You have worked at the same big-box retailer for five years, loading and unloading big box after big box off the trucks and onto pallets. Over time, you have started sensing back pain and are finding it increasingly difficult to bend and lift–the core elements of your job. Chances are, you are suffering from overexertion, a common form of a workplace injury that results from lifting, lowering, and repetitive motions.
Because your injury occurred while you are doing your job, you are quite likely entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits provide for the payment of your injury-related medical expenses and lost wages. The only catch is, by accepting these benefits, you give up your right to file a lawsuit against your employer.
Not sure which route to choose? Not sure how to get there? A Phoenix worker’s compensation lawyer can point you in the right direction and walk with you every step of the way to your rightful compensation. Reach out to our skilled personal injury attorneys at Zanes Law as soon as possible.
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First, it is important that you shed any shame you are feeling about your injury. Workplace accidents and injuries are common.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that every seven second seconds, a worker is injured on the job. Over time, that number translates to 510 injuries per hour; 12,300 injuries per day; 86,500 injuries per week; and 4,500,000 injuries per year.
Not feeling so alone now, are you?
You might be thinking that these injuries have to be something disfiguring or dramatic—along the lines of losing a finger in a milling machine–and so you belittle your injury, thinking it’s too insignificant to warrant receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
You are mistaken. According to NSC, the top three workplace accidents that result in lost workdays are as follows.
Three Most Common On-The-Job Accidents
|Type of Accident||Sample Causes||% of all Workplace Injuries|
|Overexertion||Lifting, lowering, repetitive motions||34%|
|Contact with objects and equipment||struck by or against object or equipment;|
caught in or compressed by equipment or objects; struck, caught or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment or material
|Slips, trips and falls||falls to a lower level; falls on the same level||25%|
The lesson to learn here is that workplace injuries happen all the time, in many ways, and assuming many forms.
We spend much of our lives at work. From the window cleaner who slips and falls off a scaffold to the data-entry clerk who suffers carpal tunnel syndrome, the company that has benefited from an employee’s work is obliged to pay for the toll that work takes on employees’ bodies.
Common Industries for Worker Injuries
We mention the data-entry clerk to make an important point. Just as workers’ comp is not restricted by injury type, it does not define itself by industry either. The carpal-tunnel injury sustained from working at a research institution is no less worthy of compensation than an injury resulting from a construction site accident.
The NSC analyzed data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and revealed the following top three industries for preventable injuries at work in the U.S. in 2016, based on the medically consulted injuries reported:
- Government: 890,000 injuries
- Educational and health services: 830,000 injuries
- Manufacturing: 560,000 injuries
The NSC focuses a good deal of its research on emphasizing that across industries, the number of preventable work deaths in the U.S. continues to increase from one year to the next.
Every time a company is forced to confront a work-related accident, near-accident, injury, or illness, it increases the likelihood that the organization will take the safety measures needed to prevent future accidents from happening–accidents or conditions that could result in more significant injuries, or even death. Whether or not you work in any of the previously mentioned industries, a local workers’ comp lawyer could work with you to file a claim.
At this point, you might be thinking about how your injury happened. “It wasn’t the company’s fault,” you begin to argue with yourself. “There’s no way they will ever pay.”
That is not how workers’ compensation works.
Even if your employer trained you sufficiently and did everything by the book to promote workplace safety and to prevent accidents/injuries, you are still entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, so long as you meet the following criteria:
- You are an employee of the company.
- Your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your injury or illness is work-related.
- You meet your state’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim.
An attorney familiar with the regulations concerning workers’ compensation could help you determine if you are eligible for benefits.
The first thing you absolutely must do after your workplace accident is to notify your supervisor that you were injured on the job. After this task is done, things start to get complicated.
The good news is that from here on, there’s nothing else that you need to handle if you hire Zanes Law.
How To Navigate a Workers’ Comp Claim
Filing your workers’ compensation claim requires several steps, all of which Zanes Law as a workers’ compensation attorney in Phoenix, AZ, can take off your plate. We will handle the legal aspects of your claim, so you can focus on getting better. Our team will do to following:
- Submit a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury (this starts your claim and alerts the Industrial Commission of Arizona to notify your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier of the claim.
- Stay on top of the insurance carrier, who has 21 days to accept or deny your claim.
- Receive and explain to you your notification letter from ICA, which provides general claim details
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurance carrier regarding its acceptance or denial of your claim
- File a Request for Hearing with the ICA if the insurance carrier denies your claim
- Represent you throughout the hearing process
A Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Zanes Law Can Represent You
Zanes Law is ready to pick up the ball in your workers’ compensation claim and run with it. Our Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to take your case. Call us today for a free consultation with a compassionate member of our legal team.