- July 3, 2023
- Sumwalt Anderson
- Workers’ Comp
You may have just been hurt on the job, and now you’re not sure what options are available to you for compensation. If you want to know what to do if you’re injured working at FedEx, here is a quick overview of the steps you should take:
- Report your injury to your supervisor at FedEx right away.
- Document all details about the accident that led to your injury.
- Seek medical attention promptly, reported to the medical provider that your injury occurred at work, and retain all medical documentation that may prove you were injured while working at FedEx.
- Save documentation of any lost wages or other economic losses linked to your injury at FedEx.
- File a workers’ compensation claim.
- Avoid speaking with insurance company representatives.
- Stay off social media so insurers and your employer won’t be able to use it against you.
- Seek help from an attorney to represent your interests and communicate for you.
Workers’ comp cases in North Carolina can be complex, including cases that involve large employers, like FedEx. To ensure you get the full benefits you have available, you need to carefully follow all the steps in the process of making a claim.
Does FedEx Have Workers’ Compensation?
The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) is the state agency that handles workers’ comp claims as governed by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act (Chapter 97 NC Gen. Stats.). State law requires businesses with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This means that FedEx has workers’ comp insurance, so if you’re hurt on the job while working for the company, you should take the necessary steps to file a claim.
Whether you work for FedEx Ground, Freight, or Logistics, you should be able to make a workers’ compensation claim for an injury that happens while you’re on the job. While employees holding some positions at FedEx may be more prone to injury, like drivers or warehouse workers, even those with office positions can file a claim if they are injured at work.
There are many ways in which a worker at FedEx could be injured on the job, and many injuries can lead to a workers’ comp claim:
- Boxes may be stacked so high or so precariously that they topple on workers.
- Forklifts may be used without appropriate care, putting FedEx workers who are near the forklifts in danger at a warehouse.
- Equipment like sorters or conveyer belts may pose a risk to FedEx workers because they could cause an injury if they malfunction.
- A worker’s clothes may become caught in a machine, or they may mishandle a box and fall into a machine.
- Lifting heavy boxes can lead to back injuries.
- A FedEx worker may suffer injury in a fall at any time, in any location, whether on the warehouse floor, in a restroom, or at the location of a delivery.
- FedEx delivery drivers are always at risk of having an accident when they are on the road.
Why Details Matter in a FedEx Work Injury Case
Many insurance companies, including the ones working for FedEx, try to limit the amount they pay on filed claims, so you will have to be mindful of their priorities. Insurance company representatives may question the information you provide about your injury. After you file a workers’ comp claim, don’t assume the insurance company will have only your health and financial needs as its concern. Its central concern is profit.
Insurance companies are concerned with their bottom line.
Unfortunately, you may be challenged by FedEx’s insurer when you make your workers’ comp claim. Some claims are denied outright. Others might result in lower benefits than you expect. If this happens to you, your case may be strengthened by the detailed information about your injury that you retain from the beginning. Our team has some tips for a successful workers’ comp claim that may be useful to you. A workers’ compensation attorney can ensure you gather all the correct information related to your injury and can guide you in the filing process. If you need to appeal a denial of your claim, it’s important that a skilled attorney represents you.
What to Do and What Not to Do for a FedEx Workers’ Comp Claim
The steps defined above are useful general guidelines. There are additional details that can be important to your FedEx workers’ comp claim. The list below provides you with highly important steps to take after your injury, and what actions to avoid.
- Report your injury to your FedEx supervisor as soon as possible, and memorialize that report in writing. Keep a copy of the incident report your file.
- If you are released to work with restrictions to prevent further injury and allow your injuries to heal, be sure to immediately relay that to your employer and go to work if they can accommodate your work restrictions. Failure to do so may harm your benefits.
- If the work you perform is difficult because of your injuries, notify your supervisor so you can be re-evaluated by a doctor. Your work restrictions may need to be modified.
- Follow your “doctor’s orders.” If you take on physical movement or strain that goes outside your doctor’s recommendations, you risk further injury and potential harm to your benefits. If your doctor says you should not lift over 20 pounds, don’t. If you should not be on your feet for more than 15 minutes at a time, don’t.
- It’s best to avoid using social media while you are receiving workers’ comp benefits. If you do make posts, be very careful. Any posts you make about what you do, your activity level or your physical condition could be misconstrued. FedEx and its insurer may use that information as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
What Benefits Can I Receive if I’m Injured While Working at FedEx?
