How to receive compensation if you were hurt during your shift
Indiana Walmart employees often face a difficult uphill battle if they suffer a workplace injury.
Walmart is accustomed to fighting workers’ compensation claims. The company employs over 1 million people across the U.S. This number includes 127 stores and over 44,000 associates in Indiana alone. In fact, the company deals with so many injury claims that they have even created their own private subsidiary called Claims Management Inc. (CMI) to handle all claims against Walmart.
The bottom line is that Walmart has created an extensive internal infrastructure to minimize claims against the company and protect their bottom line. Any employee who files a workers’ compensation claim against Walmart is going up against an experienced opponent determined to reduce or deny any payout.
Common work-related injuries suffered by Walmart employees
Walmart employs people in hundreds of different positions in their U.S. stores. These job titles include:
- Sales floor associate
- Cart attendant
- Inventory receiver
Since most positions at the company require employees to both spend considerable time on their feet and handle various products, workplace injuries are common. They include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Joint injuries
- Back and neck injuries
Walmart workers often perform tasks outside their job description during a typical day. They spend long hours standing on hard surfaces, lifting heavy objects and performing many repetitive motions. All of these actions are hard on the body and can lead to work-related injuries.
When to seek medical help after a work injury
Even if the injury doesn’t immediately cause pain or disability, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many serious injuries—such as internal bleeding—may not be apparent right away. To both establish a record of the incident and to minimize the impact of the injury, make sure to consult with a medical professional after a workplace accident.
Inform your doctor about all of your injuries and their impact on your daily activities and work capabilities. Don’t be shy or embarrassed about addressing all of your injuries. Failure to report can create discrepancies in your claim that Walmart can exploit in later legal action, and can result in failing to get full compensation for your injuries.
Report injuries to Walmart immediately
If you suffer an injury on the job, report the incident immediately. Indiana requires employees to report injuries to their employer no later than 30 days. Any unnecessary delay can cause you to miss the window of time allowed to make a claim.
Making a verbal and written report to your immediate supervisor followed by a written report to the company is the best course of action.
You should also keep an independent record of the date, time and cause of your injury. List any witnesses and the name and job title of the person to whom you reported the incident.
However, don’t make any statement about the injury before retaining a lawyer. CMI may attempt to rush you into making a report to the company before contacting legal counsel. They will then look for discrepancies between this early statement and later filings about the incident to discredit your claims.
The best way to avoid this trap is to hire an attorney before making any statements to Walmart.
Walmart’s reporting obligations under Indiana law
Walmart is required to have workers’ compensation insurance under Indiana law. The company must also notify the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana within 7 days of any injury that causes an employee to miss 1 day of work or causes a worker’s death.
What to know about your employer-appointed doctor
Indiana workers’ compensation law requires your employer to furnish medical providers to treat your injuries. Indiana courts have interpreted these statutes to mean that Walmart gets to select your medical providers if you are injured on the job. You don’t get to choose your own doctor.
Walmart may attempt to “physician shop” due to this rule. If your original medical provider recommends an expensive therapy or makes a diagnosis of significant disability, Walmart could insist on sending you to another doctor in the hopes of getting a more favorable (less expensive) treatment recommendation. If this happens to you, make sure to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to combat this tactic.
Seek help from an experienced Indiana workers’ compensation lawyer
These are only a few of the tactical legal issues that can occur after workplace injuries at Walmart. Filing a claim against the largest retail employer in the U.S. is going to be a challenge. You’re taking on a company that has built an entire department set on minimizing your claim.
Indiana workers’ compensation lawyer Roger Finderson has over 21 years of experience handling workplace injuries. If you have been hurt due to your job at Walmart, his extensive track record can help you decide the best course of action to pursue your claim.