Factory Injuries at Work: Can You Claim Benefits or Compensation?

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Every day, numerous factory workers across North Carolina are injured on the job. Some may discover that the effects of their work have hurt them over time. Either way, you have a potential workers’ compensation claim that can provide you with the benefits you need to both treat your injuries and pay your bills when you are unable to work. There may also be other issues related to your claim that require an experienced workers’ comp lawyer. Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys help injured workers as they seek the benefits they deserve when filing a factory accident claim.

Dangers Faced By Factory Workers on the Job

There is a reason why factory work is considered to be among the most dangerous professions that a worker can engage in for a living. There are many risks that a worker faces each day on the job. OSHA has reported that there are more than 10,000 severe factory-related injuries each year. This total is only a very small fraction of the overall number of workers who miss time because of what has happened to them on the job.

Factory workers may face the following dangers that can cause serious injuries:

  • Slips, trips, and falls from debris left in their path or slippery substances on the floor.
  • Overuse and overexertion injuries from continuous physical activity
  • Injuries from either defective work machinery or improper use of or training on the equipment.
  • Occupational-related illnesses from exposure to substances at work.
  • Lifting injuries from the lack of proper ergonomics
  • Electrocutions and burns

Regardless of how you have been injured by factory work, the rule is the same. Your employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance, and you can file a claim when your injury or illness is job-related, regardless of whether you were to blame. If your claim has been denied, you can file an appeal and fight the insurance company.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Factory Injuries

If you have been injured at your factory job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. The purpose of these benefits is twofold:

  • To pay for the reasonable medical care necessary to treat your injuries
  • To provide you with a portion of your lost wages (up to a statutory cap) while you are unable to work.

Workers’ compensation benefits can be a valuable lifeline while you are recovering from your injuries. You may even be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits when you have suffered a long-term and permanent disability from your job.

OSHA Regulations Are Intended to Protect You at Work

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has an entire set of regulations that are intended to protect factory workers. Your employer has a legal obligation to follow these regulations, and they may face enforcement actions that can include steep fines.

These regulations govern practically every area of worker safety in a factory, and they include:

  • Your employer must provide you with personal protective equipment when necessary.
  • You must be trained on how to perform your job safely.
  • Machinery used on your job must contain protective guards.
  • There must be clear warning signs for dangers in your workplace.
  • Employers must perform hazard assessments on a factory floor.

While OSHA regulations are meant to protect you, they do not give you a right to sue your employer if they are violated. OSHA is the only one who can enforce these regulations, as you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer under practically every circumstance.

Nonetheless, if you believe that your employer is breaking the law, you can report the violation to OSHA, which would then investigate.

Third-Party Claims for Factory Injuries

Ideally, you would like to be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation. While workers’ compensation benefits pay you some money when you are not able to perform your job, you would receive far more compensation in a third-party negligence-based lawsuit.

Workers’ compensation benefits pay you a portion of your wages for a limited amount of time. In addition, you are not able to receive non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. You are able to receive all of these, and your lost wages will not be limited.

Your attorney will investigate your factory injury to determine whether there is a third party that you are able to sue. Oftentimes, this third party is the manufacturer of defective work equipment that caused your injury. You may also be able to sue a third party, such as a contractor, who was present at the factory and was the cause of your injury. If you are not able to file a third-party lawsuit, you can still file a workers’ compensation claim.

How a Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help After a Factory Accident

Never make the mistake of thinking that your workers’ compensation claim is straightforward.

First, the insurance company may not approve your claim. There may be especially tricky issues when your injury did not result from a one-time accident.

Second, even after you are receiving benefits, there may be additional legal challenges, such as your employer trying to force you back on the job before you are ready. You always need an advocate and a guide to the legal system when you are applying for and receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys can represent you at all phases of the workers’ compensation process, including appealing claims denials and negotiating a lump-sum settlement if you choose to take your benefits all at one time.

Contact a Wilmington Work Injury Attorney Today

If you have been hurt performing factory work, Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys are standing by and ready to help you when you need us. It never hurts to talk to a lawyer about your case to learn more about the legal process, and we are happy to speak with you. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, you can send us a message online or call us today at 910-405-7751.

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