Amid today’s growing consumer-based economy, warehouses and fulfillment centers have cropped up with increasing frequency throughout the U.S. In addition to traditional industries that utilize warehouses, these facilities now employ a substantial number of Americans. Those employees, however, face a number of risks in their day-to-day duties, as well as difficulties in securing the benefits and compensation they need after suffering job-related injuries.
These issues have been thrust into the spotlight by a number of warehouse employees and safety advocates throughout the country, as well as a recent article published by The Guardian. While a zealous focus of profits, productivity, and expansion may have benefits to local communities in terms of more warehouses and more jobs, it also poses substantial drawbacks when it comes to workplace accident risks and fair treatment of injured employees.
As noted by victims and families, there are numerous stories of job-related injuries, including many that involve unsafe working conditions. Additionally, many of those injured workers face difficulties with their employers and insurers when it comes receiving the benefits and compensation they need to pay for their medical treatment, make ends meet while out of work, and recover enough physically to return to work.
That was precisely the case with one employee profiled by The Guardian, who suffered injuries caused by an unsafe workstation at an Amazon warehouse, only to later have the company’s workers’ compensation insurer drop her as a patient. After fixing the workstation months after she was initially injured, the company offered her a week of paid leave for the issues she dealt with over a nine-month period, as well as a minimal buyout of a few thousand dollars that also included a non-disclosure agreement.
Warehouse Injuries & Victims’ Rights
Stories like these are unfortunately not uncommon, and they leave many workers in difficult positions, especially when they depend on fair treatment to receive medical care for their injuries and cover expenses while out of work. When corporations and insurance companies that care more about profits than people are at the helm, however, situations like these often persist and continue to plague employees who have every right to be treated fairly.
As a firm focused on representing the injured and the wronged, Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is equipped with the resources to help injured warehouse workers throughout New Jersey protect their rights after suffering harm on the job. Because accidents can involve a range of issues, we also help injured workers explore their options when it comes to pursuing the compensation they need and deserve, and take action when insurers and employers don’t do their part to properly handle claims.
While every case is unique, our breadth of experience allows us to assist injured warehouse workers and families in a range of situations, including those involving:
- Workers’ Compensation – Workers’ compensation is a form of no-fault insurance (which means workers are covered no matter who caused their injuries) that provides essential benefits for medical treatment, wage supplementation, vocational rehabilitation, and more. While most employers in New Jersey carry workers’ compensation insurance, injured workers, especially those in warehouses, are not always awarded the benefits to which they are entitled. Our legal team assists injured workers and families in taking all the necessary steps when applying for workers’ compensation benefits, and protects their rights when they need to appeal unfair decisions.
- Third Party Personal Injury Lawsuits – While most injured workers typically pursue benefits and compensation through an employer’s workers’ comp insurance, there are cases when personal injury lawsuits may be warranted. This is particularly true when work-related injuries were caused by the negligence of a third party that was not a worker’s employer. As civil legal actions, personal injury suits allow victims to hold these third parties (which may include contractors, third party shippers, distributors, and others that work closely in warehouse operations) accountable for their negligence, and liable for the damages they incurred, including their pain and suffering and emotional injuries, which are not available through workers’ comp.
- Social Security Disability – Social Security Disability (SSD) is a critical safety net for individuals who suffer work-related injuries that prevent them from working at their former capacity. Available benefits depend on a number of factors, including the severity of injury, ability to work, and a person’s work history. Ensuring full and fair benefits also depends on navigating a challenging application process, filing full and complete claims that illustrate the full scope of an injured worker’s needs, or appealing any SSD denials.
- Product Liability – Many warehouse workers perform duties that require the use of various products, including tools, specialized equipment, industrial machinery, and products that pose risks of occupational exposure to certain diseases. Should those products be defectively designed or manufactured, workers can suffer serious and even fatal injuries. When injuries do occur, victims have the right to seek compensation for their damages by pursuing product liability cases against the product manufacturer.
If you have questions about your rights following a warehouse accident, or wish to discuss the case of a loved one, our award-winning attorneys at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. are readily available to help. Since 1939, our firm has served clients throughout the state of New Jersey, and has recovered over $1 billion in compensation on their behalves. Learn how we can fight for you by contacting us for a free case evaluation.