An improved U.S. economy and growing consumer-based industry have contributed to a greater need for warehouse workers. This is not only true of manufacturing and industrial industries that have long utilized warehouses as part of their operations, but also large and nationwide retailers like Amazon, which continue to expand and build more warehouses and fulfillment centers across the country. Naturally, that’s created a need for more workers.
Although more warehouses and jobs are good for communities and their residents, the proliferation of warehouse occupations has come with some drawbacks. That includes the risks of workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses warehouse workers face on a daily basis, as well as challenges they may be forced to confront when pursuing needed compensation and benefits after occupational injuries or disease do occur.
These drawbacks have received widespread attention and criticism from many workers, families, and safety advocates, and have been highlighted in a recent publication from The Guardian. Unfortunately, the problems they face are largely rooted in the corporate focus on increased productivity and profits.
In the article, reporters share stories of warehouse accidents and injuries, as well as the added struggles injured workers and their families can face after they’ve already suffered harm on the job. In fact, one warehouse worker interviewed by reporters noted that she suffered two separate injuries caused by the same unsafe working condition at an Amazon facility.
Not only was the hazard not fixed until months after her first injury, the company’s insurance carrier decided to drop her as a patient. Instead, she was offered just a week of paid leave for injuries that affected her for nine months, and a small buyout containing a non-disclosure agreement and just a few thousand dollars.
The Rights of Injured Workers
Unfortunately, stories like this have become increasingly common among warehouse workers, many of whom face considerable risks in the workplace, and difficult struggles when employers and insurance companies fail to treat them fairly, and leave them on their own to seek medical treatment and cover necessary expenses while they’re out of work. While it’s a common scenario when corporations put profits first, workers should remember that they have rights when it comes to seeking the benefits they need after suffering a job-related injury.
At Leonard Law Group, our Chicago injury lawyers have dedicated their professional careers to protecting those very rights, and to helping injured workers throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas of Illinois understand their legal rights, available options, and what can be done when they’ve been treated unfairly.
As every work injury case is different, our team leverages our experience in both workers’ compensation and personal injury law to help clients explore the most appropriate pathway to compensation. These may include:
- Workers’ Compensation – Our legal team has helped thousands of injured workers pursue the benefits they needed (including medical benefits, wage supplementation, and more) following injuries they suffered on the job. In addition to helping clients file complete and accurate workers’ compensation applications, we also provide representation to appeal unfair decisions. Workers’ comp benefits are available to workers regardless of who caused their injuries.
- Personal Injury Lawsuits – While workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance, there may be cases when injured workers have the right to pursue personal injury lawsuits in civil court. This is particularly true when victims suffer harm as the result of third party negligence, including the negligent acts of contractors or product manufacturers. Our team evaluates clients’ cases to determine if third party liability may be involved.
- Social Security Disability – When injuries cause severe and debilitating injuries that keep workers from being able to work and earn a living, Social Security Disability can be the needed safety net that helps them make ends meet. Our firm assists clients in helping them understand their rights and eligibility when it comes to SSD benefits, file claims, and appeal decisions.
If you or someone you love has suffered a workplace accident at a warehouse or in any other form of employment, you can find more information about your rights, options, and how working with our experienced team of Chicago injury attorneys at Leonard Law Group can help. Call (312) 487-2513 or contact us online for a free consultation.