Today, warehouse workers have a lot to worry about during this COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the current pandemic, some warehouse workers had considerable cause for concern about their workplace safety, especially if they worked for Amazon. Reports looking at numbers from 2018 showed that Amazon’s reported serious injury rate far exceeded the industry average, sometimes more than tripling the national average for warehouse facilities. Warehouse injuries can be serious, and sometimes even be permanently disabling. To be sure you are getting all the compensation you deserve for your Illinois warehouse accident, be sure you have the right legal representation by retaining a knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.
In February, The Hill covered an effort by certain U.S. Senators urging Amazon to improve worker conditions at its warehouses in the U.S. The senators, who included Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Sherrod Brown, urged the massive company to initiate more “concrete actions” to prioritize safety over efficiency. This push from the senators came after reports showed injury rates at Amazon fulfillment centers were “alarmingly high.” Generally speaking, a business in the warehousing industry experienced in 2018, on average, four serious injuries per 100 full-time workers. Amazon’s full-time rate was almost two-and-a-half times that, at 9.6 per 100, according to one report. Another report pegged that number even higher, at 11 per 100.
In some Amazon facilities, the numbers are even more startling. According to revealnews.org, 10 of Amazon’s warehouses logged injury rates that were roughly triple the industry average… or worse. They ranged from the Fresno, Cal. facility (at 11.9 per 100) to a warehouse just outside Portland, Ore. where the injury rates were a stunning 25.9 per 100.
The legal avenues you may have in Illinois to obtain compensation
So, what should you do if you’re injured while working at an Amazon fulfillment center? One of the first things you should do is retain skilled legal counsel. You may be entitled to various form of compensation for your injuries. The larger subset of workers injured at Amazon warehouses will be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. An injured worker is typically entitled to obtain benefits payments regardless of who was at fault in causing the accident. Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits requires completing extensive paperwork and submitting a substantial amount of supporting documentation and other evidence, and doing so exactly as required by the workers’ compensation rules.
Workers’ compensation cases are handled by insurers acting on behalf of the employer, and those insurers do not always resolve workers’ cases fairly, which is why it is so important, if you’re an injured worker, to be sure you have a good lawyer by your side.
Some workers hurt on the job may be entitled by the law to do even more than file for workers’ compensation. Depending on the facts of your workplace injury, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim in civil court against a third party, or perhaps even proceed in civil court and file for workers’ compensation benefits.
Whether you work at an Amazon facility in Chicago, Joliet, Aurora, Plainfield, Waukegan, Romeoville, Crest Hill, Edwardsville or elsewhere across Illinois, you need the right attorneys to help you get the full compensation you deserve after you’ve been hurt on the job. Reach out to the diligent Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been helping injured workers take on their employers, whether they are small businesses or major corporations, and are ready and equipped to help you succeed in your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.