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Morgantown Serious & Fatal Workplace Injuries

The law requires employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees. If you recently lost a loved one or a loved one sustained a catastrophic injury on the job, you might be wondering if the company failed in this duty. West Virginia civil law provides certain avenues of recourse for seriously injured workers and their families – learn your legal options following a catastrophic workplace accident and when to contact an attorney.

Deliberate Intent

West Virginia is one of a handful of states where you can file a worker’s compensation claim and a claim directly against your employer for an unsafe workplace.  West Virginia law allows an individual to file a claim directly against his or her employer if the following factors can be met:

  1. 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;
  2. The employer, prior to the injury, had actual knowledge of the existence of the specific unsafe working conditions and of the high degree of risk and strong probability of injury or death presented by the specific unsafe working conditions;
  3. The specific unsafe working conditions were violations of a state or federal safety statute, rule, or regulation, whether cited or not, and/or of a commonly accepted and well-known safety standard within the industry;
  4. Notwithstanding the existence of knowing of the unsafe working condition, the employer exposed the employee to the specific unsafe working condition; and
  5. As a result an individual suffered severe injuries as a result of the unsafe working conditions.

In addition, these cases require that an individual have severe injuries, with a permanent partial disability rating of 13% or higher.

The Workers’ Compensation System

The state workers’ compensation system of West Virginia is the first line of recourse for injured workers and their families. State law requires that the majority of businesses and employers carry worker’s compensation insurance that kicks in after an occupational injury or accident.

The workers’ compensation system in West Virginiais “no-fault.” This means that you won’t have to prove your loved one’s employer was negligent to collect benefits. On the other hand, this limits your ability to pursue other forms of compensation from the employer, such as a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

If you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to receive:

  • Payments that address your loved one’s wage loss or loss in earning capacity.
  • Compensation for all medical bills, including ongoing medical costs for recovery.

If your loved one is unable to return to his or her previous line of work, your benefits may also include educational or vocational training if the state board determines he or she is physically capable of working for pay.

Death Benefits

If your loved one loses his or her life on the job, a surviving member of the family may be able to collect death benefits. These benefits assist in any losses in familial income and apply to those individuals who qualify as the deceased’s financial dependents.

The rules surrounding the workers’ compensation system are complex and often require the guidance of a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC can review the specifics of your case and help you ascertain your rights and privileges under West Virginia worker’s compensation law.

Claims against Third Parties

In some instances, you may be able to extend beyond the workers’ compensation system and collect file a personal injury claim against a third party. This may apply when your loved one’s injuries or death were the result of a defective product, an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, or any negligent action by anyone other than your loved one’s employer. The best thing you can do is schedule a free initial consultation with our firm so we can determine who is responsible for your loved one’s injuries and hold them accountable.

If you recently lost a loved one in a workplace accident or experienced a catastrophic injury, contact the workplace injury attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group, PLLC. You don’t have to suffer this crisis alone. We’re committed to helping West Virginia families gain the compensation they deserve under state law. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation today.