Hurt on the Job at PepsiCo?*

Workers’ compensation insurance is put in place by state law. It requires the majority of employers in each state to provide it without any cost to their employees. Workers’ comp, as it is more often called, helps employees just like you pay for medical expenses that you incur because of an on the job injury or sickness. In this article, you’re going to learn more about workers’ comp insurance and how it can protect you on the job.

Business Profile: PepsiCo Inc.

PepsiCo Inc., has multiple locations throughout the nation. However, its headquarters is in Purchase, New York. PepsiCo’s locations provide many employment opportunities. There are jobs in the bottling facility, working maintenance on the plants, delivery drivers, and office workers (just to name a few).

PepsiCo Risks

PepsiCo’s environment can lead to on the job injuries. Warehouse workers will face different risks than office workers. Delivery drivers will face different risks than maintenance workers. Let’s look at a few specific risks.

  • Bottling facility workers can be injured by faulty equipment. Wet floors caused by spills can cause a slip and fall. Falling and hitting your head on the concrete floor can cause a brain injury. Repeating the same small movements over and over, even those involved in moving boxes of product, can cause repetitive stress injury.
  • Maintenance workers may work on the building or they could fix equipment. Working on a broken heat and air unit can cause shocks or cause illness from being exposed to the chemicals within the heat and air unit. Lifting and moving heavy parts or equipment on your own can cause injuries to your neck and back.
  • Delivery drivers can be injured by moving boxes and boxes of Pepsi products into the retail outlets. Also, if you are a delivery driver for PepsiCo and you are involved in a car wreck, you can be covered by workers’ comp.
  • One of the most common on the job injuries seen in office workers is repetitive stress injuries to the hands and wrists.

What to Do If You’re Injured at PepsiCo

Regardless of what your job is at PepsiCo, you are entitled to workers’ comp if you are hurt or made sick on the job. It doesn’t matter if you feel like your injury was your fault. You are entitled to prepare a workers’ compensation claim against PepsiCo. If you’ve been hurt on the job, file your claim with HR and also do the following four things:

  1. Let your supervisor know right away. Don’t wait until your shift is over. If you are a delivery driver and you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, call 911.
  2. Complete an accident report. The PepsiCo HR rep or your manager can help you. Delivery drivers, if you call 911 because of a wreck, you will get an informational report number from the police. Make sure that you get a copy of that report from the police station.
  3. Visit a doctor as soon as possible. Waiting for neck, back, or head injuries can make them worse. Even if you don’t feel injured, you need to see a doctor to make sure that you’re okay. If you’ve slipped and fell and think you have broken a bone, hit your head, or if you are bleeding, go to the emergency room. You can also visit the doctor listed on the workers’ comp policy. You will not pay for that visit. If you decide to see your own doctor, you will have to pay out of your own pocket. Keep all of your receipts so that you can be reimbursed through workers’ comp.
  4. Call a workers’ comp attorney. PepsiCo may seem supportive of you if you’re injured, but the goal of their insurance company is to settle your claim for as little as possible.

The Claims Process

Workers’ compensation benefits are provided for all Pepsico employees wherever they are working as long as they are injured or become sick while at work. The typical claim process starts when an injured worker needs treatment after an accident or because of a slowly developing workplace related injury such as back strain or repetitive strain injury. Workers’ compensation payments are principally for any earnings that may be forfeited while the employee remains off work as well as all medical expenses.

Payments for lost wages usually start quite promptly but there may be a short waiting period before payments start. It is important for injuries to be officially recorded, either when an injured worker informs their supervisor at Pepsico about the injury, or when this information is relayed through to the company office by someone else who saw the accident.

Treatment may be at your discretion, i.e. you choose your own doctor and / or hospital, or determined by the insurer who may have a networked medical provider. It is important to know who to use as using the wrong provider could delay or prevent compensation.

The state you work in determines the claim process and how long you have at each stage. In some states, you submit your claim direct to the state workers’ comp. agency and in others it is to the insurer. You usually have 2 or 3 years to actually file your claim, but it makes sense to do this as soon as you have had treatment and you can finalize medical costs.

If you are unsure about how the claims process works, check out our tips for applying for workers' compensation at PepsiCo.

Average Settlement Against PepsiCo

Workers’ compensation settlements are calculated by combining a percentage of lost earnings with the cost of medical treatment. States differ a little in what can be paid out for lost wages, but usually it works out at about two thirds of what might have been earned on average during the time off work.

For example, if a Pepsico worker has a crushing injury while operating a forklift at a bottling plant, he might be off work for anything up to a few months. If his normal hourly wage was $18 an hour and his shift was 40 hours a week, he should be paid 18 x 0.66 x 40 = $480 for every week he is off work.

The benefits paid out may be different if the injury is serious enough to limit what sort of work can be done after treatment or is permanent enough to mean not being able to return to the job at all.

In addition to the earnings component, medical expenses should be paid in full as long as all receipts and bills are submitted with the claim. The crushing injury example given above may involve the following hypothetical medical costs.

  • Cost of ambulance to nearest hospital = $600;
  • Tests, including x-rays and scans = $2,400.
  • Bed in hospital = $4,000.
  • Surgery = $12,000.
  • Anesthetist = $3,600.
  • Medication = $600.
  • Fees for doctor and specialists = $18,000.

Total medical costs= $41,200.

Evidence for PepsiCo Workers’ Compensation Claim

Worker’s compensation is a no-fault type of insurance and is not as reliant on evidence as a personal injury claim. For example, even if the company has been negligent, there is no proof needed of negligence before a claim can be accepted. However, many workers’ comp. claims are in fact denied or rejected because the insurer is not convinced that an injury actually happened at work. If you have an actual accident while working at a Pepsico plant it shouldn’t be too difficult to obtain evidence of what happened and how you were injured. There should be fellow workers who can vouch for the accident and seeing your injury. Photos of the accident scene if they can be taken can be of use.

Medical costs may be contested by the insurer unless they are carefully documented. It should be shown that all treatment is as advised by a medical practitioner and related to the injury or injuries you had at work. Doctors’ reports, copies of any tests or scans, bills and invoices for medication, medical treatment and hospital stays should all be carefully collected and retained to submit with the claim.

Getting Legal Help For Your PepsiCo Claim

If you’re hurt on the job at the PepsiCo plant, you need legal help. Don’t talk to the workers’ comp insurance company on your own. You could sign away your right of fair compensation or help with future medical bills. Call a qualified workers’ compensation attorney now.

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