Working in a warehouse or a busy big box store like a Home Depot or Lowes can be very hectic. There are often large pieces of equipment zipping around the building and property moving massive objects. And while these pallet jacks are very helpful in relocating a heavy pallet stacked with hundreds of pieces of merchandise or a few very large items, they also represent a serious safety concern for any employees working, walking, or even simply standing nearby.
Because the load is on the front forks of the pallet jack, it is often difficult for the operator to see around the significant obstruction. Ideally, there are other employees helping to guide the operator to relocate the heavy pallet safely. But on occasion, challenges like being short-staffed or in a hurry to relocate a specific pallet mean that the pallet jack operator is working alone and could have a limited view of their surroundings. Unfortunately, these occasions often result in a tragedy that can include minor to life-threatening injuries when someone is hit by the pallet jack.
If you have been injured when struck by a pallet jack at work, it is vital that you understand your rights and how to get the assistance owed to you for your injuries and losses. The worker’s compensation and personal injury lawyers at DTLA Law Group are here to offer their expertise and guidance to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the help you need to avoid excessive personal debt because of a workplace accident like being hit by a pallet jack. We are here 24/7 to ensure you have the answers you need to make wise choices about your medical care and protect your rights after a workplace injury. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the DTLA Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with our legal experts.
Common Pallet Jack Workplace Injuries
Even if a pallet jack is not moving at a high rate of speed, the injuries you sustain when it hits you can be severe and even life-threatening. So it is always essential to seek a complete medical evaluation after suffering any collision with a pallet jack. Some of the most common injuries you could sustain include:
Fractured or broken bones
Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries that could result in partial or complete paralysis
Traumatic head injuries
The priority after being hit by a pallet jack at work should always be your health and safety. Seek the medical care needed to ensure your health, and then contact DTLA Law Group to learn more about how to protect your rights as an injury victim at work and your financial future.
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Understanding The Basics Of The California Worker’s Compensation Program
The California worker’s comp program is one of the most robust in the country and offers exceptional benefits for workers throughout the state. All employers are required to purchase the insurance to provide help for their workers. The program’s purpose is to ensure that all workers have access to quality medical care and other benefits should they suffer an injury while at work.
The program costs the employee nothing to use after suffering an injury. The benefits provided include:
The payment of medical expenses related to the workplace injury up to $1M
Payment of partial lost wages during recovery
Permanent wage replacement in the case of severe injuries
Possible vocational training
Death benefits to the family of a worker killed on the job
The Program Benefits Employers And Employees
The benefits provided for an injured worker are beneficial to avoid massive medical expenses after suffering a workplace injury. However, the program is also designed to provide a level of safety for the employer. When an employee uses their worker’s compensation benefits to pay for medical expenses and possibly lost wages, they can no longer sue their employer to recover more money. So there is protection for both the employer and the employee. They are just different kinds of protection.
There are very few exceptions to the rules protecting an employer from a civil lawsuit filed by an injured employee. Most of the exceptions involve gross negligence on the part of the employer. For example, they alter a piece of equipment, knowing it will make it more hazardous for employees. But they still require employees to use the device. The staff at DTLA Law Group will help you understand any exceptions to the worker’s comp system that might apply to your case and allow you to file a civil lawsuit against your employer for injuries you suffered when a pallet jack hit you while you were on the job.
Opening A Worker’s Comp Claim
In most cases, when you report your workplace injury to your supervisor or employer, they will notify worker’s comp to open your claim. However, if they fail to take this step, you can notify worker’s comp on your own to open the claim. It is also important to note that your employer cannot legally deny you access to worker’s comp benefits.
If you cannot contact worker’s comp on your own or need assistance, the staff at DTLA Law Group is here to assist you in opening your claim for medical benefits and other services from worker’s comp. Please get in touch with our office as quickly as possible after the pallet jack injuries to ensure you get the benefits you deserve. Unlike a civil lawsuit, when opening a worker’s comp claim, you have only 30 days from the date of the injury to make a claim.
How Long Does It Take To Get Worker’s Comp Benefits?
When you suffer a pallet jack injury at work, your claim can be opened almost immediately. You will be able to inform your medical care experts that the injury occurred while you were on the job to ensure that all the billing for your care is sent directly to worker’s comp for payment. This simple process can provide a great deal of added confidence and comfort for an injury victim, knowing they are not facing substantial medical expenses. As the extent of your injuries is determined, the worker’s comp staff can also inform you of the time needed to begin processing any partial lost wages that you could be entitled to receive. In most cases, the maximum amount you will be eligible to receive is 66% of your average weekly income.
What Is The Value Of My Case?
When working within the worker’s comp system, the value of your case or benefits is typically the cost of your medical care and part of your lost wages. For example, if you suffer a permanent disability due to the pallet jack incident, you could receive long-term compensation. However, there is no process to recover more than these benefits through worker’s comp.
If the staff at DTLA Law Group determines there was gross negligence involved on the part of your employer, you could be able to file a civil lawsuit that would encompass more options for compensation. In a civil case, you can seek payments for your legal fees and pain and suffering that are not included in any worker’s comp case. Your DTLA Law Group team will explain any extenuating circumstances that broaden your options, including a civil lawsuit.
Why Choose DTLA Law Group For Your Pallet Jack Injury Lawsuit
The staff at DTLA Law Group works with many workplace injury victims like yourself each day. Our goal is always to assist our clients in securing the most compensation possible for their injuries and losses to ensure their future financial stability. When you contact our staff for a free consultation, we will listen to the details of your case, your needs, and any concerns you have related to the matter. Then we will provide you with our professional opinion on the best path forward.
We hope that from the first time you contact DTLA Law Group, you will be impressed with our level of professionalism, dedication to our clients, and the personal care and attention you receive. We believe in the legal system, and that justice will be served for you and each injury victim with the right legal team working on their behalf.
No Upfront Legal Fees
After suffering an injury at work due to a pallet jack accident, you are sure to be worried about your health and finances. The team at DTLA Law Group understands both of these concerns and is here to help without adding to your stress or creating added financial hardships. We pledge to always handle each client’s case with no upfront legal fees or expenses. Our motto is that we never get paid until our client has been paid. And if we fail to win your case, you owe us nothing. We stand behind our promises to our clients and our lawyer’s ability to succeed in securing the compensation you need.
So please get in touch with the DTLA Law Group as soon as possible to discuss your injuries after being hit by a pallet jack at work and how to move forward from this traumatic event. The consultation is free, and there is never any obligation to hire DTLA Law Group.
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