The holiday shopping season can be crazy. When people are going in and out of stores, many aren’t thinking about those in the retail industry trying to respond to their every want and need. Unfortunately, the holidays are often hazardous for retail workers, and there are several reasons for this.
If you work in retail, it’s important that you are aware of the increased risk of suffering an injury and know what options you have if you are ever hurt while on the job.
The Increased Rates of Injury
While it’s true, the retail industry isn’t as dangerous as many others, like agriculture, commercial driving, or construction (which represent the top three industries for fatal injuries in 2017), that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks. However, both the injuries and the fatalities in the retail industry go up toward the end of the calendar year. Even though the rates of these issues were somewhat stagnate between the years of 2014 and 2017, they have increased in the past few years. In fact, data shows there is almost 300 incidences of fatal accidents for retail workers every year, which is an injury rate of 3.3 for every 100 workers. These figures are higher than the injuries in the construction industry within that time period. If you suffer an injury while on the job, you have rights. Workers’ compensation insurance should cover your medical costs and provide you with benefits to help you recover from the injury you suffered.
While it may not always seem like a retail store is a hazardous environment, there are several ways that an employee may be involved in an accident. Some examples of this include repetitive stress or orthopedic-related injuries caused by living heave items, injuries resulting from being crushed or a stampede of people, accidents because of a defective or broken product, and injuries that are caused due to the negligence of reckless and rushed customers. Each of these situations may create workplace liability, but this depends on the specific facts of that situation.
Proving Your Injury
If you suffer an injury while you are at work, then the traditional rules of workers’ compensation will apply to your situation. You need to let your employer know about the accident as soon as you can, and make sure that you get medical treatment from a doctor that is selected by your employer. In most workers’ compensation cases, the fault is usually irrelevant. The real issue is showing that the injury occurred on the job and that it is serious enough that medical attention is necessary. According to Florida law, you must prove that the work injury is the “main contributing factor” for the issue, which means that it has resulted in over 50 percent of a worker’s symptoms before benefits are granted.
Remember, while employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits, there are many situations where they do not have to hold your job if you are on temporary leave. This often causes people to reconsider filing the workers’ compensation claim; however, it is almost always better to file – if you don’t then you may have no way to cover your medical costs.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help
During the holiday’s retailers need more employees and more help. However, this busy season can also lead to serious injuries. If you have suffered an injury while at work, contact our legal team at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates P.A. at (561) 687-5660 for help and information.