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1 800 HURT 511

The Sanders Law Firm

Warehouse Workers & Musculoskeletal Disorders

Major national vendors deliver thousands of packages to consumers across the country every day. Customers expect to be able to place an order and have their package delivered within a day or two. For the warehouse workers responsible for preparing these packages, this can involve a great deal of lifting, bending, twisting, and running for up to 12 hours a day. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health surveyed Amazon employees at a Staten Island warehouse and found that the intense work pace is causing workers to develop musculoskeletal disorders.

According to some of the employees surveyed, they are expected to package approximately four online orders per minute. If they stop working for even a moment, it has a negative impact on their performance evaluations. Of the roughly 145 Amazon warehouse employees surveyed, 66 percent said that they felt physical pain while performing their regular work duties, and 42 percent said that they felt pain outside of work. Over 25 percent of workers said that they felt pain in their feet, and almost as many said that they felt pain in their lower back and knees. Unfortunately, it is likely that these injuries will only get worse now that Amazon offers free one-day shipping to Prime customers.

One worker described his warehouse work as a full-body workout all day, every day. Constant bending, squatting, twisting, and lifting can cause injuries to the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons as a result of repetitive strain and exertion. In 2016, Amazon was fined $7,000 for failing to report two dozen worker injuries. In a brief written by the U.S Occupational Safety & Hazards Administration, Amazon exposed workers to a range of injuries related to repeated bending at the waist, overexertion, and standing for up to 10 hours without a break. In some cases, they were forced to work mandatory overtime shifts as well.

These are not the only safety complaints that have been lodged against Amazon. In fact, because of its poor warehouse conditions, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health named Amazon as among the most dangerous places to work. The report stated that Amazon had injury rates that were higher- than-average and did not address employee safety concerns. According to the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which is assisting some Amazon workers with unionizing, as two-day Prime shipping becomes more widespread, workers will be expected to fill 200 to 300 orders per hour in a 12-hour shift. This pace can be exhausting and increase the risk of serious workplace injuries.

Remember, each case is unique, so contact HURT-511 for more information on workers’ comp statute and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Is Your Injury or Illness Work Related?

Usually, injuries that happen on an employee’s lunch break are not considered work related. For example, you probably can’t claim workers’ comp for spraining your ankle while walking to a deli to pick up your lunch (or lunch for your coworkers). But the injury might be covered if you were also picking up lunch for your boss.

If you were hurt while eating lunch on the company’s premises (especially in an employee cafeteria or lunchroom), the injury will generally be considered work related. But it probably won’t be covered if you were doing something during the lunch break that wasn’t allowed or fell within other exceptions to workers’ comp coverage.

Many companies sponsor special events like parties, picnics, or baseball games. Injuries sustained at these events are usually considered work related. But some states make an exception if the employer doesn’t expect employees to participate in the off-duty events. Also, workers’ comp generally doesn’t cover injuries sustained during your commute to or from work. There are exceptions to this rule, however, including while driving a company vehicle required to bring your own car for business use during the work day, doing special errands for your employer, traveling on a business trip, or an employee who regularly travels for work or doesn’t have a regular, fixed work site.

If you were injured while breaking a workplace safety rule or while doing something else that your employer has prohibited, your injury might still be covered by workers’ comp, depending on the level of your misconduct and where you live. This is part of the workers’ compensation bargain: Employees do not have the right to sue their employer for work-related injuries, but those injuries are usually covered by workers’ comp, regardless of fault. Workers’ comp usually doesn’t cover injuries that happen because the employee was drunk or using illegal drugs.

Workers’ comp may also cover cumulative injuries developed over time (such as repetitive strain or stress injuries or RSIs), occupational diseases and other illnesses resulting from long-term on-the-job exposure, and physical or psychological illnesses resulting from workplace stress. But in these cases, it may be difficult to prove that the injury or illness is work related. The rules may also vary from state to state, especially when it comes to stress-related and emotional illnesses. To learn more, see Injuries and Illnesses Covered by Workers’ Compensation.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have been exposed to silica and its harmful effects, contact HURT-511 for more information on workers’ comp statute and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Workers’ Compensation & Repetitive Motion Injuries

For many people, the idea of a work-related injury involves hurting your back while lifting a heavy object, falling on a wet floor in a factory or breaking an arm when an object falls from a rack of heavy items in a warehouse. All of these mishaps certainly qualify as work-related injuries and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health, 33% of all workers’ injury and illness cases in 2018 were caused by repetitive strain injuries, also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Why the sudden shift away from the more violent episodes of being hurt on the job mentioned above? Fewer and fewer Americans work on shop factory floors, and more and more work in cubicles in front of a computer monitor or in a service business where performing a repetitive motion is increasingly part of the job. As a result, more people are filing for workers’ compensation benefits as a result of a repetitive stress injury.

Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are often called overuse injuries or cumulative trauma, although the latter category also includes other injuries that may develop over time from repeated exposure to things like loud noises resulting in hearing loss.

In the beginning, you may not have any real symptoms, or you may only notice pain or tingling when doing one particular motion or taking a particular posture. Unless treated relatively early, RSIs can be injuries that affect a person for a great deal of time. Over time, the following symptoms will develop in the areas of your body where an RSI has developed:

  • tingling and numbness in distal extremities
  • tenderness and pain on the site of the injury
  • loss of strength and an inability to grip objects or form a fist
  • a reduced range of motion

RSIs develop over time. You must notify your employer as soon as you believe you have a repetitive stress injury. One important reason for doing this is that if you are forced to take time off work to recover, workers’ compensation will normally cover you from the moment you believe you have the condition, and reporting it to your employer helps establish that date. Generally, this is the last date you performed your job that caused injury before you had any work restrictions.

