| Read Time: 4 minutes | Personal Injury
most common work injuries

There are infinite possible work-related injuries; ultimately, different industries and job types will be prone to inevitable accidents and injuries.

For example, the most common type of work-related accident for a commercial trucking company will likely be motor vehicle collisions and the typical injuries that come along with car wrecks, including whiplash, head trauma, and broken bones.

Whether the injury you suffer due to your job duties is considered one of the most common or relatively rare, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Our New Mexico work injury lawyers are always available to assess your case and discuss options for recovery.

Remember, the most important factor in whether you might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits is not the type of injury you sustain but rather that a work-related incident caused it.

Most Common Work Accidents Leading to Injuries

Work accidents lead to work injuries, and before addressing the most common injuries, it is essential to discuss the most common types of work-related accidents. 

Common work-related accidents in New Mexico that can lead to employee injuries include: 

  • Construction accidents;
  • Farming accidents;
  • Exposure to occupational disease, harmful substances, or environments;
  • Electrocutions;
  • Forklift and warehouse accidents;
  • Heavy machinery accidents;
  • Oil field injuries;
  • Overexertion or repetitive stress injuries;
  • Slips, trips, and falls;
  • Struck by falling objects;
  • Transportation accidents;
  • Truck accidents;
  • Caught in or between objects or equipment;
  • Explosions; and
  • Acts of violence.

These work accidents can cause a variety of injuries ranging from minor and temporary to severe and permanent. An experienced New Mexico work injury attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Three Most Common Work-Related Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, the following three types of work-related injuries account for more than 75% of all non-fatal work injuries or illnesses requiring time to be missed.

Exposure to an Occupational Disease, Harmful Substance, or Environment

Before 2020 and the COVID-19 virus, exposure to a harmful environment or substance was the 6th leading cause of work-related injuries.

However, it has since jumped to the top three leading causes of work-related injuries and illnesses involving days away from work.

While COVID-19 may be primarily responsible for bumping this category of work-related injuries to the top three, exposure to harmful substances or environments is also included. Examples of exposure injuries include:

  • Exposure to electricity,
  • Exposure to radiation,
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures,
  • Exposure to air and water pressure changes, and
  • Exposure to other toxic or harmful substances.

Exposure to harmful substances and environments includes many contagious and infectious diseases in addition to COVID-19. Healthcare workers are one of the groups most at risk for these injuries. 

Overexertion, Bodily Reaction

Overexertion injuries are most common in the transportation and warehouse industries. These work-related injuries result from excessive physical effort, including lifting, carrying, pushing, and holding. 

One of the most common work injuries in this category is repetitive motion injuries resulting from otherwise non-strenuous activities. Still, the constant repetitive nature associated with it can cause significant damage.

Slips, Trips, & Falls

Our New Mexico work injury attorneys often represent individuals who suffered from a slip, trip, or fall at work that resulted in serious injuries. There are several variations to these types of injuries.

  • Slip or trip without falling,
  • Falling on the same level,
  • Falling to a lower level, and 
  • Voluntarily jumping to a lower level.

These often result in sprains, strains, and soft-tissue and ligament tears.

Other common workplace injuries stem from on-the-job motor vehicle accidents. Commercial drivers who are required to travel behind the wheel frequently are at a higher risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash, leading to injuries, including:

  • Whiplash,
  • Cuts and bruises,
  • Broken bones,
  • Back and neck injuries and
  • Brain injuries.

Other work-related crashes can include those that occur involving forklifts, trailers, and other commercial equipment and machinery. 

Many of the most common injuries at work can be prevented. Proper background checks on a potential employee’s driving record, regular drug testing, and adequate training can help protect against collisions and crashes. Ensuring employees have sufficient rest and breaks can prevent these accidents and injuries.

Overall Prevention and Risk Minimization

Employers should minimize the risk of employee injury regardless of the industry. This includes providing proper safety equipment (e.g., harnesses, hazmat gear, personal protection gear, and safety helmets and glasses) 

Employers should also provide adequate training on how to safely perform job tasks and install and educate staff on safety protocols. 

New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Laws 

Suppose you suffered one of the most common work injuries in New Mexico. In that case, you are probably concerned about paying for your medical bills, missing time from work, and being unable to participate in daily tasks.

So, what recourse do you have? Employers with more than three employees in New Mexico generally must provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. 

What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?

If you are injured while performing your duties, you must seek compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

  • Medical treatment costs. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover the cost of any necessary medical treatment you receive for your injury.
  • Temporary wage replacement. If you cannot work for at least seven consecutive days or return to work at a lower pay rate, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits to cover the financial cost until your injury or illness improves. 
  • Payment for permanent injury. If you sustain a severe injury that renders you permanently injured and unable to work, you can receive permanent disability payments.
  • Death benefits. Death benefits are available if a worker dies within two years of an accidental workplace injury, and those payments are made to eligible dependents (i.e., spouse and children).

An experienced work injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

New Mexico Work Injury Attorneys

At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., we’ve been named to the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, Super Lawyers, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

We understand just how devastating it can be to suffer a work injury that leaves you unable to provide for your family. Whether you suffered from one of the most common work-related injuries or something more obscure, we are here to help.

Contact us today for a free consultation!

Author Photo

Alejandro Acosta

Mr. Acosta is a lifelong resident of El Paso. He graduated from Cathedral High School in 2000 and graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in 2004. Mr. Acosta went on to attend Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law (Arizona State Law School). He graduated in 2008, receiving his J.D. and his Indian Legal Certificate for his work in Indian Law and dealings with various tribal nations throughout Arizona. Alejandro has been licensed to practice law in Texas since 2008 and has been licensed in the State of New Mexico since 2011.

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