Learn how to file a claim and get maximum compensation after
an accident with heavy machinery
Many jobs require employees to drive or work around heavy equipment—and doing so comes with inherent risks. Fortunately, if you’re injured in an accident involving heavy equipment at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries and financial loss.
This article will discuss the dangers of heavy equipment injuries and how to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover maximum compensation.
What occupations have the highest rate of heavy equipment injuries?
Workers in these trades commonly use heavy equipment, including:
- Dump trucks
- Articulated loaders
- Cement mixers
- Power shovels
- Back-end loaders
Common injuries after a heavy equipment accident
There are numerous injuries that can occur after an accident involving heavy equipment. At the extreme end, these injuries can result in death. In fact, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that more than 600 people were killed in heavy equipment accidents in 2021 alone.
Injuries that often occur in heavy equipment accidents include the following:
These injuries are often accompanied by physical pain that makes it difficult to resume your normal activities, including your duties at work, so it’s important to understand your rights to compensation as you recover.
Arizona workers’ compensation for heavy equipment injuries
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that most Arizona employers with 1 or more employees are required to purchase to protect their workers. Both part-time and full-time workers are typically eligible to receive workers’ compensation as long as their injury occurred in the workplace or while doing work-related tasks.
Employers are not required to have workers’ compensation insurance for the following employees:
- Independent contractors
- Sole proprietors
- Casual workers
Steps to file a workers’ comp claim in Arizona
If you’ve become injured as a result of heavy equipment use in the workplace or at an approved job site, you’ll likely be able to file a claim. Take the following steps to ensure you remain eligible for compensation:
- Seek medical care. This is necessary to establish that your injury is related to your work accident.
- Report your injury to your employer. Report your injury to your employer in writing as soon as possible.
- Employer files a report. Your employer will have to file a report known as an Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) no more than 10 days from when they learn about your injury.
- File a workers’ comp claim. You must file a workers’ comp claim within 1 year of your work-related injury. You’ll have to file a Worker’s Report of Injury, or you can file a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury with your doctor.
Types of workers’ comp benefits
Workers’ comp benefits in the state of Arizona include the following:
- Medical expenses. These benefits include coverage of all necessary medical treatment, including hospital stays, medications, surgeries, doctor appointments, emergency room care, rehabilitation and medical supplies.
- Wage loss benefits. If your injury prevents you from working, you will typically receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages for a period of time that depends on your disability:
- Temporary partial disability. These benefits apply to those who are able to work but only in a reduced capacity.
- Temporary total disability. These benefits apply to individuals who temporarily can’t work at all.
- Permanent partial disability. These benefits apply to individuals who have a permanent injury but are still able to work in some capacity.
- Permanent total disability. These benefits apply to someone who has an injury that’s severe enough they won’t be able to work again.
- Death benefits. These are paid to certain dependents if you die from a work-related injury.
The role of a workers’ compensation attorney
Workers’ comp claims are often complicated. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can ensure the process goes smoothly by assisting you with the following:
- Gathering evidence to support your claim
- Conducting witness interviews
- Consulting experts in the field
- Negotiating with your employer and their insurer
- Filing all necessary documents
- Appealing the decision if your claim is denied
Contact an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney
Workers’ compensation is a valuable form of insurance that provides injured workers with the financial means to take care of themselves and their families while they recover from their injuries.
Unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies often deny claims or offer injured workers far less money than they deserve. That’s why it’s always in your best interest to seek help from an experienced workers’ comp attorney who can ensure your rights are protected.
If you live in Arizona and have been injured at work, the experienced injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski are here to help. We specialize in workers’ comp cases and are proud to have been helping injured Arizona workers recover the compensation they deserve for more than 45 years.