Involved in a Workplace Accident at Kroger?*

A workplace accident can cause serious injuries. The cost of treating those injuries shouldn’t be your responsibility as an employee. That’s why most states require businesses offer workers’ compensation to their employees who are hurt at work.

Workers’ compensation is a benefits program that is available to employees who are injured on the job or become sick after being exposed to a hazardous condition. The benefits that may be available to you will help cover accident-related costs like lost wages and medical expenses. If you become permanently injured or partially disabled, you may be eligible for additional compensation.

These programs are specifically in place to assist employees involved in workplace accidents. If you are injured on the job, you may be able to use these benefits to help you with your recovery.

Kroger Workplace Hazards

Kroger is a national grocery company that operates more than 2,600 stores in 34 states. The large supermarket chain hires people to work in a number of different roles like cashier, bagger, stocker, and cart attendant.

As an employee of Kroger, you might be expected to:

  • Routinely lift heavy boxes
  • Climb ladders and stepstools to reach inventory
  • Replenish products on shelves and in refrigerated cases
  • Help customers out to their vehicles
  • Maintain store cleanliness

For employees, these daily responsibilities can result in on-the-job accidents that cause injuries. For example, repetitive movements like lifting boxes, unloading trucks, and stocking shelves can cause stress injuries like sprains and strains to your neck, back, and joints.

Slip and fall accidents are also common in grocery stores where employees can encounter:

  • Slick surfaces from spilled products
  • Wet floors from leaking refrigeration units
  • Uneven parking lot while retrieving carts or assisting customers

If you were injured while working at Kroger, filing a workers’ compensation claim may help you receive the much-needed benefits you deserve after your workplace accident. You'll need to prepare many documents to ensure you have a successful claim against Kroger.

Injuries You Could Receive at Kroger:

Workers’ Compensation Laws

There is no set standard for determining which companies must carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, almost all states require businesses to offer benefits to employees who are injured on the job.

As a national company with more than 300,000 employees and $100 billion in sales annually, Kroger may have the option to self-insure or participate in your state’s workers’ compensation system. Either way, as a Kroger employee, you may be entitled to wage replacement, medical bill reimbursement, and partial disability payment through their workers’ compensation program.

How to File a Claim Against Kroger

There are many jobs at Kroger, such as unloading goods from trailers, stocking shelves and checking out bags of groceries. All these jobs come with risks such as slipping and falling on liquid products spilled from cartons to repetitive strain injuries operating a checkout for 8 hours a day. If you have injured your back unloading goods from a trailer you should be entitled to workers’ compensation to cover you for the financial hardships caused by the injury.

What to Do When You Are Injured

You should seek treatment for your injury as soon as you can after it has taken place. This may mean calling an ambulance to get you to the nearest emergency room. If you know that Kroger only allows treatment from one of its own physicians or at a particular medical facility you should choose this first. You can negotiate later on if you prefer to be treated by a doctor you already know. Don’t leave it until you finish a day’s work to seek treatment, as this will give Kroger’s workers’ compensation insurer every reason to deny your claim.

Once you have visited the emergency room and you have had your injury diagnosed, you should follow the treatment recommended by the physician, including taking any prescribed medication.

Steps to Take to File a Claim

As soon as you have received medical treatment, if it was from an emergency room, Kroger’s insurer may ask you to use their company doctor for any further treatment. You should also ensure you have filled in an accident report form, which you need to submit to your employer. Often, employers set a deadline for filing the report that could be anything from 24 hours following the accident to 7 days. Whatever it is for Kroger, failing to follow the deadline could result in a workers’ compensation denial.

The next step is collecting a workers’ compensation claim form from your workplace. If they don’t have one you should be able to pick one up from your state’s workers’ compensation board. On this form you should include the following details:

  • your full name;
  • your job details;
  • the type of injury;
  • how and where the injury happened;
  • if any other employees were involved in the accident.

Try these tips for filing a workers' compensation claim can help you during the process.

Gathering Evidence for a Kroger Workers’ Compensation Claim

Before you can file your workers’ compensation claim form you must ensure you have the necessary evidence to back up your WC claim. This could be any of the following:

  • copy of the accident report filed at Kroger;
  • photos taken by you or a work mate showing the accident site and injury;
  • eye witnesses signed written reports of the accident;
  • footage taken from surveillance cameras installed at Kroger;
  • doctor’s report indicating diagnosis and when the injury took place;
  • receipts for medical treatment paid by you;
  • unpaid invoices for medical treatment.

It is important to get all the documentation for the evidence just right otherwise you could be denied the benefit altogether.

Because in most states workers’ compensation is a no fault benefit even if you were partly to blame, this shouldn’t stop you being awarded a workers’ compensation settlement. There are times when workers’ comp. can be denied such as:

  • you had already left Kroger as an employee when you filed the wc claim;
  • the accident didn’t take place at Kroger;
  • you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident took place;
  • you deliberately caused your own accident.

If your WC claim is denied, you will receive written notification through the mail from Kroger’s WC insurer. You have to act quickly if you want to appeal the decision, as there is a statute of limitation in force restricting the time given to file the WC claim.

Kroger Workers’ Compensation Case

In 2003, an employee settled his workers’ compensation case against Kroger after he ruptured his Achilles tendon while unloading a delivery truck. As part of his settlement, he was awarded benefits to cover his immediate medical costs as well as any future treatment he may need as a result of his injury. Since he was given an 11 percent disability rating after his injury, plaintiff was also awarded a one-time payment for his permanent partial disability.

In another case, an employee of Kroger was awarded $2.79 million in workers’ compensation benefits. It followed a slip and fall accident that caused the female worker to injure severely her wrist, which later developed into complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). At least $1.1 million was compensation for lost wages, as well as future home and medical bills for the rest of her life.

The Workers’ Compensation Help You Need

Because each state takes a different approach to workers’ compensation benefits, it can be difficult for you, as an injured employee, to determine the best way to handle your claim. Often, when a worker is injured on the job, they have a limited window of time to report their accident, file a claim, and present the proper paperwork and documentation.

If you were injured while working at Kroger, contact a workers’ compensation attorney for guidance. He or she understands the specific requirements injured workers must meet in your state and can handle your claim for you. With a workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you will get the representation you need to protect your best interests after a work accident.

*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Kroger, you may not be entitled to any compensation.