Every year over 100 people are killed at work in the United States, over 100,000 are injured in an accident, and over 1,000,000 get ill from work or work-related activities.
If you’re ever injured at your workplace, you’re probably due compensation. It isn’t cheap to recover from a major injury: on top of the all the medical bills directly related to your injury or illness there’s also the cost of all the wages you missed because you were recovering, and you may also deserve compensation for emotional/psychological damage.
Before you get any compensation you’re going to have to make your way through a few layers of bureaucracy first, whether it’s to simply claim your worker’s comp or to seek further damages with a lawsuit.
So, what exactly do you need to know about workplace injuries?
Understanding the Changes to OSHA
Get ready, because changes are coming to OSHA.
New regulations rules and regulations are meant to keep a closer eye on workplace injuries. OSHA is working to establish an electronic reporting system that will speed up the reporting process and allow OSHA to collect more information. Other proposed changes include more frequent reporting from approved OSHA sites, and over 250,000 businesses who never had to report regularly before will have to start regularly reporting now.
What does this all mean for you?
Well, with a closer eye and more thorough checks and balances come longer delays even with the electronic reporting, don’t be surprised if it’s more of a hassle than it used be to get your claim. If any snafus do arise, you might want to call a lawyer about that to make sure you get what you’re owed.
Remember, The Workplace Isn’t The Only One Who Can be Responsible
Even if worker’s comp does come through for you, a lot of people find their temporary or permanent disability compensation to be disappointingly low. It’s enough to cover initial recovery costs maybe, but it may not be enough to cover all the ongoing costs of your injury. It’s certainly not enough in most cases to compensate victims for pain and suffering, and also it doesn’t penalize employers with punitive damages for allowing unsafe working conditions to go unchecked.
A machine doesn’t have to necessarily “break” to be at fault in an accident: it might be inherently dangerous, never should have been there in the first place. Perhaps even more dangerous than sudden accidents are the long-term consequences of ongoing exposure to asbestos, benzene, and countless other chemicals that affect workers across many different industries.
If you were injured by a defective product at work, the manufacturer of the product may be at fault. If you were sickened by a toxic substance, the manufacturer of the substance may be at fault.
Of course, the chances of hitting it big with a lawsuit vary case to case. If you think you have a case you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to figure out what your chances really are and what should be your next move.