You must report your injury to your employer within 120 days of realizing that you have a repetitive stress injury. You then have three years from the date that you started to experience some disability caused by the RSI — such as requiring medical care or missing work — to file a workers’ compensation claim. While you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive motion injury suffered at a previous job, you can file one if you had an RSI in the past and recovered, but the situation has become bad again due to a work-related activity at your new job.

To receive repetitive motion injury coverage, you need proof of your injury. In most workers’ compensation cases involving RSI, the burden of proof is on the employee to show that a repetitive activity associated with their job led to them developing an RSI. In New York, repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome are considered workplace injuries. As a result, if your claim is denied by your employer, and you ask for a hearing from the Workers’ Compensation Commission, your burden of proof is lower. You need to prove your injuries are “more likely than not” to have occurred on the job.

In New York, you are required to receive treatment for the first 90 days from a physician on your employer’s list of designated physicians. If your employer does not tell you that you need to do this, then they are responsible for paying for the medical care that you receive from your own doctor for the first 90 days. After 90 days, you can use any doctor you wish.

Medical Bills: Any medical bills acquired in the course of treatment for your RSI will be paid until you are healed or a doctor has determined that you have recovered enough to return to work, often with some form of restrictions. This is another good reason to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney – as we noted above, employers will do anything they can to either prevent you from claiming workers’ compensation for an RSI or limit the amount of time that they are forced to provide for your medical bills.

Temporary Disability Benefits: If an RSI prevents you from performing your normal duties on the job and you are forced to miss time at work, you may be entitled to receive temporary disability benefits to cover any wages you may have lost. It is important to note that these payments are not available immediately in most cases, but only after you miss several days of work as a result of your injury.

In New York, benefits for lost wages are calculated based on what is known as the average weekly wage. Normally you will receive 66 percent of the amount that you earned before you suffered your injury. There are maximums to the benefits, so a highly paid worker will often receive less than 66 percent. Some other exceptions also apply. It is important to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you determine the benefits to which you are eligible for lost wages.

Permanent Disability Benefits: If your injury is so severe that it is impossible for you to recover completely, you may be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits. Another possibility is that your employer can make changes to your job so that you will no longer have to repeat the activities that led to the RSI. If that is not possible, workers’ compensation will provide benefits for vocational training so that you may learn skills for a new job.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

Workers’ Compensation & Rotator Cuff Injuries

The shoulder joint is one of the most important joints in the body because of its wide range of motion. But because it has such a wide range of motion, it can also be injured easily. Often, shoulder injuries require surgery to help them heal properly. The average workers’ compensation settlement for a shoulder injury varies, but you can expect to receive about two-thirds of your average salary while you’re out of commission. A few factors will go into determining the exact amount you will receive.

If you have a shoulder injury, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that your total costs will be $20,000, and that’s assuming you do not need surgery. Between treatments and waiting for your shoulder to heal, you can expect to miss about three weeks of work.

  • Workers’ Compensation Disability Ratings
  • Lump-Sum Disability Settlement
  • Going to Court

If you have to miss more than about a week of work, you can get temporary disability benefits for your shoulder injury. Generally, you can expect to receive about two-thirds of your weekly earnings until you reach the cap.

If your shoulder injury is serious enough that you have permanently lost the use of it, you are covered under permanent partial disability. This is for workers who can only do a limited amount of work after their injury. The amount you can expect and the maximum you can receive depend on what state you are in.

If your injury prevents you from working at all, you may be able to get two-thirds of your weekly earnings for the rest of your life. If you have a shoulder injury, it is very unlikely you will have a permanent total disability.

Your disability settlement may be given to you in a lump sum. This is a one-time payment meant to cover treatment and lost time working. While it is a predetermined amount, you could instead receive the amount in installments, such as weekly or monthly payments. While the exact amount varies, you will most likely receive about two-thirds of your salary before your shoulder injury. Some states put a limit on how long you can receive workers’ compensation payments. For example, in New York, you can receive it for up to 520 weeks if you have lost all your earning capacity.

The lump-sum your employer offers you for your shoulder injury is usually all you will get — you most likely won’t be eligible for more medical benefits. If you choose not to accept the lump sum, you can take your employer to court. If you win your case, you may receive more compensation than the lump sum would have offered you. On the other hand, you risk losing all the benefits if you lose.

Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, so you should always check your state laws before making a decision. It’s always best to contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney before making any important decisions when it comes to your benefits.

Do not settle for just any means of compensation, contact HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

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From Our Clients

Stephanie De La Cruz
quote

I was an UBER passenger and the car got rear-ended by a utility van. I called 1-800-HURT-511 since a friend dealt with them before and I was glad I did. My attorney was extremely professional and aggressive when necessary. He was transparent from the start and didn’t complicate things unnecessarily.

Stephanie De La Cruz
Jordan Barnes
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Serious team effort from the entire staff to get my work injury case resolved quickly. They built a strong case and kept me in the loop for the duration. This team also delivered on two previous occasions and did it in a very cost-effective way. A faithful customer for life thank you!

Jordan Barnes
Kevin Diaz
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I highly recommend HURT-511! When the insurance companies turned me away after a scary scooter accident that nearly killed me, a lawyer at HURT-511 stayed and fought for me and recovered the entire policy! Their staff is well-informed and always available to answer my questions. They treated me like one of their own and I made the right decision to stick with them. Thank you so much!

Kevin Diaz
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