If you have been injured while working at Wal-Mart, you are not alone. Wal-Mart self-insures, so that means it does not use an outside insurance company for its workers’ compensation coverage. The company has 4,600 stores in the United States and more than 2.1 million employees, so it is large enough to do that.
As the largest American company, the chain has more than 700 million square feet in U.S. stores floor space. Because of its size, the company also has a group of experienced defense lawyers. So, if your workers’ compensation claim is denied, they are ready to fight. This means you will need a workers’ compensation attorney aggressively pursuing your claim.
The Value of a Claim
All workers’ compensation claims are different. The kinds of injuries, the extent of damages, the length of your disability, and how long you will be out of work will all come into play. Workers’ compensation must pay your medical expenses and cover a portion of your lost wages, which in most cases is about two-thirds your regular pay.
States set their own laws regarding workers’ compensation, so the benefits might vary slightly. Sometimes, if a worker cannot return to the same job, workers’ comp must cover vocational retraining. If you have been hurt at work and you file a claim, you might agree to a lump sum settlement instead of taking weekly payments if you will be out of work for a while.
What is an Average Claim?
A report** in California determined that the average workers’ compensation claim in 2010 cost about $65,000. But of course, some claims were much more and others much less, thus that was the average for the state during that time.
A workers’ compensation claim for a broken finger is not going to pay out as much as a claim for a broken back or serious spinal injury. If you fell from a ladder and suffered head trauma that led to a brain injury that will leave you permanently disabled, you of course need and deserve a settlement of a higher value than someone who broke an arm and will completely heal in six to eight weeks.
Future lost wages, future medical needs, and so forth must be considered when a settlement for workers’ compensation is being negotiated. Sometimes a settlement is better than getting weekly checks, but you need to consider the long run and consult with legal counsel.
Walmart’s Workers’ Compensation Settlement
When a worker is injured at Walmart in most cases the victim is eligible for worker’s compensation. The most important part of any worker’s compensation claim is proving the injury took place while working on Walmart’s premises.
There is a certain process that needs to be followed in order to get workers’ compensation. The first is reporting the incident to your supervisor within a stipulated period.
Depending on the state this could be anything from 24 hours to 20 days. Once this notification has been received the worker’s compensation claim can start to be processed.
Of course the victim must have adequate evidence to prove the accident took place while at work. This could be in the form of colleagues’ reports and video footage of the accident scene.
How a Settlement Might Be Calculated
Once the WC claim has been approved then the amount has to be calculated. To begin with all medical treatment for the injury is paid by Walmart’s insurer.
If it is a temporary disability that needs to be calculated it is based on 2/3rds of the victim’s wage at the time of the accident. So for example if the Walmart worker was stacking shelves at $9 per hour the amount in WC payments will be $6 per hour. For a 40 hour week that works out to be $360.
Depending on the state there might be a wait period of 5 days before the workers’ compensation payments begin. If a worker is off work for 25 days or more s/he will be in most states entitled to receive the 5 day wait period as well. It depends what the retroactive period is.
In many states it is 20 days off work. That means as long as you are more than 20 days off work you are entitled to a payment for the wait period.
So for example, if the medical treatment for a broken leg is $5,000 and you have to take 6 weeks off work to recover you will be paid for the complete 6 weeks at $360 per week is $2,160 + medical treatment at $5,000 means you will receive $7,160 in worker’s compensation.
Examples of Walmart Workers’ Compensation Settlement
A Walmart employee was operating a fork lift in order to move household goods from the warehouse to the store when the forklift suddenly came to a halt, causing the driver to be flung forwards and backwards uncontrollably. This resulted in a whiplash injury that involved the driver having to take 6 weeks off work to recover.
The costs involved are as follows:
Cost of ambulance: $1,000
Emergency room diagnosis $500
2 X-Rays at $150 each = $300
The incident happened in Portland, Oregon where the wait period is 3 days for temporary total disability and permanent partial disability and the retroactive is 4 days. So if a whiplash injury takes 30 working days of recovery time the victim should get worker’s comp. for the whole period. The average weekly wage for a forklift driver is $600 per week. The workers’ comp. is 2/3rds of this amount which is $400 per week. The total payment for 6 weeks is $2,400.
Altogether. the workers’ comp. payment is $2,400 + $1,800 for medical treatment = $4,200
Tips for Your Walmart Workers’ Compensation Settlement
- Make sure you have the evidence to prove the injury took place while working at Walmart such as work colleagues statements and video camera footage;
- Ensure you keep all receipts for medical treatment or ambulance costs;
- Make sure you have reported your injury to your supervisor within the deadline set by Walmart;
- Ask a workers’ comp. lawyer to work on your behalf to get your workers’ comp. settlement approved.
Consult With A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured while working at Wal-Mart, you should not try to pursue your claim until you have consulted with a workers’ compensation attorney. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page, so your details can be shared with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
The lawyer will review your case and determine the best way to proceed with your claim as well as a fair settlement value for your claim. There is a statute of limitations for pursuing workers’ comp claims, so time is of the essence.
*Discliamer:The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Wal-mart, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.