Chicago Grocery Store Worker Accident Lawyer
Grocery store workers perform various food retail duties that provide the public with household and personal goods. These jobs entail shelf-stacker, checkout operator, cashier, delivery person, baker, butcher, deli worker, sales assistant, etc.
Supermarket managers, sales workers, stockers, cashiers, baggers, and janitorial staff endure mostly muscle strains and sprains. For example, those handling knives in the store tend to suffer serious finger injuries, whereas laborers, baggers, and stock handlers often deal with back injuries.
If you or a family member was injured while working at a grocery store, you are likely entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can ensure that you receive maximum compensation for all damages associated with injuries in a grocery store.
Contact the workers’ compensation law firm for more information and a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.
Stock Clerks in Grocery Stores
The Grocery Store Workers stocking shelves in supermarkets are subject to many hazards daily. Common risk factors involving grocery workers include being injured by a falling object or boxes stored on high shelves and the injuries from lifting heavy objects, including crates, boxes, and cartons.
Many stockers missed days off from work due to sprains and strains associated with their job. Others suffer from repetitive motion or neck and back injuries, including ruptured discs, herniation, and bulging discs.
Bakers and Butchers
Most of the bakers, butchers, deli managers, and assistants who work and specialty departments in the grocery store have their unique risk factors for severe injury and potential death.
These grocery store employees tend to perform their duties and awkward body positions throughout the day and use forceful movement that could injure their upper limbs, shoulders, neck, hands, and fingers.
Additionally, most of these jobs are performed without adjustable work surfaces, meaning the grocery store employee must complete their tasks using poor working postures.
Also, aggravating factors could exacerbate repetitive movement injuries, including the lower temperature in the butcher department and the temperature of the meat.
In many personal injury cases, the work surfaces are too low to avoid stooping, tiptoeing, or requiring repetitive bending and stretching beyond a normal comfort range. These abnormal postures and bending movements tend to strain the neck muscles and the tendons and ligaments of the back, upper limbs, and shoulders.
Meat wrappers and deli workers are especially susceptible to repetitive movement injury due to the awkward posture when wrapping, sealing, and labeling products for sale.
Frequent debilitating manipulative movements can aggravate a wrist injury, as can forcefully, frequent movements involving the hands, arms, and wrists.
Grocery Store Workers Hazards
Many grocery store workers must take days off from work after being injured or becoming ill on the job. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintain statistics and evaluate and investigate serious problems involving fatal and nonfatal injuries/illnesses in the workplace, including supermarkets.
The most common grocery store worker hazards involve:
- Lifting and Lowering– Many grocery store employees must lift or lower heavy objects or awkward size packages as a part of their daily duties.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls– Falling from ladders or losing balance on a slippery surface are all too common occurrences in supermarket environments.
- Occupational Violence– The new norm for retailers includes dealing with robbers, burglars, and abuse of/route customers.
- Dangerous Machinery– Many grocery store employees are injured using power tools or the bread/meat slicer.
- Exposure to Chemicals– To maintain a clean work environment in the grocery store's bakery, deli department, and meat market, workers must often be exposed to dangerous disinfecting and sanitizing chemicals.
- Bullying– Intimidation or mistreatment is a common tactic used by management and coworkers to generate better performance for grocery store employees.
- Cart Injuries– Grocery store workers are susceptible to suffering harm and pain when retrieving shopping carts from the cart corrals in parking areas.
- Backroom Injuries– Cardboard crushing machines, freezer & cooler machinery, floor cleaning equipment, and other dangerous appliances and tools require effective safety systems to safeguard grocery store employees.
- Obstruction Hazards– Stocking materials, pallets filled with box goods, and precariously stacked groceries can create instant tripping hazards, as can loose floor mats.
The potential risks associated with being exposed to dangerous hazards in the workplace are often based on a variety of risk factors, the management style of the owner or operator, and other scenarios, including:
- A lack of supervision,
- Working late hours,
- A lack of training on job duties, staying safe, and maintaining a sanitary workplace,
- Performing repetitive tasks,
- Ensuring that every employee is uninformed about their legal rights,
- Any action that attempts to impress the supervisor, manager, boss, or coworker
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), some of the risk factors listed above result in serious illnesses and injuries involving musculoskeletal disorders that include tendinitis, back injury, muscle strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injury, trigger finger injuries, and epicondylitis (problems with the elbow).
Repetitive Stress Injury
Performing similar motions throughout every workday can cause life-altering injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Many grocery workers with RSI (repetitive stress injury/repetitive use injury) develop their serious condition slowly over an extended period through repetitive motions from long hours.
