If you’ve been injured in the workplace, you aren’t alone. A worker is injured on the job every 7 seconds. That means 510 people are injured each hour, 12,600 each day, or over 4.5 million injured workers per year.
An injury at work can be devastating to your personal life, not to mention your finances. Yet, a workers’ comp doctor can help fight for your rights to wages lost during recovery from a workplace injury.
Are you searching for a workers’ compensation physician or specialist to assist in your case? Then check out this guide first to learn everything you need to know about workers’ comp claims in New York plus the incredible doctors who are here to lend you a hand.
Work-Related Injuries in Manhattan
Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City in the aptly-named New York County. It’s the most densely populated borough, with more than 1.5 million people living on just under 23 square miles of land.
In 2018, New York County employed more than 900,000 workers. These workers are employed by NYC’s most significant industries, which include:
- Trade, transportation, and utilities
- Information services
- Business and professional services
- Healthcare and social assistance
- Leisure and hospitality
Three of these industries (construction, utilities, and transportation) include occupations that are among the 5 jobs with the highest rate of annual workplace injuries. It should be no wonder, then, that Manhattanites accounted for 73 of the 5,250 total fatal workplace injuries in 2018.
Manhattan Workplace Injury Statistics
In the latest report on fatal occupational injuries in New York City, the most common workplace injury occurred due to contact with objects and equipment.
In fact, NYC reported 26 object and equipment-related workplace deaths in 2018, which is compared to the national average of 6 object and equipment-related deaths.
NYC also had more fatalities due to falling or tripping (23 deaths) and exposure to harmful substances (15) than the national average.
By far, most workplace injuries in Manhattan occur in the construction, transportation, and utilities industries.
Perhaps that’s why men between the ages of 25 and 54 account for 88% of NYC workplace injuries. 90% of all NYC work-related deaths occurred in wage or salaried jobs as compared to self-employed occupations.
The Most Common Work-Related Injuries
Luckily, the majority of workplace injuries don’t result in death. Yet, these accidents do mean lost days for employees who can’t return to work during recovery.
Let’s explore some of the most common work-related injuries that result in days lost on the job.
Cuts, Lacerations, and Puncture Wounds
Around 30% of all workplace injuries are due to cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds.
The good news about these common workplace injuries is that they usually aren’t fatal. That is, as long as you care for the wound at home. If you don’t, you risk developing an infection or worse.
Here’s another good thing about these three kinds of workplace wounds: they’re usually preventable.
With better training, quality safety measures, and the proper body protection gear, employers and employees can reduce this common type of workplace injury.
Sprains, Strains, and Muscle Tears
When you perform repetitive motions at work or your body is forced into an unnatural position, spraining a ligament, straining a muscle, or tearing both.
Here’s what we mean: a sprain occurs when you overstretch a ligament. Ligaments are the stringy tissues that connect and stabilize our bones, especially at the joint.
When the joint is forced into the wrong position after a fall, you might sprain the ligament.
Similarly, strains occur when a muscle or tendon is forced into an unnatural position. You can develop an acute strain from a single accident or a chronic strain from repetitive movements performed over and over (i.e., lifting boxes).
Symptoms of a muscle strain include:
- Muscle spasms
- Weakness, cramping, and immobility
- Pain, bruising, and swelling
Tears tend to be much more serious than sprains and strains. That’s because a tear occurs when the ligament, muscle, or tendon is overstretched due to accident or repetitive motion.
What’s more, tears take months to heal and sometimes require surgery or physical therapy for a full recovery.
Pain and Soreness
Some jobs require large amounts of manual labor that results in muscle injuries, overuse, and stress. These three factors are the most common causes of pain and soreness.
While all-over pain is usually a sign of a more serious injury or illness, pain radiating from a specific region is different. This is usually a sign that the painful muscle received a minor injury that went untreated.
Most of the time, pain and soreness dissipate on its own with the help of over-the-counter medication and rest.
Sometimes, though, repeated stress to the previously injured muscle can cause chronic pain that requires more serious treatment.
Top 3 Workplace Events to Result in Injury
How do the most common work-related injuries occur? There are 3 top events that tend to result in a workplace injury. These include overexertion, object or equipment-related injury, and slipping, tripping, or falling.
Muscle overexertion is responsible for more than 33% of work-related injuries, including sprains, strains, tears, pain, and soreness. Overexertion happens when you put too much stress on your muscles.
Usually, overexertion happens when you push your body beyond what it’s physically capable of doing. This could mean lifting things that are too heavy or performing a strenuous repetitive motion.
While some cases of overexertion are relatively innocuous, workplace overexertion can result in weeks lost while you recover.
2. Object or Equipment-Related Injuries
Harmful contact with objects and/or equipment is the second most common event to result in injury. 26% of all work-related accidents happen when an employee is struck by falling equipment, gets caught inside equipment, or is crushed by falling structures or building material.
In Manhattan, this percentage is even larger. More people die in New York from object- or equipment-related injury than any other type of workplace event.
3. Slipping, Tripping, or Falling
With a little more than 25% of workplace injuries, slips, trips, and falls come in third place for the most common events that result in lost days at work.
