Steps to take after you’ve been hurt while working for UPS
There are approximately 5,100 UPS employees working in Arizona and 161 UPS locations. In 2018, UPS delivered 5.2 billion packages. Due to all the packages delivered, and the physical nature of UPS delivery services, many workers suffer injuries and may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
On average, 1 UPS employee is killed on the job each month. An estimated 60,000+ UPS employees are injured on the job each month nationally. However, many of these injuries go unreported because employees receive threats and intimidation from UPS management. They have had a history of being one of the highest cited companies by the OSHA.
According to the National Academy of Science, the national injury rate is 8 injuries per 100 employees, or 8:100. At UPS, the injury rate is 15:100 employees—nearly double. UPS pays out over $1 million per day in workers’ compensation claims.
Common injuries among UPS employees
UPS demands that workers deliver packages with speed. This leads to delivery drivers performing their deliveries at an excessive speed and often suffering from fatigue. Workers also have to engage in heavy lifting, carry heavy packages and do a lot of climbing. These activities can lead to herniated discs, cervical strains and sprains, knee injuries, shoulder injuries and lumbar strains.
Some UPS drivers, in a rush to deliver packages, are involved in car accidents. These accidents can lead to broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, deep cuts, burns and amputation injuries.
When UPS workers carry heavy packages, some of these packages might fall and trap workers. They might suffer from broken bones or amputations when trying to deliver their goods.
UPS workers’ compensation benefits
As an injured UPS worker, you have a right to receive compensation for your medical bills as well as compensation for lost wages. How much you receive will be based on the nature and extent of your injuries as reported by your doctor. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses.
If your doctor decides that you cannot return to work due to your injuries, you will be entitled to temporary total benefits (TTD) to make up for your lost wages. You will only receive benefits for the first week that you were off from work if you have been out of work for 2 weeks (14 days).
In Arizona, you should continue to receive these benefits until your condition has stabilized or you are able to return to work. Your compensation for lost wages will be equal to two-thirds of your monthly wage before you were injured. You will receive an additional $25 a month if anyone depends on you.
If your doctor determines that you can return to work but places restrictions on what you can do, you will be eligible for temporary partial benefits. You should receive two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wage up to the Arizona maximum wage.
You may eventually be entitled to permanent benefits. However, you will have to wait until your doctor determines that your health will not improve any further. If you are not able to return to work, you will be eligible for permanent total benefits. If your total disability is the result of the loss of a limb, you are eligible to be compensated for 75 percent of your lost wages up to the Arizona maximum wage.
Arizona law has a schedule that determines how much you will be compensated for temporary partial benefits. If you have only partial use of an extremity, you will be compensated by a percent.
If you suffer from an amputation, you will be compensated by 55 percent. The period of time for which you’ll receive these benefits is based on the type of injury. For example, you will receive 25 months of payments for the 100% loss of an eye.
Other injuries are unscheduled, such as injuries to organs. You will be compensated for 55 percent of your wages.
UPS’ return to work policy
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your injury to your employer promptly.
In an effort to retaliate against workers for reporting their injuries, UPS will often attempt to block efforts by employees to return to work after they have recovered from their injuries.
Workers have reported that they were told they will be fired if they are injured. In federal and state cases, workers have alleged that managers have discouraged employees from reporting injuries. When workers visit a doctor and are given a work restriction, managers often ignore the restriction.
The insurance premium for workers’ compensation insurance is a major expense for UPS. The more injuries that UPS workers suffer, the higher their premium becomes. Therefore, the company has an incentive to reduce the number of reported work injuries.
Questions and answers about compensation for a job-related accident, injury or illness in Arizona
What to do if you are injured while working for UPS
If your injury is a medical emergency, you should visit an emergency room immediately. If your injury is not an emergency, notify your employer and then visit a doctor for an examination.
Inform the doctor that your injury is a result of work and they should provide you with a form to fill out. Your medical provider generally turns the form in but you are responsible for making sure that the claim is filed within 1 year and you must report all injury claims to your supervisor immediately.
Because filing a work injury claim with UPS is often difficult, you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, especially if your employer threatens retaliation or rejects your claim.
Our Arizona workers’ compensation attorney can help you in the most complex cases, such as when your claim is denied or when there are other third parties who share partial fault for your injuries. Even if you’re simply struggling to fill out forms, you are always better off consulting with an experienced attorney in Arizona.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski today for your free consultation.