Operating heavy machinery is imperative in most industries including construction. While heavy machines speed up many processes like packing, mixing, and lifting, it is not without risks. Each year there are thousands of reports of machine accidents many of which lead to severe injuries and even death.
Something as simple as a slip of the wrist or a malfunctioning chip can result in crushed limbs, death, and amputation. Any employee whose job involves handling heavy machinery and is injured as a result is rightfully entitled to worker’s compensation benefits which in addition to paying medical expenses is also to replace lost wages. That said not only is the machine operator covered but other employees or workers on the construction site, or factory who may have been injured as a result are also covered.
Machine accidents can have an adverse effect on the people injured as well as their families. Injured individuals may end up suffering from prolonged psychological issues, ill-health, and pain. They may also feel anguish and be stressed by just thinking about operating the same machine when returning to work. Family members as a consequence will suffer from financial issues owing to a loss of earning. In extreme cases, the death of the person will put the family into dire financial pressure and various other difficulties. That’s why the workers’ compensation law was put in place to ensure workers have the right to medical expense reimbursement and replacement of lost wages.
How to Know you Qualify?In most states, you will qualify if you are out of work for more than five days because of the machine-related injury. If you have sustained machine accident-related injuries, it is important to report the injury directly to the supervisor, and also fill out an injury report. You should mention the type of machinery which being operated and if it malfunctioned causing the injury as well as what may have caused the malfunction.
Who can apply for compensation?
What to do and how to get paid?
One of the first things you should do after a machine accident is to inform your supervisor. Ideally, you should notify them in writing and fill out an incident report. If anything, this is the first step to getting paid. However, subsequent steps will need to be taken based on the nature of your injuries such as:
- If you were severely injured and are unable to fill out an incident report, then it would be a good idea to bring an attorney on board. The attorney will handle all the formalities associated with getting compensation.
- If you are suffering from psychological issues after a machine accident that will have to be substantiated with a report from a psychologist.
- Make sure to take care of all the required paperwork as soon as possible so that the compensation starts flowing in soon too.
When to apply for compensation?
|Ideally, you will want to apply immediately after a machine accident|
|As you start seeing signs and symptoms associated with the accident|
|When the doctor orders that you take more than five days leave from work|
|When you have lost the use of your limbs|
What is important to know?
Many factories and construction sites rely on heavy machinery to get the job done. However, they can also be the root cause of numerous machine accidents causing minor and major injuries. In some cases, it can also lead to death.
Machine accidents that cause total disability
America’s workers’ compensation system is designed to help compensate workers in the event of an accident. For instance, workers who are totally disabled owing to a machine accident are entitled to receive 60% of their average weekly wage from the employer which comes from the insurance company. The average wage is calculated based on the gross wages from 52 weeks before the day of the injury. The compensation is tax-free.
Some people may return to work but may only be able to perform light duty or perhaps not be able to work the normal number of hours. So, if you are earning less than you did before the injury then too you are entitled to weekly benefits.
Insurance Companies Don’t Always Cooperate
It is unfortunate that even after a severe machine accident resulting in the loss of a limb insurance companies may not be cooperative. The company may look for a loophole to not pay injured employees. That’s why hiring an attorney makes sense. An attorney will not only file the required paperwork for compensation but will also investigate the incident. Insurance adjusters and companies are unable to intimidate an attorney as they are well versed in the law, and are on your side. So, if you’re too injured to go through the process of claiming compensation or your employer isn’t cooperating it is time to get an attorney to represent you after a machine accident.