Those employed in warehouses have one of the most dangerous jobs, and face a variety of serious hazards every time they go to work. Despite employers’ obligation to provide a safe workplace, the number of Chicago warehouse work injury cases is startlingly high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly five percent of all warehouse workers suffer some type of job-related injury each year. In many cases, these injuries require an employee to miss work. In more serious cases, workers may not be able to return to their job.
At the Chicago workplace injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we proudly represent warehouse workers, helping them obtain the money they need to cover their medical expenses, lost wages and more. Our dedicated team of Chicago workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers works closely with you to fully understand the impact the accident took on your life, so we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Types of Chicago Warehouse Injuries
Those who work in a warehouse have a challenging – and dangerous – job. Not only is working in a warehouse physically demanding, but most warehouses are also very hazardous environments, increasing the chances of a serious accident.
Some of the most common types of Chicago warehouse worker injuries include:
Slips – Many warehouses frequently handle potentially hazardous materials. Spills on the floor, whether it be oil, or some other slippery liquid can happen frequently. Add to this the fact that many warehouses are poorly lit. The result is an increased risk of slip accidents.
Falls – Warehouses often have several stories, with minimal protection to prevent workers from falling. If a warehouse worker stumbles after being bumped by another employee, they could fall from dangerously high levels. Warehouse loading docks are also hazardous, especially when other employees are not paying as close attention as they should.
Heavy Equipment Accidents – Forklifts, manufacturing machinery, power tools and other heavy equipment are common in warehouses. Most workers are able to negotiate these potential hazards without issue. However, when an accident involving heavy equipment occurs, workers can suffer debilitating injuries.
Exposure to Harmful Substances – Many warehouses contain hazardous material that can cause serious injury or illness if touched or inhaled. In some cases, the damage caused by harmful substances is not immediately apparent and can accrue over time.
Falling Objects – Warehouse employees are often responsible for stocking inventory and other objects on high shelving. If improperly stacked, objects can fall onto unsuspecting workers, causing serious injury.
Overexertion Injuries – Warehouse work is physically demanding, and employers frequently impose strict performance metrics to ensure employee productivity. When employees push themselves too hard, they are much more likely to suffer overexertion injuries.
Not all warehouse injuries are caused by an employer’s negligence. That does not mean that an injured employee cannot pursue compensation for their injuries. The attorneys at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg can help Chicago warehouse workers prepare a claim for workers’ compensation to help them cover their medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation System
After a warehouse injury, workers can pursue a Chicago workers’ compensation claim. According to the most recent data, 99.7 Illinois employers are covered under the workers’ compensation system. The Illinois workers’ compensation program is a “no-fault” system, meaning an injured worker does not need to prove that another person was responsible for their injuries. An injured worker can bring a workers’ compensation claim if they meet each of the following elements:
- They were an “employee” at the time the accident occurred;
- They were injured as a result of their employment;
- Their injury was caused (or made worse) by their employment; and
- They complied with all necessary reporting requirements.
If successful in bringing a workers’ compensation claim, an injured warehouse worker can obtain various benefits, including:
- Medical benefits – Cover all necessary and reasonable medical treatment related to a workplace injury. Employers get to specify where an employee obtains medical treatment. However, if an employer refuses to provide medical care or an employee needs emergency treatment, they can choose their own provider.
- Temporary Total Disability benefits – If a warehouse worker cannot work due to their injuries, and their employer cannot find a suitable job that the worker can safely perform, the worker may receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. TTD benefits are two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage, subject to a maximum amount. This figure changes every six months, and is currently set at $1,179.07. Injured workers can receive TTD benefits until they go back to work or once they reach their Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
- Permanent Partial Disability benefits – Warehouse workers who suffer an injury affecting only a certain part of their body may obtain Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits. The amount of PPD benefits depends on the part of the body affected. In Illinois, there are four types of PPD benefits: wage differential benefits, scheduled loss-of-use awards, unscheduled awards, or disfigurement benefits
- Permanent Total Disability benefits – If an injured warehouse worker cannot return to work due to their injuries or permanent disability, they will receive Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. PTD benefits are paid at the same rate as Temporary Total Disability benefits.
- Death benefits – If a warehouse worker dies in a work-related accident, their family can file a claim for death benefits. Death benefits are two-thirds of the deceased worker’s weekly wages. Families are also eligible for up to $8,000 in funeral expenses.
Warehouse workers suffering after a workplace accident should reach out to a dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer to answer any questions and for help preparing their claim.
Reach Out to Our Knowledgeable Team of Cook County Work Injury Lawyers
If you have recently been injured as a warehouse worker, the dedicated Illinois personal injury lawyers at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg can help. We understand the challenges you are facing, and will do whatever we can to lessen the burdens placed on you and your family. We have over 30 years of experience handling personal injury and workers’ compensation claims on behalf of injured workers, and know what it takes to get you the benefits you need and deserve. As a part of the Briskman Guarantee, we handle all cases on a contingency basis, meaning we will only accept payment if we are successful in getting compensation for you or your family. To learn more, call 1-877-595-4878 to schedule a free consultation today.