West Virginia Work Injury Lawyers & Workers’ Compensation Laws
West Virginia workers have a right to a safe work environment. Unfortunately, employers sometimes put profit over people and workers get injured or killed as a result. Although West Virginia worker’s compensation is the most common source of benefits after a workplace accident, there may be other forms of compensation available to you. This is especially true if you have the help of an experienced work injury lawyer.
Can You Sue Your Employer After a Workplace Injury in West Virginia?
The answer to this question is like the answer to most difficult questions: It depends. Yes, if you were seriously injured at work you can sue your employer in West Virginia for compensation in some circumstances. Typically, you can only sue your employer under the West Virginia deliberate intent statute. This West Virginia law sets forth what you must prove to recover compensation from your employer above and beyond worker’s compensation benefits. An experienced work injury lawyer, like those at West Law Firm, can help you determine if your workplace accident case meets the criteria of a deliberate intent claim.
Also, if you can’t meet all the elements of a deliberate intent claim, you may have a personal injury claim against corporations and/or other parties besides your employer if those other corporations or entities caused you injury. These other parties may include negligent property owners, equipment manufacturers, commercial trucking companies, independent contractors, negligent drivers, and others.
If you were injured at work in West Virginia, we invite you to call one of West Law Firm’s award-winning work injury lawyers today at 1-877-943-9378 (WEST) for a Free Case Evaluation. There’s also No Fee unless you recover compensation.
West Virginia Deliberate Intent Claims — Above and Beyond Workers Compensation
To recover compensation from your employer in addition to workers’ comp benefits, you must either prove the elements set forth in the West Virginia deliberate intent statute, or you must prove that your employer or supervisor intentionally injured you. Most West Virginia workplace accident claims are won by proving a deliberate claim required by West Virginia Code §23-4-2.
How to Win a WV Deliberate Intent Claim
In short, West Virginia law says that you can sue your employer for compensation if there was 1) an unsafe working condition; 2) that your employer actually knew about; 3) that unsafe working condition violated a safety law or industry standard; 4) that your employer intentionally exposed you to; and 5) and that dangerous work condition caused you or your loved one serious injury or death. Serious injuries include but are not limited to brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, and a combination of injuries.
Additionally, in 2015, the West Virginia legislature changed workplace injury laws to make it more difficult for injured workers to recover compensation after a workplace injury. Now, the two most common hurdles injured workers and their attorneys face in pursuing a deliberate claim is that they have to prove, among other things:
- The workers’ employer or supervisor had actual knowledge of the dangerous condition that injured the worker; and
- That the injured worker attained a total whole person impairment level of at least thirteen percent (13%) as a final award in the employee’s workers’ compensation claim.
As you can see, the West Virginia laws that govern workplace injuries and accidents are complex and frankly designed to make it difficult for injured workers to recover fair compensation. That’s why it’s so important to speak with an experienced work injury attorney if you have been seriously injured at work. The attorneys at West Law Firm have decades of combined experience handling deliberate intent and other work accident claims for West Virginia workers. We invite you to call us today for a Free Consultation at 1 (877) 943-9378.
Five Possible Additional Sources of Compensation for Workers Injured in West Virginia
Below are six other legal claims that may entitle you to compensation above and beyond West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits:
Third-Party Personal Injury Claim
If you were injured at work by a party who is not your employer or a coworker, an experienced work injury lawyer may be able to help you bring a personal injury lawsuit against that third party. For example, if you were driving a logging truck for your employer and were injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver, you would likely have a personal injury claim against that driver and his or her insurance carrier. Or if, while working, you were injured on another business owner’s property due to a dangerous condition, you may have a premise liability claim against it. There are many other circumstances where you might have a separate accident claim against a negligent third party.
No West Virginia Workers Compensation Insurance
If your employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance at the time of your workplace accident, you may be able to sue your employer directly for your damages.
Injuries Caused by Defective Products, Equipment, or Machinery
If you were injured at work by a defective product, such as a defective continuous miner, you may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer, seller, and/or distributor of the defective product. Product liability claims almost always require the help of a skilled injury attorney because they are so expensive and complicated to litigate.
Social Security Disability
If you suffered a severe injury at work, or your workplace injury coupled with pre-existing injuries are causing you substantial disability, you may qualify for social security disability benefits. For more information, see Social Security’s Disability Planner.
Is it Worth Getting a Workers Compensation Attorney in West Virginia?
Unfortunately, West Virginia’s worker’s compensation system is known to be unfair toward injured workers. So, it’s best to at least get a Free Consultation from a worker’s compensation attorney to see if they can help you after a work injury. West Virginia worker’s compensation laws include strict deadlines that if you fail to meet can cause you to lose your rights forever. So, it’s important to act quickly and carefully read any documentation sent to you regarding your worker’s comp claim.
That said, if your worker’s compensation provides you all the medical treatment and benefits you think you deserve and need, you may not need to hire a worker’s comp lawyer.
Get a Free Case Evaluation With an Experienced West Virginia Work Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member has been seriously injured or killed at work, we invite you to call one of our experienced work injury lawyers today for a Free Consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-943-WEST (9378).
Also, there’s No Fee unless and until we recover compensation for you. West Law Firm is located in Charleston, West Virginia, and our experienced workplace accident attorneys serve clients throughout the state and country. If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.
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My wife and I have been together for 30 years and were looking forward to our move to Ohio to be closer to family. We eagerly sold our home and began making plans and then disaster struck, I was in a horrible accident at work. And now through no fault of our own we were teetering precariously between the life we had planned and what we would be left with after this devastating event. Thankfully my life was spared but I was left disabled and without the opportunity to provide for my family as I had done for 30+ years. My wife made the best decision possible when she placed a call to West Law Firm in Charleston. We could tell immediately that they not only wanted to help but were genuinely concerned with our well being and future. They worked diligently and thoroughly to get us the absolute best outcome we could have gotten and did not rest until we were taken care of. Now thanks to their help we will happily enter the next chapter of our lives. We owe them a debt of gratitude that thank you just doesn’t cover.
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