Not every workplace accident that ends with an individual receiving workers’ compensation benefits requires injuries so severe that the employee is permanently disabled or requires months of intensive medical care. It is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover lost wages, even if those lost wages are for only a few days of work.
While this warehouse accident did not happen in Colorado, it is not at all impossible to imagine the same thing happening in Arapaho, Douglas or Colorado Springs. In fact, any town with a warehouse could have a fire and anyone inside the building could be the victim of smoke inhalation.
Two employees were inside a warehouse when it apparently caught on fire. It is still uncertain what caused the fire, but the fire was found in a room in which mattresses and household appliances were being stored. One of the employees tried to stop the fire by using a fire extinguisher, but he quickly became incapacitated by the smoke. It is unknown if the employee who originally found the fire was injured.
Although smoke inhalation need not be an extremely dangerous condition, the employee was hospitalized for his safety. While he is unable to work, however, he should be able to receive workers’ compensation for his lost wages, yet navigating the system without the help of an attorney could be difficult. Workers’ compensation can be incredibly complex and may be inaccessible to most injured employees. Consulting a workers’ compensation attorney, however, could be an important way to ensure an application is filed correctly.
Source: RTV6 ABC, “Worker injured in overnight fire at north side Indianapolis hh Gregg (HGG) warehouse,” March 10, 2013
You can find out more about our work and lost wages by visiting our workers’ compensation website.