These types of events include falling or tripping over an object. They also include falling from an upper floor or level to one below.
Again, this percentage is larger in New York City since falling or tripping accounts for the second-highest number of workplace fatalities.
What to Do When You’re Injured at Work
So, you were injured on the job. Now what? If you don’t want to lose wages while you’re at home recovering, you need to file a workers’ comp claim.
The first step in this process is to make sure your employer provides workers’ compensation insurance. If your workplace doesn’t offer workers’ comp, you may be able to sue in particular situations. Workers’ Compensation insurance is mandatory in NYS.
If your employer does, you’ll go through the workers’ comp system.
Here’s what to do next:
- Report your injury to your employer
- File a C-3 Employee Claim Form with the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board.
- See a workers’ comp doctor for treatment
Keep in mind that you must file your claim within 1 year of the workplace accident that caused your injury.
Also, make sure you inform your workers’ comp physician that you were injured at work. That way, your doctor can help support your workplace injury case.
How a Workers’ Comp Doctor Can Help
To receive your workers’ compensation while you’re out recovering, you must first receive a formal diagnosis from a workers’ compensation doctor. You may be wondering: what exactly is a workers’ comp physician?
Your workers’ comp physician is any medical professional you see after your workplace injury. That means it could be the emergency room doctor or your local family physician.
The workers’ comp doctor will examine your symptoms and prescribe treatment to get you back on your feet.
Then, your physician will file a workers’ comp report.
This report will detail the facts about your injury: your symptoms, the suspected cause of the injury, your medical history, and more. More importantly, this report details when you can return to work and any restrictions once you do.
Choosing a Manhattan Doctor for Workers’ Comp
In New York, though, you are allowed to choose your own workers’ comp doctor as long as they are NYS Workers’ Compensation Board Authorized provider.
However, there is an exception to this rule if your workers’ comp insurance plan requires you to see an in-network physician. The law requires you to see one of these in-network doctors within 30 days of your injury. After 30 days, you’re usually allowed to switch to a non-network doctor of your choice.
This also applies when seeing a specialist or seeking a second opinion.
Workers’ Comp Doctor Specialties
When you’re injured on the job, one-size-fits-all care isn’t what you need. You need a workers’ comp facility that offers a variety of services to address all aspects of your condition.
Here are five of the top specialties you need from a workers’ compensation doctor’s office.
An Orthopedic Surgeon
As we discussed with sprains, strains, and tears, one of the most common causes of workplace injury is events affecting your muscles and ligaments. That’s where an orthopedic surgeon comes in.
These specialists are experts in treating problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. You can find orthopedic surgeons who further specialize in sprains, strains, and tears to the hips and knees or the ankles and feet.
That’s why orthopedic surgeons are excellent workers’ comp doctors if you’ve injured yourself via overextension or slip, trip, or fall.
Though much less common than muscle and ligament injuries, head and/or nerve trauma is relatively common after a work-related injury. This is especially true of concussions.
Neurologists specialize in treating problems with the nerves or the brain. You might seek a neurologist’s opinion if you suffer from headaches or migraines after a workplace injury.
If you suffer from a work-related stroke, an NYC workers’ comp neurologist would likely diagnose and treat you.
Though chiropractic is considered a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), more and more traditional physicians are recognizing the benefits of seeing a chiropractor.
Chiropractic is primarily used to treat pain conditions and other neuromuscular issues.
If you prefer non-invasive techniques, you may choose to see a chiropractor as your workers’ comp doctor. Instead of relying on medication, New York City workers’ comp chiropractors use subtle adjustments to your spine to offer pain relief.
A Pain Management Specialist
Even after you return to work, you may experience long-term symptoms of your injury. That’s where a pain management specialist comes in.
Pain management doctors help treat chronic pain post-workplace injury. But that’s not all. Pain management specialists also help address the lifestyle and psychological changes that come along with chronic pain.
Repetitive movements often cause pain and soreness, even in the absence of a serious injury. While some doctors may not understand these often mysterious but always devastating conditions, Manhattan pain management specialists are trained to address your unique needs.
A Physical Therapy Specialist
A physical therapist (PT) specializes in treating musculoskeletal injuries. In other words, these doctors help treat muscle and joint injuries like sprains, strains, tears, and overextension-related issues.
While most people opt to see an orthopedic surgeon for these kinds of injuries initially, the surgeon may later recommend physical therapy. Physical therapists help with long-term recovery after a more severe muscle or joint injury.
The goal of long-term recovery with a PT may be to reduce any injury-related pain and soreness. Otherwise, a PT can help rehabilitate a disability or amputation caused by a workplace event.
Find a Workers’ Compensation Doctor Near You
Getting injured on the job in Manhattan doesn’t have to mean disaster for you and your finances. New York law protects your rights to pay while you’re recovering from a workplace injury.
In the meantime, a workers’ comp doctor can help you get back on your feet.
Whether you need a neurologist or a physical therapist, the accident and injury doctors at Workers’ Comp Doctor have the services you need.
Get help now, call (888) 590-4030 to find an experienced Manhattan workers’ comp doctor near you.