Every employer has a responsibility to safeguard the workplace health and safety of employees. Unsafe working conditions can cause accidents, but it’s also possible to get injured on the job even after taking measures to ensure workers’ safety. Read on to learn more about common workplace injuries and what you can do to protect your rights.
Common Workplace Injuries
Slip and fall accidents make up a third of personal injury cases in the workplace, making it the main reason for workers’ compensation claims. This type of workplace injury covers back, head, and neck injuries along with broken bones, cuts, pulled muscles, and sprains. These often occur due to occasional spills, uneven walking spaces, and even poor lighting.
Auto accidents are another common cause of workplace injuries. Motor vehicle accidents include colliding with another car, getting hit by objects falling from another vehicle, or even getting stuck under an overturned vehicle.
If you’ve been injured on the job but you’re unsure whether it qualifies as workplace injuries, discuss your situation with a local personal injury lawyer.
How to Protect Your Rights
The best way to protect your rights as a worker is to report any injury you sustained on the job to your employer. Typically, state laws require you to report an injury on the same day or a few days after the incident occurred. Certain situations may prevent you from reporting the injury immediately, but what’s important is that you report it as soon as possible.
The next thing you can do is to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Doing so gives both your employer and insurance company formal notice regarding your personal injury. After filing your injury claim, you’ll be able to benefit from the protections that automatically take effect.
Your Legal Rights as Employees
When it comes to workplace injuries, it’s important to be aware of workers’ rights, especially since these vary from state-to-state. However, there are several legal rights provided in most workers’ compensation laws, including your right to:
- File a claim for injury or illness either to the workers compensation court or state industrial court.
- Be seen by a detector and get medical treatment.
- Return to work after being cleared by your physician.
- Receive disability compensation if you’re unable to go back to work due to the injury.
- Appeal any decision by your employer, their insurance company, or the court that you disagree with.
- Get legal representation from a workers compensation attorney throughout the process.
Your Legal Rights against Third Parties
It’s possible to get injured due to the negligence of a third party. Depending on the circumstances of the accidents, you may be entitled to file a third-party claim. These typically don’t fall under workers’ compensation law but are civil lawsuits that are filed to the state court or federal court. If you’re considering using a third party for an injury lawsuit, it’s important to get legal assistance from a personal injury attorney.
One advantage of filing third party claims is that you’ll be able to sue for non-economic damages. When it comes to work-related injury claims, your compensation benefits are meant to reimburse your medical expenses and lost wages due to workplace injury.
If you or someone you know has sustained workplace injuries, choosing the right workers compensation lawyer can make the difference between a full recovery and disappointment.
At Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC, you don’t have to settle for less. Our West Virginia personal injury attorneys will fight for you to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!