Our Utica readers who’ve been following our blog over the past few weeks are likely beginning to understand some of the hazards faced by restaurant workers, especially those in the fast food industry. We’ll continue our discussion on this subject, but wanted to pause for a moment to encourage injured employees to understand their legal rights — and exercise them if necessary.
Let’s take burns as an example. Burns in a food preparation setting don’t necessarily happen because someone was acting negligently. Granted, there are some steps that employers and employees can all take to minimize the risk of workplace injuries, but sometimes an oil or grease flare-up isn’t anyone’s fault. However — and this is important — that doesn’t mean that burned victims aren’t entitled to compensation.
Workers’ compensation is specifically designed to address this type of scenario. When you’re injured at work, you don’t sue your employer, your coworkers or even a restaurant patron who spills hot coffee or soup on your arm. Instead, you file a claim for workers’ compensation.
You’ll need to be able to prove, as a part of your claim, that the injury arose through your work. This is unfortunately where injured workers may encounter resistance. Maybe a doctor downplays the extent of an injury or pain — a burn, for example, may not require surgery but may well be painful enough to prevent you from going back to work until it begins to heal. Or maybe an employer tries to argue that you were doing something outside of your work responsibilities when the injury occurred.
A Utica workers’ compensation attorney can help protect your rights in this type of situation. We encourage our readers to review our website at the link above for more general information on this subject.