In the event you’re injured on the job, you hope that your employer has the best workers’ compensation insurance to cover your medical bills and lost wages and that the process is quick and efficient, so you can focus on your recovery. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Many Arkansas residents find themselves struggling to pay their bills after an on-the-job injury, even with workers’ comp benefits. This is where the Little Rock workplace injury lawyers at McMath Woods P.A. can help. We understand the frustrations with the workers’ compensation system and strive to get you full and fair monetary awards.
Keep reading to learn about workplace injuries and how you can benefit from a workplace injury lawyer.
Workplace Injury Facts and Statistics
To give you a better understanding of the workplace injuries that occur every year, the following facts and statistics have been compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Labor.
- The majority of workplace injuries happen in the healthcare and construction industries.
- Workers under 25 have higher rates of occupational injuries than any other age group.
- Nationally, there were 892,270 nonfatal work injuries in 2016.
- Of those injuries, 25 percent required time away from work after contact with objects and equipment.
- 26 percent of those nonfatal injuries resulted from slips, trips, and falls.
- 24 percent of all work-related deaths in 2016 involved motor vehicle crashes.
- 10 percent of workplace deaths resulted from workplace violence.
- As of July 2018, 725 workers’ compensation claims were filed in Arkansas.
Common Occupational Hazards
The following industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, see the highest rates of private workplace injuries and fatalities.
Employees in the construction industry are put in hazardous conditions on a daily basis. They’re tasked with operating heavy and dangerous equipment. They often work at considerable heights and risk the chance of falling. Construction workers are also subject to the “fatal four:” falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and getting caught in or between objects.
Finance and Insurance Hazards
The finance and insurance industry continues to see a national rise in the number of workers’ compensation claims. A majority of these claims are related to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Individuals working in the healthcare industry face a variety of dangers. While some injuries are sustained from overexertion or repetitive motions, others are brought on by violent, unrestrained patients. Healthcare workers often have demanding schedules that allow little room for rest and recovery, which can exacerbate their injuries.
Similar to construction workers, individuals in the manufacturing field have the potential to come in contact with dangerous equipment and situations. Standing for long hours can have an immense impact on the body, especially as time goes on. They’re also likely to suffer from strains and sprains.
Retail and Wholesale Trade Hazards
Employees in retail and wholesale trade face musculoskeletal disorders like back pain and sprains because of their daily, repetitive tasks. They’re also at risk for slips and falls.
When Workers’ Compensation Isn’t Enough in Arkansas
While workers’ compensation benefits provide you with a portion of your wages depending on your injury, you won’t receive awards for your pain and suffering or for any punitive damages to hold your employer responsible for unsafe conditions.
When this happens, the only way to receive fair compensation is to bring your case outside the workers’ comp system. While not all workplace injuries are eligible for additional compensation, there are exceptions, and they often revolve around holding an additional party accountable for your injury.
When a defective product, like a piece of equipment that fails to work properly or is inherently dangerous, causes your injury, you may be able to hold the manufacturer accountable for their negligence. They would then be responsible for compensating you for your medical expenses, lost income, and suffering.
Unfortunately, thousands of employees are unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals and substances over a long period of time while working. These substances, like asbestos, silica, and radium, can cause a variety of severe injuries and illnesses, and may even lead to a wrongful death. The manufacturer of the toxic substance, as well as the manufacturers of the safety equipment, can be held accountable for ineffective handling.
Third Party Liability
Third party liability can be tricky when dealing with workplace injuries; however, sometimes an employee’s injury is not the fault of their employer or a manufacturer. This happens often when employees are victims of auto wrecks while driving company vehicles.
Willful misconduct occurs when an employer knowingly violates established rules or policies. If your on-the-job accident happens because of actions your employer knowingly took, there may be room for additional compensation.
Taking Action with an Arkansas Labor Law Attorney
If you find yourself financially burdened after a workplace injury, reach out to our Little Rock workplace injury lawyers. We’ll help you understand your rights as an employee to recover compensation to help with your past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and any related pain and suffering. Our attorneys are familiar with every federal and state labor law which may affect your case.
Our initial consultations are free of charge. Contact us today to find out what benefits may be waiting for you.