Unfortunately, many companies put profits over people. In their zeal to save a few dollars and enhance their bottom line, they often fail to invest in the health and well-being of the individuals who work for them. This motivates managers and supervisors to cut corners and fail to make employee safety a priority. The result is countless workplace accidents with severe and catastrophic injuries, far too many of which were totally preventable.
The Impact of Workplace Accidents
In some cases, the negligence of employers is demonstrated by their lack of safety training procedures for employees, especially those in labor intensive jobs. In other cases, the employers’ workers’ compensation claim processes are designed to limit claims and insurance payouts for injured workers.
Putting a company’s bottom line ahead of your personal safety and health is plain wrong. If you have suffered a personal injury because of a workplace accident, make sure to take a stand. At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we can take that stand with you and provide the experienced and skilled advocacy you need on the legal front to ultimately get results and recover the compensation you deserve.
Common Workplace Accidents in West Virginia
We assist workers with claims for all types of workplace accidents, including but not limited to:
- Construction Accidents
- Ladder and Scaffolding Accidents
- Coal Mining Accidents
- Oil and Gas Rig Accidents
- Logging and Timber Accidents
- Industrial Accidents
- Manufacturing Accidents
- Equipment Accidents
- Excavation Accidents
- Ironworker Accidents
- Accidents caused by Defective Products
- Trucking Accidents
Workplace accidents can result in serious and catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Slips, Trips and Falls
- Muscle Strains
- Fires and Explosions
- Crashes and Collisions
- Being Struck by Objects
- Cuts and Bruises
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
- Walking into Objects
- Exposure to Toxic Fumes
- Occupational Diseases
- Wrongful Death
West Virginia Workplace Accident Injury Claims
Accidents that occur at work can be highly stressful for victims and their families. It is often difficult to determine what is the best course of action to obtain recovery for medical bills, time missed from work, and other losses. Employers are not always very helpful in this area. In fact, there are many times when they put up unnecessary barriers designed to frustrate employees and cause them to give up.
Another factor that complicates things for workplace injury victims is knowing which type of claim to file. In such cases, there are several possibilities, and the right option depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
Some possible legal avenues include:
- Workers’ Compensation Claim: If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, the first step is to file a claim. Workers’ comp is a system that provides benefits to employees regardless of who is at fault for the accident (with a few exceptions). Generally, workers can be reimbursed for 2/3 of gross weekly wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and compensation for temporary or permanent disabilities. If your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance, you may be able to bring a direct lawsuit against them for damages sustained.
- Deliberate Intent Claim: Under West Virginia law, if the actions of the employer that caused the accident were meant to do deliberate harm, there may be grounds for a deliberate intent claim. This is a personal injury action against your employer that would make available damages above and beyond what you may have already received through workers’ compensation. Deliberate intent cases are very complicated and there is a high burden of proof on the plaintiff. If you are considering this route, be sure to work with an attorney who understands the complexities of these types of cases and has a successful track record with other clients who have been in your shoes.
- Third-Party Personal Injury Claim: In many workplace environments, employees routinely work side-by-side with subcontractors who are hired to perform various tasks. This is especially common with industries such as construction, oil and gas, and trucking. If your workplace accident happened because of the negligent or reckless actions of a third-party subcontractor, you may be able to bring a private lawsuit directly against the party that was responsible for your injury.
- Product Liability Claim: Many workplace accidents happen because of faulty machinery, defective parts, or other defective or dangerous products. In such cases, the responsible party could be the product manufacturer, distributor or salesperson.
- Social Security Disability Claim: Many accidents on the job result in a disability. In addition to workers’ comp and/or other types of claims, you may also be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits if your accident caused you to become disabled.
Fighting Back Against Safety Issues In West Virginia’s Most Dangerous Jobs
It is true that every workplace, including those that involve sedentary jobs, can have work-related injuries and illnesses. Still, the most hazardous situations typically happen in labor-intensive jobs, where employees use heavy equipment or work with hazardous materials on a regular basis.
The surge of energy development in West Virginia, as in the Marcellus Shale, has led to an increase in gas explosion injuries. Some of these oil and gas rig injuries can even result in fatalities — something that no amount of money can repair.
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we are determined to help injury victims recover, but we also strive to encourage safe habits in the workplace. Prevention is the best way to avoid the cost of an injury, which is why we are active in the legal community, taking on speaking engagements and informing the community about the convergence of the law and workplace injuries. With more than 40 years of experience in a breadth of injury cases, we can help you. We have handled everything from logging and timbering accidents to accidents from traffic management in road construction.
We work on a contingency basis. We don’t get paid unless you do.
Contact an Effective Workplace Accident Attorney
We have offices conveniently located in Logan, Summersville, and Charleston, West Virginia, and our attorneys represent clients throughout the state. Do not hesitate to contact our firm to know more about our services or to simply get more information about what your case could involve. We look forward to serving you!