For workers in the food service industry, on-the-job hazards abound. Restaurant employees spend a lot of time on their feet in close proximity to heat and dangerous appliances, making them at risk of serious injury. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 55,000 non-fatal injuries were sustained by workers in restaurants, bars, or cafeterias in 2017 – leading to countless medical bills, hours of lost wages, and immeasurable pain and suffering.
If you’re an employee who’s been hurt at a restaurant, you may be eligible for compensation to cover necessary medical treatment and recovery time. Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies try to deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims. To ensure you receive the maximum benefits to which you’re entitled, it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines – and get an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side as soon as possible.
COMMON RESTAURANT ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
Whether you’re a chef in the kitchen or a server on the main dining floor, working at a restaurant can be risky business. Some of the most common restaurant injuries include:
- Lacerations from knives or other sharp equipment
- Burns from hot griddles or boiling liquids
- Sprains and muscle strains from heavy lifting
- Bruises or fractures from slipping and falling injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as cleaning fluids or exhaust fumes
- Repetitive stress injuries from handling utensils
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE A RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE INJURED AT WORK
Even if your injury seems minor, it may carry unforeseen repercussions down the line. That’s why it’s always best to follow a few simple steps whenever you’re involved in a workplace accident:
- REPORT THE INCIDENT
Most companies will require you to fill out an incident report to create a written record of what happened. Do this as soon as possible, and ensure you speak with your direct manager as well as a representative from Human Resources.
- GATHER EVIDENCE
If possible, collect written statements from witnesses, such as fellow employees or restaurant patrons. Take photos of the scene, in addition to any injuries you may have sustained.
- SEEK MEDICAL CARE
Your employer may provide you with a preferred caregiver to evaluate your injury and offer medical treatment, but you can always get a second opinion. And if you’re in a life-or-death emergency, it’s important to seek treatment at the hospital.
- SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY
Workers’ compensation claims are notoriously complicated, and the benefits to which you are entitled aren’t always clear. A skilled attorney with experience handling workplace injuries can determine the best course of action so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
HOW A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU
An experienced attorney will fight for your rights as you navigate the workers’ compensation system, guiding you through all aspects of the process, such as:
- Developing a legal plan of action
- Gathering evidence of the accident and medical records related to the injury
- Appealing denials
- Resolving disputes related to coverage
- Determining third-party responsibility, and filing any applicable lawsuits
- Answering any questions you may have and easing your concerns
- Handling legal minutiae so you can focus on your recovery
INJURED WORKING IN A RESTAURANT? CALL US TODAY
Being hurt and out of work is stressful, but there’s no need to go through it alone. The highly skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew Russell understand your pain and will fight by your side to ensure you receive maximum benefits and superior medical care.
With over 45 years of collective experience representing injured workers, we have extensive knowledge of workers’ compensation laws and a deep understanding of employees’ rights. We’ll explain every step and answer every question throughout the entire process – and we won’t charge you an up-front fee.
Are you living in San Diego County? To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys, call us at (619) 544-1506
Learn more about workers’ compensation specifically for service and hospitality injuries here.