While some jobs come with more occupational hazards than others, there’s always a chance that an accident could occur at your place of work, possibly resulting in mild to severe injury. From slipping on an icy staircase to being injured while operating a piece of machinery, accidents in the workplace can occur in many different ways. However, what’s often just as, if not more, important in these workplace accidents than the cause of the accident is how injured employees are treated after it occurs. Injuries, medical bills and lost wages are just some of the issues that could follow a workplace accident.

A resident of Arlington, Nebraska, was hospitalized recently after he was found unconscious by coworkers at the manufacturing plant he works at. Purportedly, the victim failed to respond to radio calls, and a coworker went to check on him. Video footage reportedly shows the victim backing up a forklift before slumping over. The victim’s mother reports that both his hands and arms contain blisters and burns. She has said that it is her understanding that he was hit in the chest by a door handle of a rail car when a strap connecting the handle to the forklift came loose. The victim purportedly has no memory of the incident, which is currently under investigation.

Such an accident could occur in New York just as easily as it did in Nebraska. What’s important to remember in any workplace accident is that, as an employee, you have rights when injured on the job. Workers’ compensation exists to help injured workers who need medical treatment or rehabilitation. However, workers’ compensation is often not a cut-and-dry process that automatically gives injured workers the money they need. It is a legal matter that must be handled appropriately.

The past decade has seen a change to workers’ comp laws in New York. The change caps benefits depending on various issues, including the severity of a worker’s injury. This means it may be more difficult to receive the amount of compensation one deserves. Enlisting the help of an attorney is something one may find beneficial when fighting for one’s rights under New York workers’ compensation laws.

Source: Arlington Citizen, “Arlington man hospitalized after workplace accident,” Leeanna Ellis, Aug. 13, 2014