Did you suffer an injury while working your shift at Amazon? If so, you may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. In the U.S., most employers have workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees at no additional charge.
This special insurance offers medical benefits and covers some of the lost wages you experience while you are recovering from your injury.
In severe cases, where a different kind of employment must be sought after recovery, workers’ comp may help cover the cost of vocational training.
Because worker’s compensation claims are very complicated, you should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney before filing your initial claim for benefits. An attorney will ensure your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly.
Company Profile: Amazon
Amazon.com, which is commonly referred to simply as Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company that was founded in 1994. The company was founded by Jeff Bezos, who is still the CEO. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
As the largest internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization. It got started as an online bookstore but later chose to diversify by selling DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs, offering video, audiobook, and MP 3 streaming and downloads, video games, electronics, apparel, toys, jewelry, food, and even furniture.
The company is also known for producing quality consumer electronics, such as Amazon Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Fire TVs. It is the world’s largest producer of cloud infrastructure services. It has separate websites for several countries besides the United States.
Did You Get Hurt at Work?
If you work at Amazon, here are some example hypothetical ways that you could be injured on-the-job:
- You could suffer a concussion
- You could suffer a back injury from lifting boxes and loading trucks. Back injuries can take a while to heal. You may suffer serious pain and find yourself unable to work for quite some time.
- Were you driving a delivery truck when you were involved in a serious crash? You may suffer broken bones, head trauma, and other injuries that leave you debilitated for a while.
- Did you slip and fall from a ladder while stocking shelves? A fall can hurt your back, leg, or your arm. It can result in a lengthy recovery that requires ongoing medical care and rehabilitation or therapy.
What You Should Do if Injured at an Amazon Depot
The most important thing you should do if injured while working at an Amazon depot is to get yourself seen by a doctor or go straight to a hospital if the injury is serious. You may need to know whether you have to see a preferred doctor or use a particular medical facility if you are to file a WC claim later. Some employers’ insurers insist on it and some don’t. If you are very badly injured, e.g. you fall down a flight of stairs or from a height then you won’t have much choice over where you are taken as it will probably be the nearest ER. If you are an Amazon delivery driver and are injured far from the depot, you could be taken to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment, and then transferred to a hospital or medical center closer to home later.
The next step that you should take is to make sure your employer knows about the injury and that it is officially recorded. If you can’t contact your supervisor because of your injury, make sure someone else does. This is really important, because if the injury isn’t properly recorded, it could mean you lose your entitlement to claiming workers’ compensation. Also, in some states, the state WC agency or board is notified directly by the employer.
Each state does have its own procedure for handling workplace injuries and insurance claims that can result from them, so you do need to become familiar with the state’s process in order to file a claim the right way.
You normally have 2 to 3 years from the date of the injury at Amazon to file a claim. It can be worth waiting if you expect to have surgery so that you know the full cost of treatment, but there will be a limit on how long you can claim WC payments for lost earnings if you cannot return to work.
Gathering Evidence For an Amazon Workers’ Compensation Claim
Although you do not need to prove who was at fault if you have a workplace related injury, you do need some evidence to show that the injury you are claiming for actually happened at work and wasn’t a pre-existing condition. You also need to have evidence of a doctor’s examination or diagnosis and his / her recommendations for treatment. All bills and invoices should be collected and submitted with the claim if they relate to the injury.
The main reason why insurers reject WC claims is because they are not convinced that the injury happened while at work, so this is something you need to think clearly about. If you had an obvious accident in an Amazon warehouse or while delivering goods, then there should be other people around, workers, supervisors etc. who would have seen the accident and probably helped you. These people’s statements will be valuable evidence to support your claim. It is more difficult if your injury develops slowly as a result of the job you are dong having a strain on some part of your body, e.g. developing repetitive strain injury if you work in an Amazon office. Your own doctor may be able to provide evidence that you have been to see him / her at times to discuss your injury as it was getting worse.
Consulting with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Before starting a claim, you should speak with a workers' compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you file your initial claim.
Your attorney can appeal any denials and work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster. Workers’ compensation is complicated and the claims process can be detailed and complex.
Because of that, the counsel a legal professional can help you get the compensation you deserve to recoup medical costs and lost wages.
Check out our tips for filing an Amazon Workers' Compensation claim for more on ways to help your chances of getting approved!
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*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Amazon, you may not be entitled to any compensation.