Fighting For The Rights Of Injured West Virginia Workers
All workers throughout our state and nation have the right to a reasonably safe workplace. However, not every workplace takes the steps necessary to protect employees. Even when they do take precautions, workplace injuries are still possible.
Workers who experience an injury at work have a right to support, including compensation for their medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. If you have been involved in a workplace injury, the experienced West Virginia workplace accident lawyers at can help you understand your rights.
What Injuries Might A Worker Experience?
All workplaces have the potential to be dangerous. Indeed, even an office worker without manual labor could slip and fall or develop a repetitive stress injury.
That being said, the risk of serious injury is much higher for those who work around heavy equipment or machinery, like those in the construction, natural gas industry workers, logging or coal mining industries. Workers in these industries may experience the following:
- Falls from heights – Working at a height is dangerous, and falls can do significant damage.
- Electrocution injuries – Electrocution injuries are one of the leading causes of construction worker death.
- Slips, trips, and falls – Wet or slippery surfaces, unstable walking areas, the lack of proper footwear, loose cords or wires, unsecured objects, and more all increase the risk of a slip, trip or fall.
- Caught in/between machinery accidents – Being caught in or in-between heavy machinery can lead to serious injuries like amputations or death.
- Falling objects – If objects overhead are not properly secured–such as metal rods being lifted by a crane–they can cause serious damage when they fall.
- Exposure to dangerous substances – The daily requirements of their job may expose workers to harmful chemicals and hazardous substances like asbestos, vinyl chloride, Tetryl, pesticides and coal dust.
- Explosion- or collapse-related injuries – In the mining or natural gas industry, explosions or collapses can lead to burns, crushing injuries and other serious harm.
- Catastrophic injuries – Life-changing injuries can be caused by equipment failure or lack of necessary safety equipment. These can include loss of limbs, head injuries, wrongful death, mesothelioma and other cancers, and occupational asthma/reactive airways disease.
At , we represent construction workers, coal miners, workers in the gas industry, and others in dangerous industries who have been injured at work. We can help you to bring forth a claim and understand your rights regardless of the industry in which you work or the type of accident in which you’ve been involved.
If I Get Injured At Work, Do I Get Paid?
When a workplace accident occurs, it’s important that the injured person recover compensation for their losses. If your injuries resulted from your work, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This type of insurance provides compensation for your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. However, many cases exist when an injured construction worker is not fully compensated by workers’ compensation alone.
Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, you generally cannot file a lawsuit against your employer. However, when the negligence of another party caused the accident, the worker may also be able to file a personal injury claim against that party. One example of this would be filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of defective construction equipment.
Can I Sue My Employer For Unsafe Working Conditions?
Suppose your employer violates known safe work standards or specific workplace safety laws. In that case, an employee may be able to file a civil suit in West Virginia in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Proving that your employer created a hazardous working environment can be complex, and these claims involve meeting additional requirements like obtaining certificates of merit from an expert. At , we also handle these complicated cases. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Steps To Take After A Workplace Injury
When a worker gets hurt on the job, there are several things they should do to protect their health and protect their right to be compensated:
- Get prompt medical attention – Getting prompt medical help can both help you heal and document your injuries and their cause.
- Report the injury – After getting hurt at work or after noticing the effects of a condition related to your daily work, you should report the injury to a manager or supervisor as soon as possible. Waiting to report your condition could complicate your claim.
- Gather information and keep records – Photographs, witness statements, medical records and other information could support your claim or a personal injury claim against another at-fault party.
- Talk to a job injury lawyer – The workers’ comp claims process can be complicated and confusing, and insurance companies sometimes wrongfully deny injured workers the benefits that they deserve. An experienced workplace accident attorney can help make the claims process smoother.
Your time limit to file a workers’ compensation injury claim in West Virginia is very short — six months from the date of the injury. Because of this deadline, workers may need to act quickly to explore their options and support their claims.
What Support Can Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Filing a claim under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance can yield compensation that you need to pay for some of your losses after being injured at work. Types of benefits provided by West Virginia workers’ compensation insurance include:
- Medical benefits – You may seek compensation for the full value of your necessary and reasonable medical expenses. There are no deductibles for treatment for your work injury.
- Temporary total disability benefits – If you cannot work as you recover from your injury, or if you cannot earn as much as you did before the injury, you may recover some wage replacement benefits.
- Permanent total disability benefits – If an injury causes you to be permanently impaired throughout your body and unable to work, you can be partially compensated for lost wages in the future.
- Permanent partial disability benefits – If your injury causes permanent impairment to a part of your body like your shoulder, you can be compensated for that partial or total loss of functioning of a body part.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits – If your injury permanently prevents you from returning to your old job, you can receive help in finding a different job or retraining for a new vocation. You can also receive partial wage replacement payment while you are looking for a new job or receiving retraining.
- Death benefits – If a workplace injury is fatal, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for death benefits.
Call Our West Virginia Workplace Injury Lawyers Today
Being injured at work can be scary, especially when it means a disability, high medical bills, and lost wages. For assistance in understanding your rights and recovering the settlement you deserve, call today at 304-342-3106, or send us a message using the online form on our website.