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Arizona Workers' Compensation Blog

Firefighters risk their lives, cities deny their workers’ comp

When a building erupts into flame, Arizona’s firefighters race to the scene. It’s dangerous work. We all understand the dangers these firefighters face from the heat, smoke and burning frames, but burning buildings also come with other dangers. Burning chemicals can release carcinogenic gases that can lead to cancer.

In 2017, Arizona’s lawmakers passed HB2161 to protect firefighters from the financial burdens caused by the cancers they suffer due to workplace exposure. The law names several forms of cancer that firefighters can say are the result of their jobs. But Arizona Capitol Times reports that some of Arizona’s cities have denied the workers’ comp claims firefighters have made for these cancers.

Is this a tripping hazard?

As someone employed in Arizona, you likely don't think of everyday objects when you think "workplace incident". Most people envision freak occurrences involving heavy machinery, high voltages of electricity, fires, and so on. However, some of the most common hazards are things you likely deal with on the daily.

FindLaw specifically examines the hazards that contribute to slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents happen fairly frequently in most workplaces. While these aren't serious incidents in many cases, they have the potential for causing a lot of bodily harm, especially if you end up landing on a hard surface or falling from a height.

Proving that you were hurt on the job

It is a problem that some Arizona workers face while trying to secure compensation for a workplace injury. An employer asserts that the worker did not suffer the injury on the job, so the compensation claim is invalid. This is why when you get started with a workers’ compensation claim, you should do all you can to prove that you were hurt on the job so that your employer cannot credibly claim otherwise.

The process of filing the appropriate papers is one way to combat employer claims that you were not hurt while at work. When a worker sustains a workplace injury, it is incumbent on the worker to report the incident to the employer. This paperwork can establish the time and place of the injury. However, you may also want to gather some testimonies of fellow workers to reinforce your account of events so that an employer cannot say you were injured elsewhere. You can also include time sheets that verify that you were at work at the time of the injury.

Workers focus on Electrical Safety Month during May

Employees can be injured on the job no matter what they do for a living. Often, people consider common dangers like falling and work-related motor vehicle accidents when the topic of workers’ compensation comes up. Arizona residents should also realize that electrocution and electric shock are pervasive dangers at many workplaces.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International reported more than 20,000 fatal accidents related to electricity over a 10-year period. Electrical accidents can occur in any setting and are not only limited to those who work directly with electricity. For example, an office employee can suffer electric shock from a frayed wire while working at his or her desk. While not as common as falls and truck accidents, workplace electrical accidents are disproportionately deadly, the organization continues to point out. Additionally, many of these accidents can be prevented with the proper training, safety equipment and procedures.

Employee responsibilities after a job injury

If you or one of your family members in Arizona has been injured in a workplace accident or developed an injury or condition due to some conditions related to a job, it will be important for you to know how and when to seek assistance from workers' compensation. As explained by the Industrial Commission of Arizona, the state's workers' compensation program is deemed no-fault meaning that benefits may be received regardless of who is responsible for the injury so long as any injury was not deliberately self-inflicted.

Arizona puts a lot of onus on the injured worker when it comes to navigating workers' compensation filings. For starters, it is the responsibility of the person who is injured to report any incident to their employer, not the responsibility of the company or a manager. The injured worker is also responsible for filing all workers' compensation claim forms and managing the required dates to ensure all documentation is processed on time for both an initial claim and a protest of a denied claim.

Working after whiplash

Arizona workers may sometimes experience incidents on the job that lead to injury. Among the possible injuries one might suffer from is whiplash, caused by a rapid and harsh back-and-forward movement of the head and neck. Though typically attributed to rear-end car crashes, whiplash can be easier to get than one may think.

Rush.edu takes a look at whiplash facts that may not be commonly known. They start by stating that resting too much can actually worsen whiplash injuries. Not moving can make one's muscles begin to atrophy, which can drag out the pain. They also point out that it doesn't take much force to cause a whiplash injury. Despite it being associated with car crashes, anything that jars the neck and head suddenly may cause whiplash.

Can you sue your employer if you get injured on the job?

If you have been hurt while you were at work in Arizona, you may be facing a whirlwind of emotions as you work through recovery and the formalities of having been injured on the job. In situations where you and your employer disagree on what happened and whether or not you are eligible for compensation, you may find yourself bothered with their lack of sympathy. 

In response to the lack of support you have been shown, you may be wondering how likely it is that you can sue your employer for the compensation you feel you deserve. According to Integrity Insurance, if you are approved for workers' compensation benefits, you are no longer eligible to sue your employer. The reason being, the benefits you are being given will function as a trade-off between both parties that protects you from having to pay for your recovery alone, and protects your employer from facing excessive repercussions related to your injury. 

Have you hurt your back on the job?

Arizona workers like you may not know just how impactful a back injury can be until you have suffered from one. Matt Fendon Law Group is here to help as you go through the aftermath of the incident that has left you with back pain or damage that may be debilitating.

Your back is crucial to your movement, no matter what sort of work you do. Whether you lift heavy objects or sit and type for most of your shift, you rely on your back. This is part of what makes back injuries so harmful to workers. Even mild to moderate back injuries can make it so you can no longer do certain tasks you were capable of before, like lifting heavier weights or bending in specific ways.

Who may receive benefits after a loved one's workplace fatality?

Work-related fatalities occur far too often throughout Arizona. These accidents leave surviving relatives reeling from shock and grief. In many cases, the decedent's income was for covering household expenses. Surviving family members may quickly find the costs of medical care, funeral expenses and legal fees too much to bear.

The state does offer workers' compensation death benefits for surviving relatives. However, the state has strict conditions regarding who is entitled to receive a deceased person's benefits.

Understand the fine details of workers' compensation benefits

When you incur an injury in Arizona, you may decide to use your workers' compensation benefits to help you as you recover. If you have not needed these benefits before, you likely have many questions about the process. At the Matt Fendon Law Group, we are committed to helping you understand the fine details of workers' compensation and what you need to do to access these benefits. 

When you file a workers' compensation claim, you may think there is only one kind of claim. According to the Industrial Commission of Arizona, there are two kinds of claims you might file. You might file a time lost claim if your injury will keep you from working for at least a week. In this situation, your benefits might provide a portion of your monthly income so you can continue to pay your bills as you recover. If you file a medical only claim, then your benefits may cover the medical expenses you incurred while treating your injury.

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