Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Soft Tissue Injuries

Posted by: Chris

A soft tissue injury is one that affects any muscle, ligament, or tendon in your body. Some of the most common soft tissue injuries are sprains, strains, and inflammation that is caused by repeated use. One well-known type of soft tissue injury—whiplash—often occurs in car accidents. But, this isn’t the only way that you can sustain a soft tissue injury. Many people suffer these injuries while on-the-job, which means they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But, what type of benefits will they receive? Here’s what you need to know:

How long will you continue to receive benefits?

Typically, individuals that are temporarily unable to work because of their injuries are entitled to compensation for up to 104 weeks. However, this is not the case if you have a soft tissue injury. According to 85A OK Stat § 85A-62 (2016), individuals that temporarily cannot work because of a soft tissue injury will only be compensated for up to 8 weeks. 

What if your injury is treated with injections?

Of course, there are a few exceptions to the 8-week limit. Injured workers that are treating their soft tissue damage with injections may receive an 8-week extension, meaning they will be compensated for a total of 16 weeks.

What if you need surgery?

Another exception to the 8-week limit applies to people that may need to undergo surgery for their injuries. If your doctor suggests surgery, it’s possible to receive an extension on the 8-week limit. The Workers’ Compensation Commission has the power to extend this limit by up to 16 weeks for a total of 24 weeks. However, there’s no guarantee that the extension request will be approved by the commission.

It’s important to note that there are consequences for not following through with the surgery after asking for an extension on the 8-week limit. The injured worker has 30 days to undergo the surgery after receiving the extension on benefits. If he delays the surgery, he could be required to return any compensation he received because of the extension.

Will you be compensated for a longer period of time if you have multiple soft tissue injuries?

Many people assume that the 8-week limit does not apply to them if they have multiple soft tissue injuries, but that’s not true. The 8-week limit applies to everyone with a soft tissue injury, regardless of how many body parts have been affected. 

A soft tissue may not be the most serious type of injury, but it can still greatly affect the victim’s life. If you have sustained a soft tissue injury at work, recover the compensation that you deserve with our attorneys’ help. Please call Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.