Workers’ Compensation for Food Processing Plant Accidents

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There are thousands of workers in the food processing industry in North Carolina. Food processing plants with lax regulations and an underdeveloped culture of safety are known to be particularly dangerous places for workers.

Food manufacturers are known for regularly flaunting safety regulations and putting employees at risk. When employees are injured on the job, they may be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits.

Depending on the issues involved in your workers’ compensation claim, you may need the help of an experienced attorney. Call the lawyers at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to learn more about your legal rights.

There Are Many Dangers in the Food Processing Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the food processing industry is one of the more dangerous professions in which to work.

There are many things going on at once in a food processing plant. Not only is the food being manufactured, but it is also being packaged. There are numerous pieces of heavy machinery that operate continuously. In addition, there may be dangerous substances in the air to which the employee is exposed. The level of danger ultimately depends on the work being done at the plant.

One of the most hazardous professions is the animal slaughtering and processing industry. In addition, workers may be injured at other plants where food is made due to the complex machinery and physical nature of the job.

Common Injuries in the Food Processing Industry

Here are some injuries that workers may suffer in a food processing plant that could entitle them to workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Overexertion from physical labor
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Slip and fall injuries on the factory floor
  • Crush injuries from work machinery
  • Illnesses from exposure to toxic substances at the workplace

According to the BLS, more than half of the work injuries in the food processing industry occur from overexertion. Roughly one in every 20 workers will suffer some type of injury in a year. One in every 100 workers in the industry will miss time from work because of a work injury.

Employees who spend their entire career in the food processing industry are more likely than not to be injured at least once during the course of their time working. Then, they would need to file workers’ compensation claims to cover lost wages and medical expenses.

In addition, many workers are involved in transporting food in and out of the plant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many serious injuries in the food processing industry result from transportation accidents.

If your work-related injury is due to an illness, it is crucial that you both report it immediately and hire an attorney to help with your case. Job-related illnesses often result in more complex workers’ compensation claims that require you to fight back when a claim is denied.

In addition, an employer may claim that you missed the deadline to notify them because you did not report your illness as soon as you began to notice symptoms. You only have thirty days to give your employer notice that you have suffered an injury at a food processing plant.

If your injury came from defective manufacturing equipment, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the company that made the machinery. While you are generally not able to sue your employer in a personal injury lawsuit, you could file a lawsuit if they deliberately compromised safety regarding its operation. Though rare, you may also be able to sue them if they deliberately placed you in harm’s way, knowing that you would be hurt.

Why Consider Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney After a Food Manufacturing Plant Accident?

You may decide that you need a little help with your workers’ compensation claim. You should consider hiring an attorney to help you with formally filing the claim. It’s crucial if you anticipate your case may involve complex legal issues that need an objective opinion.

Your lawyer can help you compile the evidence that supports your workers’ compensation claim and submit it on your behalf. You must put your best legal foot forward when filing a claim.

Otherwise, you may be faced with delays and even a risk that you may not get benefits at all.

Your lawyer can review your case to determine whether you may receive some type of compensation and what form it may take. One of the first things that any workers’ compensation attorney will do is learn the facts of your situation to determine whether you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party. Generally, you are not able to sue your employer, but you may be able to file a claim against a third party if they were at fault.

How an Attorney Can Help Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

You would certainly need a lawyer to help you fight back if your claim was denied. You can file an appeal with a North Carolina Industrial Commission and get your day in court in front of an objective administrative law judge. Your lawyer would prepare the appeal file that presents your case. They may also negotiate with the insurance company to resolve the matter.

Depending on the extent of your injury, you may even need to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement. Our lawyers can negotiate the settlement with the insurance company to maximize the value of your claim. You may find it more advantageous to get your money in a lump sum, as opposed to receiving weekly payments for the duration of your claim.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in North Carolina Today

If you have been injured in a food processing plant, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys can represent you when filing your claim. We have obtained large workers’ compensation settlements for our clients and helped others overturn an initial denial of their claim.

Start getting peace of mind when you speak to one of our attorneys during a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, you can message us through our website, or you can call us today at 910-405-7751.

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