Filing a workers’ compensation case can be an intimidating and confusing process for any individual. When the injured employee is going up against a larger corporation, such as Home Depot, it can be even more intimidating.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when pursuing a workers’ compensation claim against Home Depot. We have asked attorney, Alaina Sullivan, and here is what she had to say:
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is insurance purchased by the employer to cover injuries sustained by employees while on-the-job. Every state has its own set of laws governing how workers’ compensation claims are handled, unless the employer is a federal entity and governed by federal workers’ compensation law.
Workers’ compensation will cover medical expenses, both past and future, lost wages, as well as attorney’s fees needed to pursue the claim. If an employee chooses to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, he or she waives the right to file a personal injury legal claim against the employer.
General Thoughts When Pursuing Workers’ Compensation
After a Home Depot employee is injured while working, the employee must first receive medical attention for the injury. Most state laws allow for emergency treatment in these situations, but the employee can also choose the provider for the initial treatment.
In addition to receiving treatment, the employee needs to notify the employer of the injury as soon as possible. Ideally, this notice should be immediate, but many states allow for up to 30 days for notification.
The employer will have forms for the employee to complete, and the employer submits the forms to the insurance company. Some states will also require the injured employee to file a separate claim with the state’s worker’s compensation entity.
The insurance company then conducts an investigation before making a determination on the request. If the employee’s claim is denied, he or she has the right to appeal. Workers’ compensation is not an easy process to navigate, so it is recommended that an attorney be retained before going forward.
Workers’ Compensation at Home Depot
Home Depot focuses its products on do-it-yourself home improvement and sells hardware and related products to assist in these projects. The different job opportunities available at Home Depot can include a sales floor associate, lot associate, freight associate or cashier.
With each of these categories come unique job duties. Because of the warehouse set-up of the store and the types of products sold, a number of hazards are there.
Common injuries reported from Home Depot employees include back injuries from repetitive heavy lifting, falling from ladders while either trying to retrieve an item or restock it, slipping on a wet surface in the garden center, or falling due to uneven surfaces.
These types of injuries can be serious and debilitating and can require compensation for both medical costs, as well as lost wages.
Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Whenever someone is trying to get workers’ compensation It is always recommended that a workers’ compensation attorney be contacted after the initial denial is received from any company. However, it is recommended even more so when that company is a larger and well-financed company like Home Depot.
They will have their own attorneys handle the matter should the claim be appealed to the administrative law level and higher if he goes to the circuit court system.
They are counting on the fact that an individual employee has no knowledge of the legal system, let alone workers’ compensation law. In addition, these hearings require a general knowledge of rules of evidence when presenting the case before the administrative law judge.
A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help present the case properly.
Just because the employee is going up against a large corporation does not mean he or she cannot be successful. If the facts are there, the case can be made for the claim to be approved.
However, getting those facts before the judge can be tough, including getting medical records proving that the injury occurred and that it is preventing the employee from performing his or her job duties.
Medical experts may also need to be deposed if the injury is particularly tough to prove and if the company is disputing that the injury is from the job and not something independent of the employee’s work duties.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you are in the process of pursuing workers’ compensation and have questions about how damages are calculated, a workers’ compensation attorney can help review your case and discuss your options.
An attorney can listen to the facts of the case and can best advise you on how to proceed. Contact an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation law to schedule a consultation today.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Home Depot, or any other company, you may not be entitled to any compensation.