Workplace and Construction Injury
In most instances, when you are injured at work, you will be required by law to file a workers compensation claim. This claim is handled by the worker’s compensation insurance that your employer has. Currently, in West Virginia, workers compensation insurance is handled by a private company from either in state or out of state.
Job Site Negligent Injury
There are a few circumstances under which you may file a claim outside of worker’s compensation. Depending on your industry, workplace injuries can be caused by a number of factors. Most employers work hard to prevent you from being injured; however there are some circumstances, where the employer is negligent. In order to file a claim outside the workers compensation system, the employer must have known of the danger and the necessity to correct it. If the employer then neglects to take corrective action and you as an employee are harmed, then you could possibly have a claim in addition to workers compensation. Under these circumstances, it is imperative that you speak with a personal injury attorney or workplace accident attorney to ensure that your case is reviewed.
Example: The owner of a company was notified of potential brake issues on a company vehicle that was driven by an employee. The employer chose to ignore the warning and did not take corrective action on the vehicle, but advised the employee that the corrective action was taken. The vehicle was then driven by the employee who subsequently was in an accident directly caused by the failure of the brakes. The employer may be held responsible for any injury the employee sustained outside of workers compensation.
Manufacturing Workplace Injury Claim
If you were injured not because of employer negligence, but due to a defective product that you utilize during your work, you may also have a claim outside of the workers compensation system. Under these circumstances, the employer has no negligence; however the company that manufactured and distributed the product may have liability. These claims are also very difficult to pursue and you should consult an attorney or a product liability attorney for a case review.
Example: An employee is operating a large punch press, which produces plastic products. His job is to open the press and remove the product from the equipment while controlling the press with a foot pedal. Upon retrieving a piece of product from the press, the foot pedal sticks and allows the press to release and crush his hand, breaking all five fingers. The employee has a worker’s compensation case, but the equipment should also be reviewed for a potential product liability claim.
Construction Injury Accident Assistance
Construction accidents are another possible claim outside of worker’s compensation. With the construction field, the workplace is one of the most dangerous, and accidents occur all the time. However, on construction sites, you have a combination of dangers, including negligent contractors, sub-contractors, vendors and their employees. Again, under most circumstances, worker’s compensation insurance of your employer will cover the accident; however, if the accident was caused by the negligence of another contractor or sub-contractor, you may have an additional claim to assist you in a full recovery. These cases are very rare as well, and you will need an experienced injury attorney to assist you in reviewing your claim.
Example: A plumber was assigned to a new home construction site. Unbeknownst to the plumber, another subcontractor temporarily put a set of stairs in place and was in the process of removing them for relocation. As the plumber climbed the stairs, the stairs broke and fell, severely injuring the plumber. As the subcontractor who put the stairs in place failed to put warning tape up, failed to mention to the plumber or the general contractor that they were moving them that day, they became liable for their negligence.
At The Miley Legal Group, we understand the severity and complexity of a workplace injury case. In most instances, if you are injured at work, you will only be able to collect through the worker’s compensation insurance system, however, if you have one of these rare circumstances where someone else maybe negligent, feel free to contact our office and let us review your case with you.