Amazon is one of the largest employers in our region. According to reporting from the Seattle Times, the company employs more than 40,000 people in the Seattle metropolitan area alone. Beyond the corporate campus in South Lake Union, Amazon operates several warehouses and fulfillment centers throughout Washington.
If you or your loved one was injured while working at Amazon, it is crucial that you have access to the resources you need to get medical care and financial support. Whether an accident occurred at the company’s corporate headquarters or in a warehouse, injured workers are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. If your claim was denied or you need help with your case, you should contact an experienced Seattle work injury lawyer immediately.
Amazon Warehouse Injuries
One of the primary reasons why Amazon has become the world’s largest retailer is that it can ship out products quickly, efficiently, and at competitive prices. To do this, the company relies on a large team of workers at warehouses and fulfillment centers all around the country. Notably, the company operates four large warehouses in Washington state (in DuPont, Kent, Sumner, and Bellevue); and a fifth warehouse in Spokane is scheduled to open in late 2019. Workers at these warehouses are generally required to move quickly and to stick to strict performance requirements. Unfortunately, in some cases, the fast-paced nature of working in an Amazon warehouse can put employees at risk.
Amazon warehouse accidents and injuries can come in a wide range of different forms. Some common examples include:
- Forklift accidents;
- Truck accidents;
- Slip and falls;
- Machinery malfunctions;
- Workers being hit by falling objects;
- Fall accidents;
- Overexertion injuries; and
- Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs).
Sadly, the company has had some serious safety issues at warehouses before: According to Business Insider, seven workers have been killed in accidents at Amazon warehouses/fulfillment centers since 2013. Many other warehouse workers have suffered severe injuries. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has previously issued financial penalties against Amazon warehouses for workplace safety violations.
Injuries at Amazon Headquarters or Amazon Offices
Of course, Amazon also employs many workers who never step foot inside a warehouse or inside a fulfillment center. This is especially true in Seattle, where the company is headquartered. Some notable examples of other positions in our region include software developers, information technology professionals, engineers, researchers, account managers, business managers, customer service representatives, technical support, and many other office workers.
The types of injuries that occur in an office setting are often different than those that occur in a warehouse or on a construction site. Though, that is certainly not to say that office workers do not face risks while on the job. Quite the contrary, workers may suffer injuries or develop occupational diseases in a number of different ways, including by performing repetitive tasks or by being exposed to poor air quality.
What to Do to Protect Your Rights
If you were injured while working at Amazon, you need to be ready to take action to protect your health, your safety, and your legal rights. Medical services and financial compensation may be available through Washington’s no fault workers’ compensation insurance program. Following a workplace accident, injured Amazon workers should be sure to:
- Report the Accident: In Washington, injured workers have an obligation to report any accident to their supervisor as soon as possible. Following an accident, it is crucial that you report your injuries immediately.
- Seek Medical Attention: Injured Amazon workers deserve top medical care. To bring a successful case, you must see a doctor and you must attend your follow-up appointments. Be sure to let your medical provider know that you were injured on the job. They can help you obtain the proper forms to submit a claim.
- File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim: You generally have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you developed an occupational disease, the deadline for filing a claim is typically two years to submit your claim. Missing a deadline could result in your claim being dismissed.
- Get Help From a Lawyer: Injured Amazon workers should always be ready to seek professional legal guidance. If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, or if you have any questions or concerns about your case, you should consult with a work injury lawyer.
Get Help From a Seattle Workers’ Compensation Attorney
At The Walthew Law Firm, our Seattle workers’ compensation lawyers have the skills and experience needed to represent employees of Amazon. If you were hurt while working at any Amazon facility in Washington, we can help. Contact our law office today for a free, no obligation case evaluation.