While retail work may not appear to pose as many injury risks as jobs in other industries, the reality is that retail workers encounter a wide range of workplace hazards every day. Retail workers can get struck by merchandise falling from a shelf, trip over an object in an aisle, or suffer injuries from lifting. Store workers routinely have to lift heavy boxes and objects, which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, including strains, sprains, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
In South Carolina, retail workers are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries and illnesses suffered while on the job. If you were injured while working in a retail position and you are having difficulty accessing benefits, the South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Joye Law Firm are ready to help.
We focus on helping injured retail workers in North Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Clinton, and the surrounding areas. Our highly skilled retail store workers’ compensation lawyers have helped many retail workers pursue the benefits they deserve after sustaining workplace injuries. As evidenced by our client testimonials, we care about every client who turns to us for assistance. Our attorneys and staff are committed to giving back to the communities we serve.
Call us today at (888) 324-3100 to schedule a free initial consultation, during which we can advise you on your best course of action.
Retail Employee Safety Hazards
There are many hazards in the retail industry that could cause retail workers in South Carolina to suffer a serious injury or even a fatal injury. Some of the most common hazards in retail stores include:
- Slippery or wet floors
- Falling merchandise from shelves
- Being struck by forklifts or other motorized equipment
- Cluttered aisles
- Improperly lifting or handling materials
- Fire hazards, such as exposed wires and improper chemical storage
- Poor lighting in parking lots or stairwells
- Repetitive movements
- Workplace violence
- Box cutters and other sharp objects
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Poor air quality
- Excessive noise generated by machinery and equipment
Joye Law Firm has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation cases involving hazards in retail stores. We can review your injury and the circumstances of your accident to help you determine if you may have a case.
Common Retail Injuries
- Overexertion Injuries. Too much physical stress on the body is a common cause of retail injuries. Injuries resulting from excessive physical effort is a major cause of inflammation in the joints and ligaments. The shoulders and back may be injured when a retail worker overexerts himself or herself. Lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying are all common causes of overexertion injuries, which can be debilitating depending on the severity.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls. Employees may be injured in slip-and-fall accidents. The severity of the injuries is usually based on the angle of impact, the hardness of the landing surface, and how far you fall. To maximize storage space, retail stores often stack merchandise so high that it requires ladders to remove the product from the shelves. Workers can fall from ladders while trying to reach a product. This can cause broken bones, sprains, and traumatic brain injuries, among other work-related fall injuries.
- Being Struck by or Against. Being struck by something such as merchandise falling off a shelf is a common retail injury. The severity is typically based on how hard you’re struck, the distance that the object falls, the characteristics of the object, and the body part impacted.
- Repetitive Stress. Repetitive stress injuries result from performing the same physical action repeatedly. A common cause of repetitive stress injury is working at a cash register. Moving your hand the same way for hours on end can cause unnatural strain. One of the most common repetitive stress injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the median nerve (runs from your forearm to the palm of your hand) becomes squeezed at the wrist.
- Lower Back Injuries. Lower back injuries commonly occur when retail workers are using improper lifting techniques or dealing with heavy objects. Lower back injuries usually result from recurring movements over an extended period of time rather than from one occasion.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries. If your retail position requires you to operate a motor vehicle such as a forklift and you get in an accident, you could sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even if you do not drive at work, you are at risk of suffering a TBI from objects falling on your head, or a fall accident.
- Machine-Related Injuries. Many retail jobs involve using large industrial machinery. These tools can cause severe injuries if not properly used or maintained. Malfunctioning equipment can also be very dangerous.
Retail Employee Fatalities and Severe Injuries
When a retail worker dies, their dependents may be entitled to receive a designated worker’s compensation death benefit, including payment of reasonable funeral and burial costs. Family members are typically not able to pursue a wrongful death action against their loved one’s employer because of the limitations with the South Carolina workers’ compensation system. However, in special circumstances, it may be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a third party that was responsible for a fatal workplace accident.
A third-party claim is a personal injury lawsuit against someone other than an employer who is liable for the serious workplace injury or fatality. Pursuing a third-party claim would allow the injured victim or the immediate survivors of a deceased worker to seek compensation not available under South Carolina workers’ compensation laws. The South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at Joye Law Firm will review your workplace accident and help you determine if a third-party claim is appropriate.
Reporting Your Workplace Injury to the Supervisor or Employer
Workers’ compensation claims are administered by your employer’s insurance provider. Most employers will have established rules for handling injury reports, so it’s important that you follow the instructions. You should report your on-the-job injury to your supervisor and follow up with written notification to your employer’s human resources office.
Under South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, you are required to report an accident and injury to the employer within 90 days of the date of the accident. It’s best to report the injury as soon as possible. Failure to give notice of an injury within 90 days may mean that you lose your right to workers’ comp benefits.
However, there are rare exceptions to the 90-day rule, such as:
- The employer was aware of the accident already.
- You were physically incapable of reporting your injuries.
Pursuing a Workers Compensation Claim
Assuming that you give notice within the 90-day period, you generally have two years to file your workers’ compensation claim. Because the South Carolina workers’ compensation system has strict notice requirements and filing deadlines, it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who understands the system and the deadlines for filing claims and appealing denied claims. The retail store employee injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm deal with the system every day. Even if you think you may have waited too long to file a claim, you should still talk to an attorney to clarify your options.
Hiring an experienced attorney to handle your workers’ compensation claim can significantly increase your chance of recovering benefits. Whether you are filing a claim, disputing the amount of benefits awarded, or appealing a denied claim, the attorneys at Joye Law Firm can assist you. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys will fight for you to receive the full benefits provided by law for your workplace injuries.
Joye Law Firm can provide the following services when pursuing a workers’ comp claim:
- Submit the required paperwork and documentation for your injury
- Inform you of all the benefits available
- Determine the value of your claim
- Calculate your amount of lost wages
- Help you select a doctor to provide a second opinion if your injuries require further evaluation
- File for temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Appeal a denied claim
- Determine whether you can file a lawsuit against a third party
Contact A Retail Store Workers’ Compensation & Injury Law Firm
If you have been injured in a retail job in South Carolina, it can be difficult to recover and get back to work. You and your family could struggle to make ends meet without the paychecks that your job provides. If you have been injured while at work and need help with your workers’ compensation claim, you need an experienced and compassionate lawyer from Joye Law Firm in your corner.
At Joye Law Firm, we understand that a retail store injury can cause much physical, emotional, and financial difficulty in your life. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to providing knowledgeable legal representation to retail store employees who have workers’ compensation disputes to resolve. We will do everything we can to see that you get you the benefits needed to recover from your injuries.
Our retail store workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive knowledge of South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. We will stand with you every step of the way. Call Joye Law Firm today at (888) 324-3100 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation evaluation of your claim.