Workplace safety is a critical component for the success of both workers and organizations. For employees to derive joy and fulfillment from the work they do, they must feel reasonably certain that their employers are doing everything possible to keep them safe. And for organizations in Parkersburg and throughout West Virginia to prosper, they must have a healthy and happy workforce. Unfortunately, not all workplaces are as safe as they should be.
According to OSHA, more than 4500 workers are killed on the job each year, which equates to 12 workplace fatalities each day. And of those who survive workplace accidents, another 4.1 million workers suffer serious injuries or illnesses. In many of these cases, workplace injuries are the result of a failure to adhere to OSHA safety standards.
Many companies in the Parkersburg area take a shortsighted view when it comes to workplace safety. They cut corners to save a few dollars in the short term, while disregarding the long-term costs of their actions (or inactions). OSHA says that disabling injuries in the workplace cost our economy approximately $75 billion each year, and these are just the direct costs. They do not take into account the hidden or lesser-known ways that these injuries impact employees and their entire loved ones.
At The Masters Law Firm, we understand the major physical, emotional, and financial toll workplace injuries can have on victims and their families, and we work hard to help injured workers recover the compensation they deserve. Over the years, we have represented countless clients who have been injured in workplace accidents in Parkersburg, Charleston, and other West Virginia communities, and we have a proven track record of success with these types of cases.
We work closely with our clients, taking the time to thoroughly evaluate their case and explore every potential legal avenue toward securing compensation. When someone is injured in a workplace accident, the first place they would normally go to be reimbursed for their injuries is their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The workers’ comp claims process is far more complicated than it should be, however, and injured employees often have trouble obtaining the benefits that they are entitled to.
We have an in-depth understanding of how workers’ compensation claims work, and the common reasons why employers and their insurers might deny a legitimate claim or not pay the amount of benefits the employee deserves. Our legal team will help ensure a smooth claims process and a favorable result, and we will also look at other ways you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
Common Workplace Accidents in Parkersburg, WV
We represent clients who have suffered all types of workplace injuries, including but not limited to:
Slips, Trips and Falls: The most common type of workplace injury results from slipping and falling or falling from heights. This often happens on wet and slippery surfaces, or if there is a loose cord or debris or clutter that an employee trips over. In some industries where employees commonly work in higher elevations, a workplace accident can cause them to fall a great distance and suffer a severe injury.
Struck By/Struck Against Events: In many work environments, there are heavy objects over the heads of workers. There are also many workplaces where there is heavy equipment and machinery. When proper safety protocols are not followed, objects can fall and strike a worker, or they can get struck against a hard surface.
Electrical Injuries: In some workplaces, there is a lot of electrical wiring going on or there is a lot of electrical equipment being used. When something goes wrong with these materials, an employee can end up getting electrocuted.
Caught In Between/Crush Injuries: An employee could get tangled up with heavy machinery or equipment, which could cause them to get trapped in an enclosed area or get a body part stuck in the equipment. Injuries like these can be very serious, often resulting in amputations and in the worst cases, workplace fatalities.
Overexertion and Repetitive Stress Injuries: A lot of jobs in the Parkersburg area involve high levels of physical activity as well as repetitive tasks. Jobs like these may push workers to overexert themselves and/or place repetitive stress on various body parts.
Vehicle Accidents: Parkersburg workers who drive for a living or spend a significant number of working hours driving a company vehicle are at greater risk of an auto accident. As long as you are on the clock and completing work-related tasks when you are driving, this would count as a workplace accident.
Violent Acts: Sometimes, a workplace injury can result from a fight or an action by a coworker that is intended to cause harm.
Pursuing a Parkersburg, WV Workplace Accident Claim
As we talked about earlier, the first avenue to be considered when an employee suffers a workplace injury is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp provides benefits for necessary medical costs, a percentage of the employee’s lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, and compensation for temporary or permanent disabilities.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that an employee can receive benefits regardless of how the injury occurred (with a few exceptions). In exchange for no-fault coverage, employees are generally barred from filing a personal injury lawsuit directly against an employer that carries workers’ comp insurance – unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the injury occurred because of the employer’s deliberate intent to cause the employee harm.
Although you most likely will not be able to sue your employer directly, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against an outside party that may have been at fault for your workplace injury. If this is the case, you would be able to recover damages for noneconomic losses such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment.
Examples of third parties that could be held liable for a Parkersburg, WV workplace accident include:
A subcontractor that is working alongside an employee whose carelessness results in the accident.
The owner or lessor of an off-site property where an employee gets hurt because of a hazardous condition on the premises.
The driver of another vehicle that collides with the employee and causes injury.
The manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of a defective piece of equipment or machinery that malfunctions and causes a workplace accident.
Each case is different, and there are always unique factors that could have contributed to the workplace accident. This is why it is very important to work with attorneys who have extensive experience with these types of cases and the proven ability to recover maximum compensation on behalf of their clients.
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a workplace accident in West Virginia, The Masters Law Firm is ready to go to work for you. Call our office today at 304-342-3106 or toll free at 1-800-342-3106 or message us online to schedule a free consultation and case assessment.