Maryland Workers' Compensation Lawyers Assist with Claims Stemming from Retail Job Injuries
Protecting employees in the service industry after they are hurt on the job
Unlike those who work in jobs like law enforcement or truck driving, employees in retail may not think much about the hazards in their industry. Working in a store might not feel like a dangerous profession, but the rate of injury and illness in retail work is higher than most people might expect. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an annual 820,500 injuries and 581 fatalities from the 21 million retail workers in the United States.
If you have any questions or concerns about an injury or sickness that occurred on the job, you should contact an experienced Maryland workers' compensation attorney at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. We are ready to listen to your case and answer your questions.
Hazards of working in retail
Someone who's never worked in retail likely has no idea of what the job entails, aside from what they experience as a shopper. Perhaps the cashier at the grocery store or corner shop might not seem to be performing dangerous work, but scanning items over and over for hours using the same repetitive actions, standing in the same posture all day, is actually very hard on the body.
Following are just some of the health risks of working in retail:
- Performing repetitive tasks. Cashiers and clerks at checkout perform the same manual tasks over and over again, which can lead to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. These injuries can cause disabling, long-term damage.
- Standing for long periods of time. Retail employees often work long shifts, standing on hard floors and surfaces. Without proper breaks or rest, this can lead to chronic back pain, and put pressure on the knees and legs that could also result in chronic, painful conditions.
- Lifting and moving merchandise. Stockroom employees unload, unpack, and carry boxes and crates of merchandise to prepare for store display. This requires a lot of lifting, bending, reaching, and twisting, which can lead to back strains and torn muscles.
- Slip and falls. Just like customers, if floors aren't kept dry and free of snow and water, workers are also at risk of slipping and falling. Messy stockrooms are also tripping hazards, which can lead to sprains or even broken bones.
- Dangerous late-night shifts. Especially to those who work at night, armed robbery is a real threat to retail workers. Violence is also a round-the-clock threat from abusive customers or even unstable coworkers.
If these workers need time off for medical treatment and recovery for an injury sustained at work, they are eligible for workers' compensation. Many employees tend to downplay the seriousness of an injury, or fail to report it out of fear of being fired, but injuries can worsen over time if not treated. Additionally, workers' compensation is your right as an employee. Any injury should be reported to your supervisor as soon as you are aware the injury exists.
What workers' compensation benefits are available for Maryland retail employees?
If you are injured at work and need time to recover—or will be permanently disabled—there are several types of workers' compensation benefits available to you depending on your situation. It's important for you to remember that workers' compensation does not mean you are suing your employer, and you do not have to prove negligence on the part of your employer to collect benefits.
Many employees fear filing for workers' compensation because it feels like they are suing their employer. This is not a lawsuit, and by collecting workers' comp, you are agreeing not to sue your employer for an accident or injury. You are simply making a claim for benefits under your employer's workers' compensation insurance plan. The benefits are as follows.
- Temporary total disability benefits: You are eligible for these benefits if you're unable to work for a temporary period due to your injury. If you're disabled for less than two weeks, benefits kick in after the third day. If you're disabled for more than two weeks, your benefits will kick in on day one.
- Temporary partial disability benefits: If your injury allows you to work in a limited capacity or part-time, and you are earning less than you usually do, these workers' compensation benefits make up for the financial difference.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: When an injury leaves you with a permanent impairment, but you are still able to work in some capacity, you are also entitled to compensation. Your benefits are based on the body part injured and the severity of the injury.
- Permanent total disability benefits: If you suffer an injury on the job that leaves you permanently disabled and unable to work, you're eligible for permanent totally disability benefits equal to two-thirds of your weekly wage.
Other types of workers' compensation benefits available in Maryland related to your work accident include:
- Medical benefits: Coverage of any medical expenses like doctor visits, physical therapy, hospitalization, medication, crutches or splints, etc.
- Vocational services: When an injury prevents you from returning to your original job, these benefits entitle you to services that assist you in finding alternate work.
- Death benefits: If a retail employee is fatally injured, his or her spouse or dependent can file for death benefits, which include coverage of funeral expenses and a percentage of the employee's earnings.
Consult with our Maryland workers' compensation attorneys today
At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., we help retail workers who were hurt on the job get the workers' compensation they're entitled to. Our Maryland workers' compensation lawyers know how to work with insurance companies and can help you if your claim is denied or if you feel you're not getting the amount of compensation you deserve. Our legal team will fight for your rights as a worker. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form.