.3 percent for all other claims.

Under California state law, the Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to carry workers’ compensation for their employees under most circumstances. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance purchased by employers to cover on-the-job accidents. The system allows injured employees to gain monetary assistance for work injuries without having to sue their employer and meet a steep burden of proving that their employer’s negligence caused the injury.

As many readers might suspect, however, the claims process can quickly become entangled. First, there are time limitations not only for notifying an employer when an injury has occurred, but also for pursuing a claim. There may also be a difference of opinion among medical experts regarding the amount of money and care needed to rehabilitate an employee. Finally, there is also an appeals process for hearing disputes. Needless to say, an attorney is often needed to untangle the complexities of a workers’ compensation claim.

Source: riskandinsurance.com, “Joint pain-related work injuries increase expense,” Jan. 3, 2013