We understand that your first concern after your work injury may be how this will affect you financially. Your medical costs will likely be covered, but you can also receive benefits for lost wages. Depending upon your situation, you may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits, and those benefits may be partial or total.
Whether you’re injured at FedEx or another company, benefits to which you may be entitled under workers’ comp in North Carolina are the same. Those benefits include:
- Payment of your medical bills related to your injury.
- Payment for a permanent injury.
- Reimbursement for mileage to and from doctors’ appointments that are over 20 miles roundtrip.
- Wage loss benefits that cover any periods of time that you do not work because your doctor takes you out of work, or any periods during which your work restrictions make it impossible to do your job. You must follow your doctor’s orders.
- Wage loss benefits the supplement decreased earnings if you go back to work earning less than what you earned before your injury.
- If you haven’t been able to return to work at 75% or more of your pre-injury wages, you can receive compensation to cover the costs of vocational rehabilitation.
- If a loved one dies from a work injury, the surviving spouse, children, or other dependents may receive death benefits and up to $10,000 for burial expenses.
Do You Have a Workers’ Comp Claim or a Personal Injury Case?
When you’re injured on the job at FedEx, your typical option to receive compensation for your injuries is to file a workers’ comp claim. Depending upon the circumstances of your injury, your work injury case may be highly complex. In some situations, an injured FedEx worker may have a personal injury case that is separate from a workers’ compensation claim. The best way to learn what legal options you have regarding filing under workers’ comp versus starting a personal injury lawsuit is to seek guidance from a workers’ compensation attorney who is well versed in North Carolina laws.
What or Who Caused Your Injuries?
The cause of your injuries may affect what type of claim you file related to your work injury. Typically, when a FedEx employee is injured at work, a workers’ compensation claim is the only available option. However, in some cases, a third party may be responsible when a worker is injured on the job.
In some cases, there may be a third party responsible who could be found liable for your injuries, in addition to FedEx.
A prime example would be a FedEx delivery driver who is injured in a vehicle accident caused by another driver. The FedEx employee may be able to bring a personal injury claim against that driver’s insurance. Or perhaps a FedEx driver is severely injured in a fall while making a delivery. If an owner failed to maintain their property and knowingly left hazardous conditions that could cause grave injury, without posting signs to warn of the dangers, there may be opportunity to make a premises liability claim against the owner’s insurance.
Equipment defects caused by a manufacturer are another way in which workers could bring a personal injury claim. Packages are moved in FedEx warehouses with parcel-handling systems and conveyors. Anytime a worker uses a machine at their job, there is risk of injury, but when those machines are defective, they can cause serious injuries to warehouse workers. Manufacturers can be held responsible for injuries in a product liability claim if our attorneys prove the company’s negligence caused them.
These claims would potentially be in addition to a workers’ compensation claim against FedEx since your injury happened on the job.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured as a FedEx Delivery Driver?
Any worker at FedEx who suffers an injury on the job has the same legal rights and can seek compensation through filing a workers’ comp claim. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may also have a personal injury legal claim. If you’re injured as a FedEx driver, you should take all the steps we outline above to ensure you will have a strong case if you have a legal claim.
While you may suffer a back, shoulder, leg or foot injury while lifting and moving boxes as you deliver them from your truck to customers, you may also suffer severe injuries while driving. FedEx drivers have all the same risks as any delivery driver on the road. If you have a motor vehicle accident while you’re on the job, you may suffer head injuries like a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal injuries that could lead to para- or quadriplegia, or perhaps you had fractures or damage to your internal organs. The more severe your injuries, the more expensive your medical care. When you suffer severe injuries from a crash while you’re a FedEx driver, you will lose income from all the days in which you cannot work.
Retain any information you have about safety checks of your FedEx truck and any maintenance records. If any safety or other federal regulations for commercial vehicles were violated, your documentation may help prove that.
Typically, injuries suffered by FedEx delivery drivers are covered by workers’ compensation, but in rare cases, there may also be a third party who is responsible. It is always best to gather as much information as possible about the circumstances leading to your injury and discuss those circumstances with a knowledgeable attorney who can advise you as to all causes of action you may have as a result of your injury. That information may strengthen your workers’ comp claim or your legal case.
Legal Options if You’re Injured While Working at FedEx
To understand fully what legal options you have if you are injured while working at FedEx, talk to our team at Sumwalt Anderson. We are experienced in both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, winning many victories for our clients. We’ve also taken some landmark cases to court which resulted in changes to North Carolina workers’ compensation laws.