Phoenix Workplace Injury Attorneys Discuss Common Work Accidents
“It’s important for injured employees to know that they have certain rights under workers’ compensation law”
Workplace accidents are accidents that happen while workers are engaged in their work duties. They can happen at the office, on a job site, or on the road. In Arizona, all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover any employee injuries caused by these accidents.
The Phoenix workplace injury attorneys at Goodnow McKay have seen some surprising and uncommon workplace accidents, and they’ve represented numerous clients for work related injuries. With over 100 years of combined experience, they’ve also noticed that some accidents are much more common than others.
Below are some basics about workers’ compensation, and some of the most common workplace accidents that our resident injury lawyers have seen in their time representing over 1000 clients in Arizona.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance is insurance coverage that employers must carry to cover any injuries their employees sustain while on the job. In Arizona, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, meaning that employees are entitled to coverage regardless of who caused the workplace accident. Workers’ compensation is governed by state law, and it includes some specific requirements that employers need to fulfill in addition to carrying the insurance.
You should receive information about your workers’ compensation policy as soon as you notify your employer of a workplace injury. After that, the insurance company and the Industrial Commission of Arizona must be notified within 10 days of the incident.
Attorney Chris Goodnow, a Phoenix workplace injury attorney at Goodnow McKay, says it’s important for injured employees to know that they have certain rights under workers’ compensation law. Generally, employees have the right to:
- coverage of medical treatment;
- temporary wage assistance for missed work; and
- permanent compensation benefits and job retraining if the workplace accident cause permanent injuries.
Common Workplace Accidents
Slip and Falls
Slip and falls, officially called “slips, trips, and falls,” are likely the single most common workplace accident that Phoenix workplace injury attorneys see. Slip and falls can happen in any workplace, including in an office. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 700 people die every year from slips, trips, and falls at work.
Vehicle Related Accidents
Many employees have to drive vehicles as a part of their job, such as trucks, cars, forklifts, riding lawn mowers, and others. Driving a vehicle presents new dangers to workers, including faulting equipment, and other negligent operators or drivers.
Attorney Justin McKay, a founding member of Goodnow McKay and well-reputed workplace injury attorney in Phoenix, says that work-related car accidents bring some unique legal issues including whether the driver was supposed to be driving the vehicle, or whether it was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Machinery and Tools
Some of the most dangerous jobs require workers to operate heavy machinery that can cause serious injuries, like the loss of a limb or even wrongful death. However, even seemingly mundane tools, like paper cutters, can cause serious injuries as well. Workplace injury lawyers in Phoenix see their fair share of workplace accidents caused by heavy machinery, but they also see a lot of accidents caused by office machines.
Employees being struck by a falling object is extremely common, especially in construction sites where employees are often transporting large objects vertically or across the job site. Falling objects can cause serious workplace injuries. Phoenix workplace injury attorneys often encounter clients suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI), neck injuries, and injuries to the face caused by falling objects at work.
Flammable liquids and chemicals are common in some industries. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict regulation standards for the handling and storage of flammable liquids, fires still happen at work.
Workplace burn injuries can range from minor to permanently debilitating. Attorney Goodnow, who specializes in burn injury claims, says that burn injuries can also leave significant permanent scarring, which injury victims must be compensated for.
Toxic Fumes and Chemicals
Being exposed to a toxic fume or chemicals can have lasting effects on your health. Companies should always provide the appropriate protective gear to all employees to help avoid exposure. Unfortunately, even with proper gear, accidents still happen.
Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause immediate injuries to your eyes, lungs, skin, and other organs. However, according to the Phoenix workplace injury attorneys at Goodnow Mckay, the full extent of the injuries from this kind of workplace accident are often not known until months or even years later.
According to the Phoenix workplace accident attorneys at Goodnow McKay, repetitive injuries in the workplace are some of the most complex workplace injury cases to handle because employers often deny that the injury was work related. Repetitive injuries can include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fasciitis, arthritis, neuropathic pain, among others.
What to Do if You’ve Been in a Workplace Accident
Notify Your Employer
If you’ve experienced a workplace injury in Phoenix or the surrounding area, the first thing you should do is notify your employer. This will trigger your employer’s responsibility to provide you with the insurance information you need to seek treatment.
Seek Treatment and Keep Records
Make sure to seek necessary medical treatment for your workplace injury. This may include follow-up appointments and physical therapy. It’s also very important to follow the instructions your medical providers give you. For example, physical therapists will often provide you with exercises to complete at home.
Hire a Phoenix Workplace Injury Attorney
If you’re not receiving the benefits you need because your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance or denying you coverage, or if you experienced a serious injury, you should also look for an experienced Phoenix workplace injury attorney to protect your rights. Workplace injury attorneys in Phoenix will not only have the right legal expertise, but they’ll also be well acquainted with the local rules and court system.