Workers’ Compensation Claims for Mississippi Warehouse Workers

Workers’ Compensation Claims for Mississippi Warehouse WorkersConsumers and workers understand all too well how the pandemic has transformed shopping nationwide. To say that online shopping has increased would be an understatement. Businesses in all occupations have adapted to the needs of the consumer, from offering remote shopping options like curbside delivery to only providing delivery options for consumers.

While the increase of shopping is beneficial for consumers and even greater for a business’s profits, it can lead to a greater risk for warehouse workers. Warehouse workers who are constantly retrieving and removing products from a warehouse are at risk of becoming seriously injured at the workplace.

Common causes of warehouse accidents

It’s no surprise that the number of warehouse injuries have increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, the fatal injury rate of warehouse workers has been higher compared to other occupations. Some of the common conditions that contribute to a warehouse accident include:

  • An increase of deliveries and orders. When the number of orders increases, warehouse workers are required to spend additional time preparing and shipping the orders. While the increase of orders leads to additional overtime for workers, it can also cause workers to become exhausted from meeting the demands of the job. Workers who are fatigued are at a greater risk of becoming injured at the workplace.
  • Faulty technology and resources. Warehouse workers use machinery like forklifts to transport large amounts of supplies. The constant use of these tools can lead to wear and tear. When these tools become defective, they can potentially cause harm to the workers using them.
  • Unsafe working conditions. Even though the warehouse industry is one of the most hazardous occupations to work in, employers are still required to provide a safe and hazard-free workplace for all workers. Unsafe and uneven flooring can lead to trips, slips, and falls, but some of the biggest risks come from the items being stored. Workers can be seriously injured if product falls off shelves and onto them.

What are the most serious warehouse injuries?

For most warehouse workers, the greatest risk of harm comes in the form of repetitive motion injuries, from performing the same functions every day. Employers fail to realize that using the same muscles to lift, pull, and carry heavy objects daily can cause workers to experience serious strains, and exacerbate older injuries, too.

But there are some injuries which can be life-altering. They include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. Warehouse workers are at risk of suffering from traumatic brain injuries after being involved in slip and fall accidents or being struck by a falling object. Traumatic brain injuries are considered catastrophic injuries – injuries that workers cannot recover from and will permanently affect workers for the rest of their lives.
  • Amputations or crushed body parts. Warehouse workers can suffer from crushed body parts or amputated limbs after suffering from forklift accidents. When forklifts are defective or overturned, they can crush a worker’s body parts or kill the worker. Workers on loading docks and bay also have a risk of being hit by commercial trucks which are picking up or dropping off items.
  • Organ damage. Warehouse workers come across many products, including hazardous chemicals. When warehouse workers are exposed to hazardous materials on a consistent basis, it can cause workers to experience severe organ damage and respiratory issues.
  • Dehydration, heatstroke, and frostbite. Because of the sheer size of most warehouses, plus the constant opening and closing of doors, consistent climate control is a challenge. As such, workers face real risks of dehydration, heatstroke, and even frostbite. Each of these conditions can be life-altering (and even life-threatening) if not caught and treated immediately. The good news, however, is that mild cases can be reversed, and the injuries need not be permanent.

How to seek compensation for warehouse injuries in Mississippi

One of the primary forms of compensation that Mississippi warehouse employees are entitled to receive is workers’ compensation benefits. When employees are involved in workplace accidents, they can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that can provide financial support while they recover from their injuries. This support can include:

  • Medical benefits, including the costs of rehabilitation and traveling to and from doctors’ appointments
  • Lost wages, so that you do not lose your entire income while you are recovering from your injuries
  • Disability payments, which are based on how your injuries will affect your ability to work in the future. They can be temporary or permanent, partial or total.

Warehouse workers must also keep in mind that filing a workers’ compensation claim in a timely fashion is a critical component to any claim. You can be time barred from collecting benefits if you miss the deadlines. Our Mississippi workers’ compensation attorneys can help you with the process. We can also assist you with any third-party injury claims if you do not qualify for workers’ compensation, or if the benefits provided will not be enough to ensure you receive the care you need.

How insurance companies attempt to deny workers’ compensation claims

Once workers report their work injury to their employers and file a workers’ compensation claim, the deceitful tactics of the insurance companies will begin. From the time that it took to file a workers’ compensation claim to actual evidence of a worker’s injury, insurance companies will use different reasons to question the validity of a worker’s injury.

When insurance companies request workers to provide additional evidence with their compensation claims, it may be a sign that insurers do not believe that the worker was injured. Still, you must comply with most requests from the insurance company, especially when it comes to the independent medical exam. It’s in your best interest to seek the counsel of a workers’ compensation attorney when filing your claim.

If you have suffered work-related injuries in a warehouse accident, Merkel & Cocke, P.A. is here to help. Our Mississippi workers’ compensation attorneys protect the injured across the state. Please call 662-627-9641, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Jackson, Clarksdale, Greenville, and Oxford.