Sixteen or seventeen-year-old teens are encouraged to get a part-time or summer job, so they can get some work experience and to learn the value of money. This way teen workers are starting their financial independence.
However, every job, even the one that seems like the least dangerous one, brings a certain risk of injuries. If a teenage employee gets injured on the job, they may qualify for worker’s compensation benefits. Age is not a factor for filing and getting a workers’ compensation claim. So, if you’re about to get your first job (no matter what it is), you should be well-informed about your rights. Be sure to seek safer jobs, and ask about workers’ compensation benefits.
Since these are underage people, it is best for them and their parents to seek legal help from an Atlanta worker’s compensation attorney.
Here is what you should know about workers’ compensation benefits if you’re a teenage employee.
Work-Related Injuries Are Common Among Teenagers
Teenagers have fast-paced jobs that are physically demanding, so it’s not uncommon for them to get seriously injured. You may work in a fast-food restaurant where you can easily get burned, slip and fall on the floor, or end up in an accident if you’re delivering that food.
Even though child labor laws forbid teens from working the most dangerous jobs, there are many ways teens can get injured during their summer or part-time jobs.
Here are the most common ways they can injure at work:
- Back injuries while lifting heavy things including children (babysitting jobs)
- Slip and fall injuries due to wet/greasy floors.
- Burn injuries because of poor handling of hot cooking oil.
- Bruises, cuts, fractures (caused by landscaping equipment)
- Vehicle accidents while working as delivery drivers.
Even if the teen was responsible for their injury, they are still eligible to get the compensation claim. The only exceptions to the no-fault rule for workers’ compensation are accidents that happen as a result of alcohol or drug use, as well as horseplay.
The Most Dangerous Jobs for Teen Workers
Although you can get injured at any job, not every job brings the same risk of injury. There are certain jobs you can avoid if you want to stay safe from injuries. The most dangerous jobs for teen workers are landscaping, sales that require travel, agriculture, and construction. The safest jobs are the ones with retail or food service. If you get hired on a farm or to help maintain a garden or yard, you should be aware that you’ll be exposed to numerous unsafe conditions such as potentially faulty machinery, challenging weather that increases the chances of accidents, heavy equipment, and so on.
Are Teen Workers At Risk?
Employers who hire teen workers should keep in mind that these are young people who don’t have experience and even if the job is generally safe, they can expect anything. Jobs that include heavy machinery, falls, exposure to harmful chemicals are dangerous for everyone. When a teen is trusted with such work, things may get even more complex. The teen workers have no experience with such a job, nor the knowledge to deal with the task. Also, teenagers might not be aware of their rights. These are young people who may not know anything about workers’ compensation benefits, how high medical bills can get, or how the injury could change their life forever.
The teen workers and their parents should seek legal advice from a workers’ compensation attorney to identify job risks and how they can avoid them. Even though it’s the employer’s job to offer a safe environment and workers’ compensation coverage, they should also be aware of the age of the teenager. When they hire minors, the employers should get legal documentation of their age (drivers’ license or birth certificate).
You Need an Attorney
Injured teens can face a problem when they decide to seek their workers’ compensation claim. This, of course, should not be a problem, since no matter the age, the employee has the right to these benefits. You probably don’t have your own health insurance and your parents might not be able to cover your medical bills. If this happens to you, make sure that you and your parents seek legal help from a skilled and experienced lawyer who has worked on similar cases.
Our team at Workers’ Compensation Lawyers is offering you a free case review and guidance in the further process. We’ll gladly stand by your side and help you collect your benefits. Contact our office and schedule your consultation.