What Walmart owes you if you’ve been injured on the job in one of their stores
Walmart is one of the biggest retail companies in the world, and it’s easy to see why—the company has over 4,740 stores in the United States alone. Walmart is also one of the biggest employers in North Carolina with more than 59,850 associates.
With almost 100,000 workers between the 2 Carolinas, it’s important to understand the company’s responsibility to protect its employees from injuries and the rights of injured workers.
In both North Carolina and South Carolina, Walmart is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. While this is an asset to any employee who gets injured, it’s important to understand that getting benefits doesn’t just happen automatically.
Instead, you’ll be required to follow a specific set of steps to begin the process of notifying Walmart of your injuries and filing your claim. Understanding how Walmart workers’ comp cases work helps you to protect yourself in the event of an injury.
What are the most common injuries among Walmart employees?
Work-related injuries can range from minor inconveniences that can include simple cuts and scrapes to major health problems that limit your ability to continue working either permanently or for a period of weeks to months.
Walmart reportedly offers special training to its associates to make sure they know how to do tasks safely such as lifting heavy boxes the correct way to avoid injury. Walmart associates are also called upon to follow the protocols for their role and to report unsafe work conditions they encounter during the course of completing their duties.
The majority of injuries that lead to a Walmart workers’ compensation settlement are linked to employees being on their feet for long periods of time while handling products. Whether you serve in a warehouse or retail center position, you’ll want to be alert for these common injuries:
- Back strains
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Knee pain
What rights do injured workers have?
Workers’ compensation covers most Walmart employees who get hurt at work in North or South Carolina. The primary guidelines for who has a right to file a claim is that you must be employed and sustain the injury in the course of performing your duties.
In addition to having the right to file a claim, you also have the right to appeal a claim that gets denied. Making sure that your rights are upheld can get complicated due to the nature of how Walmart handles workers’ comp claims and the tendency for the typical employee to make mistakes along the way.
What to do if you get hurt working at Walmart?
Time is of the essence when you get hurt working at Walmart. You are required to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, and you’ll want to document this by putting your notice in writing.
In North Carolina, you have 30 days to report your injury. However, reporting your injury as soon as you are able to do so means that you can start the process of processing your claim faster. In South Carolina, you have up to 90 days, but the sooner you report your injury to your employer the better.
In either state, you have 2 years to file your claim for workers’ compensation. However, the nature of your injuries could extend the timeline. Some injuries take time to fully develop. For instance, repetitive stress injuries could worsen over time.
You may still be able to file your claim if you discover the full extent of your injury beyond the 2-year mark. With this in mind, you’ll still want to remember that having a diagnosis for an occupational injury on a specific date could start the clock.
Once your claim is processed, you’ll typically be offered a settlement. The amount of money that you receive for your injuries depends upon the severity of your health condition, how much time you lost from work and whether or not you can expect a full recovery.
Some employees receive partial benefits that help to cover a portion of the financial damage that occurred after an injury. Others may receive ongoing benefits that cover long-term healthcare or coverage for catastrophic injuries.
What else should Walmart employees know about their rights?
Walmart is a massive company with seemingly endless resources to pour into fighting an injured worker’s claim, should they choose to. The company is well-equipped to defend itself against workers’ injury claims. In fact, Walmart uses a third-party administrator to handle these cases called Claims Management, Inc.
Although this is a separate company, Claims Management, Inc. serves as Walmart’s insurance adjuster, and they may do things such as request statements from you that could cause you to accidentally say something that makes the accident appear to be your fault. Your best bet for making sure that your case goes smoothly is to reach out to an experienced lawyer before you make any statements to anyone other than your medical doctor.
As a Walmart employee, you may enjoy perks such as having job security by working for a major company. But you should understand that your employer is financially motivated to protect itself in the event of an injury claim. Make sure that you have someone on your side as you begin the process of filing a claim. A competent lawyer knows how to help you hit each important deadline and provide documentation of your injuries and the truth behind how they occurred.