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Archive for November, 2016

Common Injuries for Food Service Workers

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Food service workers are found in a wide variety of occupational settings, including restaurants and hotels, coffee shops and bars, hospitals, schools and other institutions where food is either prepared, sold, served or some combination of the three. The job titles can include waiters and waitresses, bus boys, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers and even hosts or hostesses. Each of these jobs has its own responsibilities and place in the food service system and each requires its own level of training and education, yet all are vulnerable to very similar risk for injury. The food service environment exposes its employees to wet floors, high heat, sharp objects and other dangers that they need to be vigilant about, and that their employers need to take action to protect them against. If you are a food service worker you should take the time to inform yourself about the most common injuries for food service workers, as well as the remedies that are available to you if you have been injured. The work injury attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Though the general public may think that food service is a relatively safe job, the truth is that one out of every twenty on-the-job injuries and illnesses take place in eating and drinking establishments.  To get an idea of the types of dangers that these environments present, here are the top four restaurant injuries according to a survey conducted by Cintas Corporation:

  • Burns – Restaurant operations require that high heat is used. From fryers and stove tops to the risk of having hot liquids spilled, the risk is high. No wonder that one third of all work-related burns take place in restaurants. Though minor burns can be treated on site and will heal quickly, more serious injuries can result in scarring for life and life-threatening injuries.
  • Lacerations and punctures – Employees need to take great care when handling broken dishes and glasses, knives and slicers and other sharp implements.
  • Eye injuries – Whether a food service employee is working with hot grease or with caustic cleaning chemicals, the risk of a splash or spatter injury impacting vision is high.
  • Sprains and strains – Food service workers lift heavy items and have to reach for items that are placed too high or in inconvenient locations. These injuries can be severe, and can lead to long-term damage to muscles and ligaments.

In addition to these injuries, food service workers are at risk for slip and fall accidents caused by wet floors or debris or food that is not quickly removed. They can fall from higher levels, down stairs, or have items that are stored on high fall on them and cause head injuries. Each of these risks is very real, and if they happen to you then you need to know your rights regarding workers’ compensation as well as filing personal injury lawsuits against responsible third parties. Contact Vanasse Law today to learn more about how we can help.

 

Why a Smaller Firm is the Better Option to Handle Your Workers’ Comp Claim

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If you are considering hiring a law firm to represent you in a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, there are a lot of different options that you need to consider. You want to start by looking for a firm that has a significant amount of experience in labor-oriented lawsuits, as well a record of success in winning the cases that they pursue. You want to find an attorney that you feel understands the damage that has been done to you and is sympathetic to your situation. You want a practice that is convenient for you to get to and that has a strong reputation within the community. When considering all of these aspects of different firms, you also need to decide whether you want to use one of the big law firms that has dozens of attorneys available to work on your case, or whether you’d prefer a smaller firm. At the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law, we believe that a smaller firm is the better option for handling your workers’ compensation case. We are happy to provide you with the reasons why.

There was once a time when a big law firm simply had better resources then small firms. They had enormous law libraries and could spend money on technology to help them work smarter and faster. But with the arrival of the internet and affordable technology, large and small law firms are on an even playing field in terms of resources. The content of the world’s most expansive law libraries are available through digital subscriptions, and legal software, computers, tablets, smart phones and other innovations are affordable for all. That means that rather than looking at what a big firm can buy, you need to look at the experience that each individual attorney has, as well as how they treat their clients.

When you work with a smaller law firm, there is a very good chance that you will be working directly with a senior attorney, and perhaps even a partner, who has tremendous experience and is able to offer it to you without the various levels of fees that you find in a larger firm.  Smaller fees by nature have smaller expenses – that means that when you consider a big firm and look at the fees that they are charging, they have built in the costs of office rent, staff, attorneys and other overhead costs that smaller firms do not incur.

Perhaps most importantly of all, when you work with a smaller law firm, you get the benefit of personal attention from the staff. Working with a large firm often means that even if you meet with a senior level attorney, there is a good chance that your case will be handed off to a lower level associate, whether you are aware of it or not. You are likely to be charged more for incidental extra fees, simply by virtue of the ‘big business’ nature of a larger firm.  At Vanasse Law, we take pride in our ability to provide you with high quality legal representation without the pressure that many larger law firms put on their attorneys to bump up billable hours. Our mission is to provide you with the legal counsel you need to win your workers’ compensation case. Call us today for more information.

Mistakes to Avoid After a Workplace Injury

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Most employees are covered by workers’ compensation, a no-fault insurance that provides benefits that cover medical expenses and lost wages in exchange for the injured worker not filing a lawsuit against their employer. Though this benefit was originally designed to make the process easier on both the worker and the employee, over the years it has become a situation that can be fraught with animosity as employers or their insurers deny coverage and argue against the extent of the damages that have been suffered. If you have been injured on the job and you are eligible for workers’ compensation, there are certain steps you need to follow, deadlines you need to meet, and mistakes you need to avoid to strengthen your chances of getting the benefits you deserve. The attorneys at the Lancaster law firm of Vanasse Law are dedicated legal advocates who are committed to making sure you get the benefits that you deserve. Contact us as soon as possible after a workplace injury takes place in order to preserve your rights.

There are a number of mistakes that can lead to an injured worker not getting the benefits that they deserve for their workplace injury. These include:

  • Not reporting their injury to their supervisor or workplace. Pennsylvania law requires that you notify your employer of your injury within 21 days after it occurs, or at the latest within 120 days.
  • Attempting to make your injuries worse then they actually are. There is no need to embellish your symptoms or damages, and doing so can jeopardize your case.
  • Not using the company’s doctor if the employer has created a list of at least six physicians and has provided you with written notification of that list, and you have acknowledged that you’ve received it.
  • Failing to obey the doctor’s orders, whether going back to work when they say that you are able to or working beyond what the restrictions that they impose.
  • Failing to report other income that you received while you are out of work. This can impact the benefits you receive.
  • Failing to respond to notifications that you receive from the Workers’ Compensation Board
  • Posting photos of yourself on social media, enjoying yourself or involved in strenuous activities. If you are claiming that your injury has had a negative impact on your life, you do not want to publicize anything that would contradict your testimony.
  • Signing any kind of release with your company or insurance company without consulting with an attorney.

Though there is no requirement that you use an attorney when you file a workers’ compensation claim, having a qualified and knowledgeable lawyer acting on your behalf is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you get the benefits that you deserve. A lawyer will make sure that you are in compliance with all of the workers’ compensation laws’ requirements, that all of your documents are in order, and that you avoid the mistakes that can jeopardize your ability to get your compensation. The lawyers at Vanasse Law are here and ready to help.