Americans spend more time than anyone at work. Therefore, it is not surprising that we also are one of the leaders in workplace injuries. From railroads to boats, factories and construction sites, jobs typically take place in incredibly complicated and dangerous environments. Employees face numerous risks, and those often manifest into broken bones, herniated discs, and other injuries including death.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of workplace injuries and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients' damages are the result of the negligent actions of others. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if you were injured on the job or suffered a work-related illness. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Work-Related Injuries are Serious Concern
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), more than 4000 workers in the United States were killed while at work in 2014. Twenty percent of these events occurred in the construction industry where the victim fell, was electrocuted, struck by an object, or caught between/in objects that left them fatally injured or crushed.
Between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017, the ten most frequently cited violations of OSHA regulations that led to a severe injury or death included:
- Fall protection in the construction industry
- Hazard communication standards
- Scaffolding in the construction industry
- Respiratory protection
- Controlling hazardous energy through lockouts and tag out
- Ladder control in the construction industry
- Powered industrial truck
- Machine and regarding machines
- Training requirements involving fall protection
- Electrical and wiring methods involving equipment and components
For decades, OSHA has been enforcing stricter regulations and guidelines to reduce the number of workplace accidents. These regulations require every employer to:
- Maintain orderly, clean, dry storage rooms and passageways to ensure a sanitary environment.
- Take preventative measures to eliminate exposure to infectious disease.
- Provide every worker necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and respirators to avoid potentially dangerous exposure to blood-borne pathogens.
- Ensure that every employee working in a dangerous job receives specialized training.
The Most Common Workplace Injuries
According to OSHA statistics, over 104 million production days are lost every year to work-related injuries. Most of these injuries occur in major industries including service, transportation, shipping, manufacturing, production, maintenance, repair, installation, and construction. Approximately 500 injuries in the workplace occur every hour around-the-clock which total more than 12,000 every day and 86,000 injuries every week.
The most common workplace injuries occurring in America include:
- Overexertion Injury – Many workers are injured by lifting, pulling, holding, pushing, carrying, or throwing objects while at work. These types of injuries tend to be the most expensive for insurance companies and the employee who must take time off from work to recover.
- Slipping, Tripping, and Falling – Hundreds of thousands of workers are injured every year by slipping on what surfaces or tripping over objects on the floor. These dangerous environments can be eliminated by keeping the area clean and free of debris.
- Falling from Great Height – Workers can suffer severe injuries by falling from a stairway, ladder, rooftop, landing, or other area two or more feet off ground level. Most of these accidents can be avoided if the worker is wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE) and receive proper safety training.
- Injuries Caused by a Reaction – A worker may suffer more harm by reacting to a situation like slipping on a wet surface without falling. These injuries often include muscle strain, body trauma, or another medical problem. Many of these incidents can be avoided if the employee remains attentive to their surroundings.
- Being Hit by a Falling Object – Hundreds of thousands of employees suffer injuries by falling objects in the workplace that cause trauma to the head, shoulders, back, arms, and hands. These types of incidents can be avoided by maintaining a workplace free from dangerous hazards and workers that use PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) like hardhats that ensure safety.
- Injuries Occur When Walking into Objects – Walking or running into objects can cause serious injuries like hitting a chair, table, furniture, glass window, desk, cabinet, door, or wall. Many of these incidents result in foot, neck, knee, and head injuries.
- Vehicle Crashes – Workers required to drive for their company can suffer catastrophic and fatal injuries in a vehicle accident. Employers are required to provide safe driver training and establish driving policies and protocols that can reduce work-related crashes.
- Becoming Entangled in Machinery or Equipment – Employees working around machinery and heavy equipment are a potential risk of injury if their hair, finger, shoes, or clothing become entangled in the machine. Wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and remaining alert in your workplace environment can prevent these horrific, and sometimes fatal, incidents.
- Repetitive Motion Injury – Over time, an employee can develop a repetitive motion injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, vision problems, hearing loss, and back pain. Employers can minimize the potential for a repetitive motion injury by providing the worker with ergonomic equipment and training on how to reduce the damage caused by repetitively typing, lifting, bending, stretching, or other movement for months or years.
- Violent Acts in the Workplace – Thousands of employees are injured or killed every year through arguments in the workplace that lead to serious physical harm. Others suffer injury or lose their life over acts of violence by outside forces when others show up at the job to inflict pain and suffering on the innocent. These violent actions can be avoided when employees and employers remain diligent in looking for any suspicious activity and providing training on what to do in violent and dangerous situations.
Most Dangerous Occupations Involving Injury
The four occupations in the United States that involve the most injuries every year include:
- Restaurant Injuries – According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), restaurant owners and operators can save up to six dollars for every one dollar they spent on training their employees on how to minimize the potential dangers of working in a cafeteria, café, eatery, bar or bistro. Most injuries occurring in a restaurant involve:
- A Puncture or Laceration – Employees work around slicers and knives and handle broken glasses and dishes that can lead to a puncture or laceration wound. These injuries require immediate medical treatment and wound care to prevent the development of infection.
- Burns – The employee can be injured working around a hot stove top, fryer, or heated water. OSHA states that there are more than 12,000 cases of burns reported every year, meaning the number is likely much higher when accounting for unreported cases. Typically, the employee will treat a minor burn using the restaurant's first-aid care.
- Strains and Sprains – Many of the dishes, items, and stored goods are placed in hard to reach areas that require the worker to overreach from the floor or ladder that could result in a strain or sprain. Other employees slip and trip on slippery surfaces in their work environment or improperly lift heavy objects that lead to strains. These injuries are often treated with muscle ointments, analgesic heat rubs, or pain-relieving drugs to reduce their and discomfort at work.
