What to do when you’ve been hurt on the job at
a department store
As one of the nation’s biggest department store chains, around 40,000 people work at Dillard’s nationwide. Some of these people are employed at Arizona’s 16 Dillard’s locations. Even though many people are happy working for Dillard’s and other department stores, disputes do occasionally arise regarding worker safety and compensation.
If an incident does occur and you’re hurt on the job, it’s always in your best interest to reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer in your area who can fight for your rights using their level of expertise and knowledge.
What types of injuries do department store workers suffer?
Here are some common types of positions found in department stores like Dilliard’s, and the injuries you may experience:
- Salesfloor employees and cashiers. Neck, shoulder and back injuries can occur from getting items off higher shelves. Injuries can also happen when products fall from shelves and hit you. Broken bones or tissue injuries can result from slips and falls. Repetitive stress injuries are also common among cashiers.
- Warehouse workers. Sprains and muscle tears are typical from lifting heavy boxes. Packages with leaking materials can lead to injury-causing slips and falls. Unloading a truck or similar movements can cause repetitive stress injuries.
- Cosmetologists. Chemicals that cosmetologists encounter can cause skin, eye or nose injury, and some of these chemicals also cause chronic disease or occupational illness. Spilled makeup or perfume products can cause slips or falls that may result in injury.
Your rights as an injured employee in Arizona
Whatever the type or cause of work injury, there are certain benefits you may be eligible for under Arizona workers’ compensation law. But first, it is essential to understand some of the common misconceptions.
For instance, due to Arizona’s no-fault standard, you may still be able to be compensated for a workplace accident even when you share some responsibility for the incident. So long as the injury occurred in the “course and scope of employment,” you may qualify.
Depending on your injury and how much work you miss, you may be eligible for medical and income loss benefits. Your dependents may also be eligible for death benefits if your injury or illness proves fatal.
The medical benefits include coverage from trips to the hospital or a doctor, as well as reimbursement for travel expenses. Physician visits, diagnostics and physical therapy are covered costs. You can also receive prescription coverage for any medications required.
Wage loss benefits include the following:
- Temporary total disability—when a doctor removes you from work altogether
- Temporary partial disability— when you can return to work but have physician-ordered restrictions
- Permanent partial disability—when you are permanently injured but can still perform some work
- Permanent total disability—when you have received an injury so severe that you will not be able to work again
If your injury or illness results in death, your surviving dependents—which may include your spouse, children or stepchildren, siblings, parents or other family members—might receive up to two-thirds of your average monthly wage.
The amount of time a recipient continues to receive benefits depends on their relationship to you. Regardless, your employer’s insurance company must pay up to $5,000 towards funeral and burial expenses.
When you apply for compensation, you have the right to an appeal if you’re denied or disagree with the compensation awarded. You also have a right to legal representation.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
What to do and what to expect if you are injured on the job
When you first become injured or ill because of your job, you need to report what happened to your employer as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might have to deal with a denial because you waited too long.
The 5 important steps you need to take include:
- Tell your supervisor as soon as possible.
- Seek emergency care (if needed).
- Seek prompt medical care and keep any documentation received.
- File a Workers Report of Injury form with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) as soon as possible.
- Follow the doctor’s medical advice, and make sure your supervisor is aware of your restrictions.
Many injured department store employees ultimately end up consulting with or hiring a lawyer because of problems that often arise. For example, sometimes insurance companies will deny a claim based on wrongful information or delay processing the claim. Some companies close a claim before they should.
One of the worst outcomes from such situations is when employees hurt on the job give up because of an unsatisfactory outcome. Even though the process might seem discouraging or frustrating, it is essential to see your claim through to the end.
Contact an experienced attorney for help with your case. It can make a big difference, including ensuring that you have all your questions answered and understand the process.