Workers at warehouses and loading docks face a high risk of injury in their jobs. These are jobs that may require workers to operate from higher elevations and with large equipment and trucks. It's easy to see how a warehouse is a complex system of moving parts. There are several things that could potentially go awry and lead to a devastating workplace accident.
When people, machines and tight deadlines converge, a perfect storm is created, and there is elevated risk. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehouses are one of the most dangerous places to work with a fatality rate that is above the national average. Those who own and operate warehouses have a duty to make sure the work environment is safe. Workers should also be provided with job and safety training in addition to safety gear and equipment that will help them perform their jobs safely.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a warehouse accident, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you suffer. An experienced Greenberg & Ruby LLP work injury attorney will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.
What is the Average Settlement in Warehouse Accidents?
One of the common questions our work injury attorneys get from clients is what their case is worth. Determining the value or worth of a warehouse accident can be complicated because there are often several factors that could affect the case's value. The best way to determine the value of your warehouse accident case is to sit down with a skilled attorney who can help calculate an accurate estimate by adding up the damages that make up your case.
There are three types of damages that are typically part of a settlement:
Economic damages: These are monetary damages that typically make up a big part of the case's value and include damages that can be assigned a clear value. These types of damages may include:
- Medical expenses: The costs a victim and his or her family face for hospitalization, surgeries, treatment, medications, medical equipment, etc. Often times, workers may require ongoing treatment and care. This may also include cost of rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: These are compensatory damages meant to reimburse victims for wages they may have lost as a result of being unable to work. Workers who have suffered catastrophic injuries and are unable to work can also seek loss of earning capacity if they are unable to return to work permanently.
Non-economic damages: These types of damages don't present a clear monetary value. Here are some common examples of what non-economic damages could include:
- Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain and suffering a victim has had to endure as a result of their injuries. This amount is usually calculated by using a pain multiplier that has the victim identify their level of pain on a scale of one to 10.
- Emotional distress: This type of compensation is offered to victims who have experienced emotional trauma because of their injuries.
- Loss of consortium: This is added to the value of your case when the injuries are so severe that your loved ones are deprived of a normal loving relationship and companionship.
Punitive damages: Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for egregious conduct and to deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
What Injuries Result In Settlements?
Warehouse accidents have the potential to result in major injuries that could lead to temporary or permanent disabilities or even death. Here are some of the most common causes of warehouse accidents:
Falls: Slip and-fall accidents are, generally speaking, the number one cause of work injury claims in the United States. Falls from elevations can result in major injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, slipped discs and internal injuries. Workers face the danger of falling off a lift or a commercial truck in warehouses. They may also slip and fall on slick floors containing water, oil or grease. They may trip and fall on debris or other items left on the floor.
Forklift or heavy machinery accidents: Warehouse workers rely on heavy machinery to lift and move stored merchandise. Operating such machinery and equipment takes proper training. Negligent workers or poor training could lead to deadly accidents.
Falling objects: Objects that fall from above and strike workers can cause major injuries. In a warehouse setting, falling objects could injure workers if items are not properly secured on shelves. These types of accidents could cause serious head injuries. Traumatic brain injuries could cause lifelong disabilities for warehouse workers.
Collapsing racks: A falling or collapsing rack could crush or pin workers to the ground causing catastrophic or even fatal injuries. When racks are overloaded or not built to safety standards, there is a greater risk of a collapse.
Third Party Warehouse Accident Claims
If you have been injured in a warehouse accident, in addition to workers' compensation benefits, you may be able to file a third party claim against a party other than your employer. A third party may be a contractor or sub-contractor who caused your accident or injuries. Often times, it could also be the manufacturer of a defective product such as a piece of equipment or machinery, which caused your injuries. Third-party claims are personal injury lawsuits, which will provide you compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, which are not included in workers' compensation benefits. Third-party claims are worth significantly more than workers' compensation benefits.
The experienced warehouse accident lawyers at Greenberg & Ruby LLP have a long and successful track record of helping injured warehouse workers secure maximum compensation for their losses. We understand the complexities and challenges in investigating such cases, compiling the evidence and holding the at-fault parties accountable. We will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure fair and full compensation for your tremendous losses. Call us at (323) 782-0535 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.