What is a workplace accident?
A workplace accident occurs when a worker becomes hurt while on the job and serious injuries result. Not all accidents merit legal action – injuries must be severe – and not all accidents are the fault of the employer or work situation. However, many workplace accidents are caused by negligence – the failure of one person or company to meet its obligations toward the worker. A workplace accident caused by negligence does require legal action – and a workplace accident claim or lawsuit may be necessary to recover financial compensation for the hurt worker.
What causes workplace accidents?
Any job comes with potential hazards and even the safest office job could turn into a dangerous environment under the right circumstances. However, there are some situations that are typically more dangerous and likely to result in workplace accidents, including:
- Defective construction equipment
- Improperly operated equipment or machinery
- Safety regulations that are ignored at construction or heavy equipment work sites
- Spills that aren’t properly cleaned
- Poorly maintained equipment or environments
- Old, inadequately maintained building materials
- Chemical leaks
- Fires due to electrical wiring issues
- Gas explosions
Workplace accident law
When a worker suffers serious injury at a workplace, the laws governing compensation are complicated. In most states and most professions, workers are often not allowed to sue their own employer for an accident-related injury. This is because Workers’ Compensation exists ostensibly to provide compensation to workers for their injuries, while protecting their employers from lawsuits.
However, some accidents that happen at work may be caused by a third party, such as the equipment manufacturer. In addition, some accidents are caused by such glaring negligence that a Workers’ Compensation claim will be insufficient to recover the damages needed. In general, a worker must be able to prove that:
- Injuries occurred at work or while performing work duties (if off-site)
- Injuries are severe enough to result in medical bills and lost wages due to lost work time
- Injuries are the direct result of a condition at the work site, and not due to negligent or reckless behavior on the part of the injured worker.
Workplace accident lawyers
Workplace accidents can result in a lifetime of medical bills and lost earning ability for the injured worker – but recovering the necessary compensation can be difficult and complex. Many companies and their insurers will attempt to disavow responsibility, placing blame instead on the worker. Claims that may seem perfectly clear and justified to the hurt employee can often be denied, and those suffering from severe injuries may not have the time or energy to pursue an exhausting paper trail.
If you have suffered a serious workplace accident, contact an attorney today. Your chances of receiving adequate compensation for your injuries greatly increase when you have experienced representation on your side. The company responsible for the harm you suffered will have an army of lawyers protecting their interests – you deserve protection, too. You only have a limited time to file a claim, however, so act quickly.