Costco is a major retailer, with 574 locations across the country, including 3 locations in Alabama—Hoover, Huntsville and Montgomery. There are approximately 192,000 Costco workers nationwide and a total of 288,000 around the world. Costco’s vast warehouses offer a wide variety of products for the home, often sold in bulk, and have attracted millions of members shopping at their warehouse chain.
Common workplace injuries experienced by Costco employees
Despite its popularity, Costco can be a dangerous place to work for many of its employees. Workers are often very busy on the job and must stand on their feet all day and deal with customer inquiries while actively stocking shelves or retrieving merchandise.
Because Costco employees perform a wide range of duties, their jobs can result in varying injuries. Some of the most common Costco workplace injuries include:
- Overexertion injuries like muscle strains and back injuries from heavy lifting
- Crush injuries and broken bones from forklifts and warehouse accidents
- Head and spinal cord injuries from slip-and-fall accidents or falls from ladders
- Brain injuries from items that fall from high shelves
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Lacerations and bruises
- Burn injuries
The kinds of injuries that are eligible for Costco workers’ compensation are those that “arise out of employment” and “in the course of employment.” This means that any injury that occurred at your job while you were performing your work duties will typically qualify for workers’ comp benefits in Alabama.
Your injury should be eligible for benefits regardless of if you suffered a 1-time injury (like a traumatic brain injury from a slip-and-fall accident) or an occupational injury (like carpal tunnel syndrome) that developed over a period of time on the job.
Workers in various roles can suffer from knee injuries. Explore further to discover your options and learn how to protect your rights.
What benefits are available to injured Costco workers in Alabama?
If you get hurt on the job at Costco, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including reimbursement for:
- Medical expenses such as medications, doctor visits, rehabilitation, surgeries, assistive devices (like crutches and wheelchairs) and artificial limbs.
- Lost wages while you recover from your injuries, which is generally two-thirds of your average weekly wage. The length of time you can receive wage replacement benefits depends on the severity of your injuries.
- Burial expenses of up to $6,500 paid to your dependents if you die from your injuries.
What to do if you get hurt at Costco
If you’re injured while working at Costco, take the following steps to ensure you remain eligible for compensation.
Seek medical care
The 1st thing to do if you’re injured on the job is call an ambulance or seek other relevant medical assistance as soon as possible. In most cases, medical treatment must be authorized in advance in order to be covered under workers’ compensation, but necessary emergency treatment is exempt from this rule.
Make sure to seek medical care even if you don’t immediately experience pain. Many injuries take days or weeks to surface after an accident, and it’s crucial that you get medical documentation linking your injury to your work accident if you want to recover compensation.
Additionally, it’s critical to follow your doctor’s instructions after being injured on the job at Costco. This means attending your medical appointment and following up with the recovery plan. Failure to follow your doctor’s orders after an on-the-job injury could prevent you from receiving workers’ comp benefits.
Notify your employer of your injury
The next step is to notify your employer. You must notify your employer within 5 days after your injury. Oral notice is often sufficient, but you should also supply written notice if possible.
If you’ve been severely injured and are unable to report your injury within the 5-day period, you may have up to 90 days in some cases. However, the 5-day rule governs most types of on-the-job injuries. In general, giving notice as soon as possible and providing a truthful account of the accident can help make your Costco workers’ compensation claim process smoother.
When you immediately notify your employer of your injury and request to see the workers’ compensation doctor, Costco is less likely to be able to claim your injury took place outside of work.
Contact a workers’ comp attorney
If your claim is denied and your Costco workers’ compensation benefits are not approved, an attorney can help you file a claim in court to seek the benefits you deserve.
When you’re injured working at Costco, you may face resistance to your workers’ compensation claim because employers and insurers attempt to keep their payouts down. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can negotiate with your employer and their insurance company to protect your rights.
When to contact an experienced Alabama workers’ comp attorney
Workers’ compensation cases can be complicated, especially if they involve a large corporation like Costco. Employers and their insurance companies will often try to pressure workers without representation into accepting less money than they deserve.
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can evaluate your case and consult medical experts to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured while working at Costco in Alabama, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Nomberg Law Firm. We’ve been helping injured workers fight for their rights against insurance companies and corporations in Alabama for more than 50 years. Contact us today so we can devise an individualized plan for you too.
About Nomberg Law Firm
Nomberg Law Firm has been helping people in Alabama recover fair compensation for their injuries since 1967. We know our clients are hard-working men and women who deserve the best representation possible. That’s why we’ve dedicated our entire practice to fighting for your rights after an injury.
The small size of our family-owned firm allows us to focus on our client’s needs and enables us to provide individualized assistance and personal attention that larger firms simply can’t match.