With the inherent complexity of a work injury case, an experienced attorney may be the only way for a victim to attain compensation after an accident. In most states, an employee will only have workers’ compensation liability to draw from, and this is normally not enough. Employer liability payments may be able to cover medical expenses and lost wages, but it usually fails to adequately cover the real cost of long-term disabilities. It also doesn’t compensate the victim for things like pain, suffering, emotional distress or loss of quality of life. However, there are several options an employee has when they are hurt, and these can help a victim get the restitution they deserve.
WHAT KINDS OF WORK INJURY CASES CAN AN ATTORNEY HELP WITH?
Usually, a hurt employee will only be able to get compensation from an employer in the form of basic liability insurance. However, if the employer acts in a manner that is egregiously negligent or hostile, they will be liable for any harm they cause an employee. For example, if an employer forces an employee to perform repairs down in a trench, and the trench is flooded, unstable and offers no quick means of exit, then the employer may be liable for additional damages if it collapses and hurts the employee.
If an employee is harmed by a defective piece of machinery, they may be able to file a claim against the item’s manufacturer. Product liability cases can be filed when a person is hurt by a piece of heavy machinery.
When someone is hurt on the job, there may be several parties involved, including other employees and managers. If another employee or a manager hurt a victim due to negligence or hostile conduct, the victim may have grounds to file a claim seeking damages from them. For example, if a manager requires an employee to carry a piece of heavy material without providing safe lifting equipment, then they may be responsible for any harm caused. If a driver hits an employee while they are en route to a job site or at one, the driver may be sued using standard civil injury laws.
An employee may also have a claim if they are harmed by a toxic substance, like asbestos. When this occurs, the employee may file a claim against the employer if the danger was known to them but not presented to the employee. The manufacturer of the toxic substance may also be liable for any harm.
Finally, a few states, including Texas, don’t require employers to maintain worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. If an employee is hurt and the employer does not carry insurance, the employee can file a personal claim for damages against their employer directly. With this kind of work injury case, an attorney is extremely helpful to have as the employee will have to prove that their employer was negligent in their duty of care.