Georgia workers’ comp attorneys explain your rights and what to do following a work-related injury or accident
As a growing portion of the American population has turned to online shopping over brick-and-mortar stores in the last couple of decades, we’ve come to more heavily rely on the postal service and private mail services such as UPS and FedEx.
Due to the nature of the speed with which they must process orders and deliver the items people order online in a timely fashion, there are countless opportunities for employees to get injured on the job. In the 24 months prior to October 15, 2020, FedEx drivers were involved in a total of 428 crashes. Twelve of these collisions resulted in a fatality and 146 crashes involving injuries.
And these statistics don’t even account for the thousands of FedEx employees who are injured or killed in warehouses and stores across the country.
In this article, we will discuss what these dangers are, common injuries that result and what can be done to ensure that injured workers receive the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to.
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Common causes and types of FedEx employee injuries
Federal Express Corporation (more commonly known as FedEx) is based in Memphis, Tennessee, and employs nearly 53,000 truck drivers across the United States.
There are many different types of injuries that can occur in a FedEx warehouse, so when discussing injuries that occur while working for FedEx it makes sense to place them in 2 distinct categories. The first one is injuries that occur while sorting and loading packages. The second type of injuries that occur typically happen during delivery. These can include both lifting injuries, hazardous situations such as dog attacks and motor vehicle accidents.
Within FedEx, employee back injury claims are frequent due to the nature of the job. Pickers are constantly lifting different objects. Many times, they are unaware of the weight of the object that they are lifting and it can be much heavier than they anticipated. Furthermore, the speed and volume of the packages that workers are required to sort can require constant turning, bending, lifting and other stressful repetitive actions.
Another common FedEx warehouse accident is forklift injuries. Some unqualified or reckless FedEx employees have caused an accident while driving forklifts. We have seen a number of incidents where forklift drivers crash into one another or hit coworkers. These can result in very serious accidents and injuries.
FedEx accidents also commonly occur among delivery drivers, truck drivers and couriers. There is a massive fleet of FedEx trucks on the road at any given moment, and more trucks on the road obviously mean more truck accidents. It also means that there are more injuries that occur while delivering packages.
Can I be fired while on workers’ comp?
FedEx delivery drivers can also be injured while out of their truck making deliveries. They may be attacked by a dog or even sustain a slip and fall injury. Drivers are often put in precarious positions while delivering packages.
In addition, not all FedEx packages are light envelopes; there are often heavy boxes to deliver. This not only adds to the degree of difficulty in the delivery but also to the risk of injury.
Even after delivering the package, the FedEx worker is still in the scope and course of their employment and any injury should be covered by workers’ compensation. However, it’s important to report any injury immediately and contact an attorney so they can help you receive proper medical treatment.
What to do after a work-related accident or injury
Regardless of the type of injury that occurs, the first action item that must take place is reporting the injury. It’s important to notify your supervisor of both the incident and the injury that has taken place. Georgia law does not require formal written notice to a supervisor. Merely telling a supervisor or even a co-worker may be enough to demonstrate notice.
Many times, the first thing an employer will do after being told about an injury, even before they offer to provide medical care, is insist that an injured worker take a drug test. This is often just standard operating procedure and may have absolutely zero effect on a workers’ compensation case.
For example, say a picker or warehouse worker gets injured on a Friday but thinks it’s just a muscle strain. He attempts to work the remainder of the day, knowing that he will have the weekend to rest. Unfortunately, the pain does not subside and worsens throughout the weekend with pain radiating down both legs.
First thing on Monday morning, the worker reports the incident and pain to his supervisor. He is immediately sent to an industrial clinic for a drug test. During the weekend, the injured worker attempted to self-medicate and ease the pain through the use of alcohol and marijuana so he will test positive for drugs in his system.
However, this test should have no effect on his workers’ compensation case, and here’s why:
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
FedEx workers’ comp and fault
No, it does not matter whose fault the accident was for there to be a workers’ compensation case in Georgia.
This is the doctrine of no-fault liability. It means that regardless of who caused the accident, if the individual was injured in the scope and course of their employment, they may be eligible to receive medical treatment and indemnity benefits under the Georgia workers’ compensation statute. This is very important as it relates to motor vehicle accidents.
For example, if a FedEx truck driver was responsible for an accident, or the police make a determination that no one was at fault, the injured worker can still receive coverage for treatment for their injured body part under workers’ compensation. This means that 100 percent of their medical bills from treatment by an authorized treating physician should be paid for by workers’ compensation insurance.