As we all know, Amazon has become the biggest online retailer in the world. Each week they hire thousands of new employees. Sometimes drivers are hired directly by Amazon while other times they work for a sub-contractor like J & K Contracting or many others. Being a driver for Amazon can be very physically demanding and dangerous work. In Iowa, you have to deal with snow and ice while delivering packages to customer homes. Also, you are getting into and out of the vehicle dozens of times each day.
What kind of injuries do Amazon drivers sustain at work?
Injuries include broken bones, herniated discs, concussions, and other serious injuries caused by falls. Often these falls are caused by snow and ice, but sometimes people trip over boxes in the back of the van, landscaping at a customer’s home or business, etc.
These injuries happen immediately such as you are lifting a heavy box at or above your shoulder and something pops. This could be a torn rotator cuff, labrum, or other orthopedic injuries that may need surgical repair. Falls are also a type of traumatic injury. Other examples would be you are lifting a box off the ground and experience sudden lower back pain with pain going down one or both of your legs which is called sciatica. This can be a sign that you have sustained a herniated or bulging disc in your low back also known as your lumbar spine. These injuries can require pain management treatment such as ESI’s epidural steroid injections, etc. Also, sometimes herniated discs require surgery which can involve a laminectomy where pressure is relieved from the nerve root by removing all or a part of bone in your spine called the lamina. Other herniated disc injuries required what is called a lumbar fusion surgery which is a bigger surgery where hardware (rods and screws) are placed into the spine to stabilize the vertebrates and remove pressure from the nerve causing leg pain.
These injuries are also called overuse syndrome where an employee does the same thing sometimes hundreds of times each day which over time causes an injury. These can include neck and back injuries from bending over and lifting, knee injuries from repeatedly getting into and out of the delivery van, carpal tunnel from carrying multiple packages and boxes, and other work injuries that develop over time. Often employers and even company occupational health doctors will tell you that if there was no specific event that you cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits. This is simply not true as Iowa law recognized both traumatic and cumulative injuries. Keep in mind that the occupational health doctor may offer an opinion that your condition is not work-related due to a pre-existing condition or another reason. If this happens, then your employer whether it is Amazon or a subcontractor is likely to deny your claim. Just because your claim is denied, does not mean you are out of luck. At the very least, you should contact an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney to find out more about your rights and responsibilities in a work injury.
If your claim has been denied because of what the insurance company calls a pre-existing condition do not give up. Iowa law provides that you are to receive compensation if your work aggravated and/or accelerated your prior condition such that you are now having more or new problems that you did not have prior to the work injury. Yes, their doctor may say it is all caused by your age, degenerative disc disease, or another pre-existing condition, but this does not mean your claim is over. There are lots of doctors in Iowa and some will likely have a different opinion about your work injury problems.
Denials are common in the Iowa workers’ comp system because big businesses and insurance companies know that many of these people have legitimate cases, but that some of them will just give up and not pursue their case. Injured workers sometimes feel overwhelmed because they are in pain, need medical care, and now are faced with not having any income or a job. This can cause some people to decide that it is not worth it to fight against the employer whether it is Amazon or someone else. We are here to tell you not to give up. While it may seem dark now, we may be able to help you and when you call us we will listen to your story and give you our advice about your case. We may need to gather your medical records and investigate your claim more before we give you advice, but we do all of this at no cost or risk to you.
Many of the issues that injured workers face are not specific to Amazon or a subcontractor that they hire. We have pretty much seen it all over the years so if you or a loved one have been injured while working for Amazon or one of their contractors, we are here to help you. We will answer your questions and explain how the system works to you at no cost. Also, your information will remain confidential, and we will not contact your employer. Our Iowa Workers' Compensation Attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair practices primarily in workers’ compensation law and are dedicated to giving your case the personal attention that it needs. If you would like immediate assistance, just call us at 641-792-3595.
If you are not ready to speak with an attorney yet, then you should at least request a copy of our book about Iowa work injuries which is available to you at no cost, risk, or obligation. The book is called “Iowa Workers’ Compensation- An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” which includes 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work. To order your copy click here or by Call Now 1-800-707-2552 (ext. 711) (24 Hour Recorded Message). We offer our Iowa work comp. book at no cost because we have seen too many hard-working Iowans from Des Moines, Newton, Ankeny, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, Ft. Dodge, and throughout the state of Iowa hurt on the job make mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars. If you have been hurt at work, then you may be beginning to realize that the insurance company is not there for you and that you should protect yourself by at least learning about Iowa's workers' compensation laws. Finally, there is a book about Iowa workers' compensation that you can review in the comfort of your own home with no risk or pressure.