During the holiday season a lot of people are out shopping for the perfect gifts for family members and loved ones. Just look at how busy the Natick Mall, Burlington Mall and other shopping centers in and around Boston get during this time of the year. Nowadays, a lot of us also do our shopping online. With the increased shopping over the holidays, businesses are in full swing trying to keep the shelves stocked and getting all the gifts ordered online shipped out in time.
This increase in business leads to hectic work schedules and a rush to get the job done quickly. Oftentimes, the rush can lead to accidents and injuries. The holidays are a very exciting time, but nothing can ruin the holiday spirit more than suffering a serious, debilitating injury in a work-related accident. This is why, if you or someone you know is hurt on the job in Massachusetts, you should be familiar with the process of a Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim to protect yourself and make sure you get the benefits you deserve.
Common Work-Related Accidents and Injuries During the Holidays
Here at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, we see an increase in work accidents and injuries around the holiday season. Below are some of the most common work-related accidents and injuries:
Back Injuries: Many workers, especially those that work in shipping departments, suffer back injuries over the holidays. These types of injuries typically occur from overuse and lifting heavy boxes. As stated above, the holiday shopping craze leads to a demand to keep the shelves stocked and get products ordered online shipped out fast. This increased rush can lead to back injuries. Some of the most common back injures range from back strains to more serious injuries, such as a herniated disc in your spine. These injuries can be disabling and cause serious pain and discomfort.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: The increased shopping and ordering online leads to more motor vehicles on the roadways and highways in Massachusetts. Traffic in Massachusetts is always hectic. But during the holidays traffic can get much worse. This is due to more vehicles out delivering packages, more people venturing out to the malls and shopping centers, and people traveling to and from holiday parties. This increased traffic can increase our chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Some of the most common injuries suffered in car crashes are back and neck injuries and shoulder and leg injuries. Therefore, drivers need to be extra cautions during the holidays.
Slip/Trip and Fall Accidents: With the increase in shopping over the holiday season, there seems to be more slip and falls and trip and falls. With the unpredictable weather in Massachusetts during the holiday months, the foot traffic often leads to water or snow creating slippery, hazardous floors in the shopping malls and other stores. Also, with a lot of merchandise out on the floors of the shopping centers and stores coupled with an increase in shoppers, there are plenty of tripping hazards that can cause a fall and serious injuries. A slip or trip and fall can lead to broken legs or arms as well as serious back injuries.
Know What to do After Being Injured on the Job in Massachusetts
The holiday season is usually a very fun and exciting time of the year. But, nothing could ruin the excitement more than a serious accident and injury on the job. Severe injuries can keep you out of work and unable to earn your paycheck. This leads to having to deal with extremely expensive medical bills that keep showing up in the mail. We’d all rather use our hard-earned money to buy gifts for our loved ones, not to pay for medical bills and expenses. This is why it is imperative that you now what to do after being injured on the job.
If you are hurt on the job, your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, the workers’ compensation laws in Massachusetts require most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers workers and provides them certain benefits when they are injured at work. Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault benefits, which means, regardless of whose fault the accident is, if you are injured while in the course of your employment, you are entitled to these benefits.
Two significant benefits available to an injured employee are Disability benefits and Medical benefits. The disability benefits will replace a portion of the injured workers’ wages when their injury prevents them from working. The medical benefits are available to cover the full costs and expenses of reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the work injury.
Don’t Forget to Report your Work Accident/Injury Right Away
A very important thing to remembers is to report your work accident and injury right away. One of the biggest mistakes we see is when an injured worker fails to report the accident or injury right away. Sometimes, employees try to brush off their injury hoping it gets better and never says anything about it. This could be detrimental to a workers’ compensation claim filed at a later date.
Failing to report a work accident right away can result in the employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company denying a claim. While the injured worker is not out of luck in that situation, because they can file a claim for benefits, it often leads to a serious delay in receiving benefits. A delay in getting benefits means the injured worker will not be able to work, which means they have no money coming in to cover their everyday expenses. Also, a delay in receiving benefits results in medical bills piling up. So, even if you think your injury is minor, you should still report it right away.
In addition to reporting your work injury right away, we also recommend seeking medical attention and explaining to the doctors that your injury occurred on the job. This is one of our Three Important Steps to Take after a Work Accident. It is always best for anyone injured on the job in Massachusetts to speak with a qualified and experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after a work accident. Even if the injured worker has failed to report their work accident right away, he or she should still consult with an experienced lawyer. A Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney will know what steps to take and how to go about seeking and obtaining benefits immediately.