Even when you thought that your job was comparatively safe, unexpected accidents can happen and you could find that you end up on a hospital bed or back at home recovering. This can be very worrying because medical costs are not cheap and the inability to return to work quickly could mean no wages earned.
If you work for Kroger and that’s where you were injured, you should find that you can claim workers’ compensation for medical expenses and some, but not all, of any lost earnings. Talk to a personal injury attorney if you need any help with your claim.
Company Profile: Kroger
Kroger is a huge retail company operating across the U.S. in 34 states. It is the biggest supermarket chain in the country and the second largest retailer after Walmart. It operates 2,778 stores with corporate headquarters located in Cincinnati. Ohio.
Kroger has been around for a long time, being first established back in 1883 by Bernard Kroger. There were over 430,000 people working for Kroger as of last year (2016).
The Kroger Company’s stores include supermarkets, department stores, pharmacies, jewelry stores, convenience stores, manufacturing and food processing facilities. That means a lot of different jobs and many ways that any one of these workers could get injured.
How Much Is a WC Claim at Kroger worth?
If you work at Kroger and you have an accident, or you fall ill, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation to cover you for the financial hardship caused by having to take time off work.
Even though most employers are required to take out workers’ comp. insurance to cover their employees, this doesn’t mean they are eager to pay up when a claim is filed.
Before filing a claim you should ensure you have enough evidence to prove that you had an accident or fell ill while at work at Kroger.
Examples of Evidence That Can Be Used in a Kroger WC Claim
The typical evidence required for a WC claim includes the following:
- eye witness reports from your co-workers;
- doctor’s report and diagnosis of your sickness or injury;
- photographs of the accident scene;
- a copy of accident/illness report form.
What Kinds of Workers’ Compensation Could You Receive?
- medical care;
- partial lost wages;
- rehabilitation benefits;
- disability benefits;
- death benefits
Estimating Your Workers’ Compensation Claim for Lost Wages
Workers’ compensation settlements are based on economic damages only, which make them different from ordinary personal injury settlements. That means that the compensation payment is for medical expenses related to a genuine injury or illness that happened while at work as well as around two thirds of the lost earnings that the worker will not obtain because of the injury or illness.
A deli clerk earning, say $10 an hour, if injured and obtaining workers’ comp. might be awarded $6.70 an hour for the number of hours that the worker would normally be expected to work during a normal week.
Medical Care Under Workers’ Comp
If you are eligible for workers' comp. you should get all your hospital and medical expenses paid to treat your injury or illness. These medical benefits typically include visits to the doctor, medications and surgery if required.
If you are disabled and need mobility assistance devices like a wheelchair or mobility scooter can be included in your WC claim. If you require counseling or pain management advice you may be able to include these expenses in your WC claim.
Sometimes, employers choose the medical provider for you and it will only be with a lot of discussion that you may be able to choose your own doctor.
Workers’ Comp Rehabilitation Benefits
Often injuries and illness take time to recover from and even if you are getting workers’ compensation to relieve any financial stress you may need rehabilitation benefits to pay for additional expenses that help you recover more quickly from your injury or illness.
These could include physical therapy sessions and retraining expenses if you are not able to return to the same job.
Disability Benefits From Workers’ Comp
Disability benefits are the cash you receive from workers’ compensation to replace any wages you have lost due to your disability. There are several different degrees of disability including:
A Temporary total disability means that you can’t work at all until you have recovered from the injury or sickness. Any temporary disability workers’ compensation payment will no longer be paid once you have recovered completely;
A temporary partial disability means that you can still work but not in your usual job but soon you will have recovered so you can return to your usual job. An example of this is when your physician says you can go back to work part-time for the moment and resume full-time work when you have recovered completely.
In this case your workers’ compensation payments should cover the difference between your payment for the part-time job and what you should get if you were working full-time.
A permanent partial disability means your condition is unlikely to improve as you have been permanently harmed either from a workplace injury or sickness.
You still may be able to do some work or you may need to undertake retraining in a different skill. There is normally a limit to time for WC to be paid.
Permanent total disability typically means when the permanent damage is so bad you are unable to return to work at all. The amount of the total disability benefits whether permanent or temporary are calculated by taking into account what you were being paid before the sickness or injury took place and it is usually 2/3rds of that amount. You may not get these payments straightway and it might take a week before you receive the first payment.
Death benefit might be paid if someone dies from a work-related injury or illness, most states make provisions for death benefits which are given to close relatives of the deceased such as a spouse or child/ren.
Sometimes funeral costs are included but the death benefit is available for families who have lost a means of financial support. Most states work out the value of this benefit based on a percentage of the deceased employee’s earnings.
Calculation for Workers’ Compensation for a Kroger Employee
If the Kroger employee was working in the Kroger warehouse, s/he would be earning around $10 per hour. For purposes of a settlement example, we will examine the case of a Kroger worker slipping and falling, causing a head injury.
For total temporary disability, which is the commonest type of disability, the workers’ compensation for lost wages for 6 weeks would be in most cases 2/3rds of $10 = $6.66 x 40 hours x 6 weeks = $1,358.
On top of this amount is the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Breakdown of costs for workers’ compensation for a Kroger worker
Lost wages= $1,358 for 6 weeks
Cost of an ambulance = $300
Cost of treatment in an emergency room = $1,200
Cost of prescription medication = $150
3X doctor’s visits at $100 each = $300
Cost of x-rays = $150
Cost of CT scan = $1000
Cost of rehabilitation through physical therapy = 3 x sessions at $150 each = $350.
Approximate WC for a Kroger warehouse employee= $4,808
You Will Need a WC Attorney
Calculating a WC claim on your own is never easy as you want the best settlement you can get. However, if you hire an attorney to file your WC claim on your behalf you can expect to receive a far better settlement than you could ever reach on your own.
When an Attorney Can be Very helpful
Making a workers’ compensation claim can be frustrating. It is necessary to be very well prepared and provide as much supporting documentation as possible. If you are finding that it is all getting to much to handle, go and talk to a workers’ comp. attorney.
The attorney will have the experience to understand what you are going through and will help to negotiate on your behalf so you can obtain the sort of compensation you deserve.
*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, or any other company, you may not be entitled to any compensation.