Visitor Question

Contusion and Whiplash Injuries from Postal Service Moving Equipment…

Submitted By: Adrienne (Greensboro, NC US)

I was injured while working for the United States Postal Service. I was walking in a hallway area while a vehicle pulling 2 large metal containers filled with mail passed me on my left side. The latch on the last container broke & fell open. It struck my left shoulder which caused a contusion on my left shoulder and whiplash.

I’ve been out of work for 2 weeks. What type of compensation should I expect other than medical and 75% pay while out of work?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Adrienne,

Other than your medical bills being paid, and 75% of your income as well, there isn’t much else you should expect to receive in the form of compensation. Personal Injury cases can include compensation for medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and even pain and suffering. In some cases the total settlement or court ordered verdicts can be substantial.

Although these settlements may sometimes be substantial there is never any guarantee the injured party will recover any amount for his or her injuries. And even if there is recovery, it can sometimes take months or even years before an injured party sees any money.

There is a trade-off for Workmans Compensation cases. Although compensation for out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering are not recoverable in Workmans Compensation cases, at a minimum there is at least some guarantee of recovery. And the recovery in Workmans Comp cases can move along relatively quickly, especially with payments for lost wages.

Although the law prohibits you from going outside of the restrictions of Workers Comp for the recovery of compensation for your pain and suffering, there is another consideration…

If the latch on the container broke and there is evidence that the break was as a result not of just wear and tear, but because the latch was defective, you may have the beginning of a 3rd party claim against the manufacturer of the latch. 3rd party defective product cases occur all the time.

Do some research into the latch. See if the government has had previous problems with similar latches breaking at inappropriate times. If so you may want to consult with a Personal Injury Attorney. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation.

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

Best of luck,

Published: August 31, 2011

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