Arm pain from restaurant work?

by Caroline
(Buffalo, NY)

I work in the dish washing room at a restaurant. One day I spent over ten minutes with a pan that took forever to scrub off. I remember feeling sharp and aching pain that day. I was in pain for a couple of days after that.

I was in a waitress position for about a month after that, and I noticed that each time I cleaned the table to scrub off the food, spilled drink, etc., my arm was still hurting.

It still hurts and I now use my other arm where it doesn't hurt at all. I think my arm muscle became overused or worn down. Maybe even something was torn. Would my employer be responsible for this? How can I get them to pay for me to go to a doctor to have my arm checked? Any info you can give would be appreciated.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Arm pain from restaurant work?":

Caroline (Buffalo, NY):

Your employer should have workers' compensation insurance. The good thing about workers comp is that you don’t have to prove negligence. In other words, you don't have to prove it’s your employer’s fault. The only requirement is that the injury happened while you were on the job.

Hopefully, at or about the time of your injury you informed your employer. If not, then as long as she doesn’t contest the fact your injury occurred at work, you shouldn’t have a problem getting your employer's insurance to pay for your doctor’s visits.

Simply tell your employer you were injured while working and ask to be referred to his insurance company. An insurance adjuster, or possibly your employer, will give you the name of a doctor who has been pre-approved by the workers' comp insurance company.

You shouldn't have to pay any deductible. In the unfortunate event your injuries are serious and require diagnostic tests, or even surgery, all those expenses will be covered.

Additionally, if you are unable to work during the time you are treating and recovering, you may be entitled to about two-thirds of your lost wages. Workers' compensation does not allow injured workers to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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