Often, these all too common injuries don't happen in a single moment or action that tend to happen in car accidents, falling objects, slips on wet floors, or fall accidents.
Instead, the condition often creates a lifetime of doctors' bills for medical treatment to help adapt to the hurt and pain from suffering muscle strains.
The worker can file for workers' compensation benefits after doctors find a correlation between job performance and the development of repetitive motion injuries.
However, RSI injury claims are often denied by workers' compensation insurance carriers who argue the injury was not the result of suffering from an accident or working as a grocery store employee because they cannot state the date their injury occurred.
Grocery Store Workers' Wages
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 statistics concerning the employment statistics of the previous year, 105,570 grocery store workers were working throughout Illinois.
On average, grocery store employees in the state earn $27,890 every year (mean wage), which is $13.41 per hour. The wage is slightly higher than the national average. See Chart
Grocery Store Employee Fatalities and Injuries
Data collected and released by the CFOI (Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries) as a part of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that in 2000, 128 individuals lost their lives in the grocery store industry. These deaths accounted for nearly 25% of fatalities in retail trade.
The statistics show that nine out of every ten fatalities occurring in supermarkets resulted from violent acts and assaults, which ended in homicides. Additionally, over three-fourths of the fatalities occurred during robberies.
The small sampling below details some serious injuries and fatalities in supermarkets.
- Case 1:Maywood, Illinois – A west suburban Maywood grocery store shooting left one man dead and a pregnant woman injured in December 2017. The shooting incident occurred at the Maywood Grocery on West Madison Street. Witnesses stated that the event started outside the grocery store. When the shooting began, one victim ran inside the store.
- Case 2:Fort Worth, Texas – A shooting incident occurred at a Fort Worth grocery store that left one dead and one woman wounded at the local Save-A-Lot on James Avenue. NBC-DFW 5 News stated that the "initial report indicated two men were seen driving away from the store after the robbery, leaving two people inside the store with gunshot wounds."
- Case 3:Houston, Texas – A shooting outside a grocery store and restaurant in Southwest Houston left one dead. The incident occurred on Windswept Lane at West Greenridge. When first responders arrived on the scene, they treated a man with a gunshot wound. Local law enforcement officers are yet to determine what led up to the shooting."
- Case 4:Humboldt County, California – A sheriff's deputy for Humboldt County and a McKinleyville grocery store clerk was harmed when confronting two teenagers attempting to steal beer. After the attack on store clerks, the two juveniles fled the scene. The deputies stopped the pair approximately one-half mile away, where they deployed their taser at the violent suspect.
Workers' Compensation Benefits for Injuries Suffered at Work
All store owners must carry workers' compensation coverage on all grocery store employees to provide immediate medical care when they are hurt on the job. Additionally, the policy offers protection against serious injury or death during an accident, assault, or crime.
Commonly, the insurance company policy covers medical treatment and ongoing medical bills for severe and common injuries, including:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial injury or disfigurement
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
Grocery store employees hurt while working can file claims seeking compensation through their employer's workers' compensation policy.
General Liability Insurance
Food stores must protect their employees and customers with workers' compensation and other insurance coverage. Additionally, the policy offers protection against serious injury or death during an accident, assault, or crime.
All grocery clerks and employees are covered under workers' compensation insurance. However, the store's general liability policy covers the general public if they become injured on the business property during an event such as a robbery or assault.
Circumstances creating a legal issue for the supermarket include:
- Slips and falls on a wet floor
- Customers and others involved in parking lot accidents
- Slipping and falling in parking lots
These premises liability cases usually involve the store's insurance company resolving the personal injury claim by paying medical expenses and other damages.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Accident Injury Claim Through Workers' Compensation
Our personal injury law firm helps injured clients recover compensation under the IL workers' compensation Act and through civil lawsuits. Additionally, we provide a free case evaluation and a No-Win/No Fee guarantee.
If you have been injured in a job-related accident, never gamble with your family's future and financial security.
Our law firm has a proven track record of success. Additionally, it can ensure you receive all available benefits through workers' compensation and possibly through other third parties that might also be responsible for your damages.
Our lawyers working on your behalf can handle every aspect of your case. Their efforts include filing a workers' compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit, gathering evidence, building your case, presenting the lawsuit in front of a judge and jury, or negotiating your settlement.
Contact a Grocery Store Workers' Compensation & Injury Law Firm
We accept every workers' compensation claim and injury lawsuit through contingency fee arrangements. All legal fees are postponed until our personal injury law firm successfully resolves your compensation case by negotiating an out-of-court settlement or winning your case at trial.
Be assured; if our law firm does not win your case, you owe us nothing!
Contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. Let’s discuss receiving maximum compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
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