- Eye Injuries – Without proper safeguards and PPE (Personal protective equipment), the employee can suffer serious eye injuries when working with sanitizing equipment or being splashed in the face with hot grease. Injured employees must receive immediate eye care and treatment to avoid any long-term damage.
- Manufacturing Injury – Manufacturing employees are most likely to be injured on the job by overexertion, repetitive motions, contact with harmful substances, slipping and falling, or hitting objects in the workplace.
- Truck Driving Injuries – Truck drivers and cargo loaders are at risk for developing serious injuries that include:
- Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) when the back, neck, shoulders, or upper extremities are injured when the truck driver or trucking industry employee is loading or unloading the vehicle. These injuries can occur when working with containers, pallets, cartons, tanks, bins, garbage cans, or boxes.
- Slipping and Falling from the Truck, the dock, a stairway opening, or tractor-trailer. Many workers are injured while making a delivery, loading the truck, exiting the vehicle, or stepping into a hole that results in a broken bone, back sprain, joint strain, or other harm.
- Striking an Object or being struck by an object is a leading cause of injuries to workers in the trucking industry. These incidents tend to occur when opening a container, lifting a trailer hitch, or attaching the truck to the trailer. The worker may be struck by a lift gate, pallet jack, winch bar, chain, binder, carton, or box.
- Falling from an Elevation off the truck or dock or falling from a stairway into an opening are all leading causes of injuries occurring in the trucking industry. These injured workers tend to be heard with a knee or back sprain.
- A Truck Crash or Collision with the passenger vehicle is a leading cause of truck-related injuries and fatalities.
- Roofer Injuries – The nature of a construction roofing job requires the employee to work at a great height above the ground surface. Taking appropriate measures can prevent a catastrophic injury occurring on a roofing job. The most common injuries a roofer faces every day at work include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) because when the roofer falls from a ladder or rooftop or is hit by an object. These injuries tend to create lifelong physical and mental problems.
- Amputations when the roofer is injured by a hazardous power tool (tile cutters and circular saws) or hitting a sharp surface.
- Spinal Cord Injury when falling from a ladder or rooftop that results in complete or partial paralysis.
- Bone Fracture when the roofer falls and breaks their skull, pelvis, hip, ankle, leg, arm, or hand.
- Back Injury typically caused by overexertion when carrying or lifting heavy toolboxes and materials up and down from the rooftop on a ladder. These injuries often involve sprains, strains, and other injury that limits the worker's ability to perform daily activities.
- Repetitive Motion Injury caused by continuous nailing. These roofers can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, or a pinched nerve.
- Heatstroke and Sunstroke injuries when working in a hot and sunny environment during the summer that causes severe sunburns, heatstroke, and heat exhaustion that could eventually progress to skin cancer.
Governing Laws for Accidents at Work
Workplace injury lawsuits can be brought under a state or federal law. The most common federal actions are brought pursuant to the Federal Employers Liability Act, but state actions can come under any number of state statutes. The general premise of either is that the employer fostered a dangerous environment and that conduct or inaction led to a worker's injury.
However, prospective plaintiffs must be able to point to specific damages. They cannot bring a suit for a mere injury that did not translate into any economic or non-economic loss. Once they prove some damage, plaintiffs can recover for all losses associated with the accident.
Statistical Overview of Job-Related Accidents
Here are some relevant statistics to give you a sense of the importance of workplace injury litigation in Illinois:
- There are approximately 150,000,000 people in the American workforce.
- Every year, more than 4 million workers are injured on the job.
- Just in 2012, nearly 5,000 people died while working.
- Workplace injuries and deaths cost the American economy almost $200 billion per year.
- Injuries cost workers nearly $50,000 on average per incident.
What is my Case Worth?
Determining what your case is worth can be complicated due to the uniqueness of your circumstances and the severity of your injuries. However, an attorney working on your behalf will use a Worker's Compensation claim strategy to ensure you are adequately compensated for your damages. Additionally, your lawyer will review the evidence in your case to determine if there are third parties, other than your employer, that might also be responsible for your injuries. Your attorney will evaluate the worth of your claim by reviewing jury verdicts and negotiated settlements in cases just like yours. Some of these might include:
March 2013 – In Texas, a jury awarded a plaintiff nearly $200,000 after the employee slipped and fell in El Paso Walmart meat department. The victim suffered a sprained right ankle, a torn ligament, disc herniation and annular tear in their right knee.
February 2013 – A Louisiana jury awarded the 37-year-old plaintiff more than $130,000 after slipping and falling on a Lafayette Walmart wet floor. The victim sustained injuries to the shoulder, foot, and knee that required surgery.
December 2012 – A Texas jury awarded the 36-year-old plaintiff more than $250,000 after the worker was injured by a trash compactor. The victim suffered a partial tear to the right rotator cuff.
October 2011 – The plaintiff and defendants in the case negotiated a $22,500 settlement after the victim – a young boy – was injured when the handlebars from a newly bought bicycle became loose causing the plaintiff to collided with a bridge railing. Walmart was sued for negligence and settle the case out of court.
Hire an Attorney to Resolve Your Case
The workplace injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand that circumstances outside your control are responsible for your injuries occurring in the workplace. Our law firm will hold your employer and possibly others monetarily accountable cover your damages. We have successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too.
Our legal team encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and on the job injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.