West Virginia Work Injury Attorney
Thousands of workers are injured each year in accidents that happen on the job. These injuries often require substantial medical treatment, cause permanent disability, and result in temporary or permanent loss of time from work. The economic and emotional impact of these injuries upon the injured workers and their loved ones can be devastating.
Workers in West Virginia have some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Coal mines, gas drilling sites, and construction sites can be dangerous or deadly places to work unless laws and safety rules are rigorously followed. Colombo Law has a history of fighting for the rights of workers and maximizing the recoveries for their injuries.
Most Common Workplace Injuries
- Overexertion – This includes injuries related to pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying, and throwing activities at work. Overexertion has consistently been a number one workplace injury among the surveys and statistics.
- Fall on Same Level Surfaces – This pertains to falls on wet and slippery office floors.
- Fall to Lower Level – This type of fall happens from an elevated area such as roofs, ladders, and stairways.
- Bodily Reaction – These are injuries caused by slipping and tripping without falling.
- Struck by Object – Objects that fall from shelves or dropped by another person. These can cause very serious injuries.
- Struck against an Object – This happens when a person accidentally runs into concrete objects such as walls, doors, cabinets, glass windows, table, chairs etc.
- Highway Incident – Transportation used for business purposes such as trucks and cars may be involved in an automobile accident just like any regular traveler.
- Caught In/ Compressed By – This type of injury usually occurs in a factory where large and dangerous machinery is used. Sometimes little or no precaution in its usage may endanger the safety of its operators. Exposure to extreme temperature is also an example of this workplace injury.
- Repetitive Motion – This type of workplace injury is one of those less obvious but definitely harmful ones in the long run. Repetitive motions such as typing and using the computer 24/7 can strain muscles and tendons causing back pain, vision problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Assaults and Violent Acts – Attacks caused by office politics and other arguments have led to serious physical injuries.
We Represent All Types of Work Related Injury Accidents in WV
People are injured in all types work related accidents every day. No matter what kind of injuries you have suffered, you owe it to yourself to seek the compensation you deserve. We help people who have been injured in a variety of work related accidents, including the following:
- Accidents such as cuts, sprains, strains, burns, and broken bones.
- Cumulative trauma including hearing loss, decreased breathing capacity, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Skin disorders or rashes caused by repeated exposure to chemicals, smoke, or other workplace products that may cause skin disorders.
- Accidents that occur as a result of defective, worn, or improperly used equipment and safety devices.
- Accidents that result in injuries to neck, back, and other body parts such as crushed limbs, amputations, or spinal injuries.
- Blunt force head trauma which may cause brain injuries.
- Chemical burns, respiratory complications and various forms of cancer caused by exposure to toxic vapor and chemicals.
- Natural Gas workers are exposed to a variety of work related hazards as well. Click here to view content related to Natural Gas Drilling injuries.
Keep in mind, this list is not complete. Any injury you suffer on the job because of your work could be covered, no matter how bizarre the injury or who was at fault. This is why it is important to contact a work injury attorney in order to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
West Virginia Work Injury Laws
Workers’ Compensation benefits are designed to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who are injured in work related accidents. However, these benefits are usually inadequate to support a family when the work injury is serious or involves a fatality.
Fortunately, West Virginia law provides workers and their families additional claims and compensation when they are injured at work under certain circumstances. Employees injured in West Virginia work related accidents may be able to recover money from their employers above and beyond workers’ compensation benefits if they can establish a deliberate intent claim or if their employer fails to maintain workers’ compensation insurance.
An injured worker can prove a deliberate intent claim in one of two ways: by showing his employer deliberately injured him or by proving five statutory elements:
- That a specific unsafe working condition existed in the workplace which presented a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury or death.
- That the employer, prior to the injury, had actual knowledge of the existence of the specific unsafe working condition and of the high degree of risk and the strong probability of serious injury or death presented by the specific unsafe working condition.
- That the specific unsafe working condition was a violation of a state or federal safety statute, rule or regulation, whether cited or not, or of a commonly accepted and well-known safety standard within the industry or business of the employer, as demonstrated by competent evidence of written standards or guidelines which reflect a consensus safety standard in the industry or business, which statute, rule, regulation or standard was specifically applicable to the particular work and working condition involved, as contrasted with a statute, rule, regulation or standard generally requiring safe workplaces, equipment or working conditions.
- That notwithstanding the existence of the facts set forth in subparagraphs (a) through (c), inclusive, of this paragraph, the employer nevertheless intentionally thereafter exposed an employee to the specific unsafe working condition.
- That the employee exposed suffered serious compensable injury or compensable death as defined in section one, article four, chapter twenty-three whether a claim for benefits under this chapter is filed or not as a direct and proximate result of the specific unsafe working condition.
What To Do If You Are Injured Working in West Virginia
If you are hurt on the job, whether it is due to an acute traumatic injury (like cutting yourself on a saw), cumulative-trauma injury (like carpal-tunnel syndrome) or some other job-related injury, there are several basic things you should do.
Although there may be rare exceptions to this list, following it will leave you reasonably secure that your rights are protected:
- Report the injury. This is one of the most important things you will need to do. If an accident is not reported, an employer can deny medical treatment and benefits for missed time from work. The term ‘injury’ includes almost any condition including but not limited to an acute traumatic injury, a cumulative-trauma injury, or a disease or a hearing loss.
- Make sure your Supervisor prepares a company accident report. If your supervisor does not or will not prepare a report you should write a letter stating the facts of your injury and give a copy of the letter to the Supervisor.
- Keep a personal copy of the accident report. Keep thorough documentation of all paperwork.
- Keep notes of all significant interactions you have with anyone (including but not limited to supervisors, insurance company representatives and doctors) concerning your work injury.
- Your company may provide a doctor. Tell the Company Doctor clearly and in great detail how your work caused your injury. If you do not think that the Company Doctor is caring for you properly or has not taken careful notes on how your work caused your injury, then give the doctor a written statement of how your work caused you injury and keep a copy of that statement.
- Follow all medical directions. If you don’t, your employer may argue that you chose not to get proper care and purposely stayed sick so you did not have to go back to work.
- If the doctor recommends you not do certain things at work, get the doctor to write that down and get at least 2 copies, one for the Supervisor and one for you to carry at work.
- Make sure that the doctor sends all bills to your employer for payment.
- If your employer and/or insurance company denies your medical care or the Company Doctor does not provide effective care, you have a right to seek effective medical care.
- If you are denied payment of money benefits for time missed from work because of a work injury you should consult a lawyer.
Contact our West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
While a claim adjuster may be a friendly person who appears to be interested in helping, this person’s real job is to keep costs to a minimum while adhering to the law. The claim adjuster is not likely to volunteer additional services. It is up to the injured party to contact the adjuster and make a clearly stated request for whatever he or she feels is needed for a fair execution of the claim.
This is why it is important to contact an experienced West Virginia work injury attorney. Our workers’ comp lawyers at Colombo Law are aggressive, responsible and caring. We put the client first in everything we do. If you or a family member has been injured at work, please contact our workers’ compensation lawyers for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys can be reached at 304-599-4229, or by e-mail.