Work Accident Attorneys in West Virginia
West Virginia workers have a right to a safe work environment. Unfortunately, employers sometimes ignore safety rules, and workers get injured or killed as a result. Although workers’ compensation is the primary source of benefits for West Virginia workers, you may have other options if you have been seriously injured at work.
For example, you may have what’s called a deliberate intent claim against your employer or a negligence claim against a third party. Third parties liable for your injuries may include property owners, equipment manufacturers, commercial trucking companies, and others. If your employer or supervisor intentionally injured you, you can also sue them directly for personal injuries.
Deliberate Intent Claims for West Virginia Workplace Injuries
To recover compensation with a West Virginia deliberate intent claim, an injured worker must either prove a number of elements set forth in the West Virginia Code, or he must prove that his employer or supervisor intentionally injured him. Most workers win deliberate intent claims by proving the statutory elements required by West Virginia Code §23-4-2.
In short, the injured worker must prove that there was 1) an unsafe working condition; 2) that his or her employer actually knew about; 3) that violated a safety law or industry standard; 4) that the employer intentionally exposed the worker to; and 5) and that caused the employee serious injury or death.
In 2015, the West Virginia legislature changed the law to make it more difficult for injured workers to recover compensation with a deliberate intent claim. Now, the two most common hurtles 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 employee; and
- That the injured worker attained a total whole person impairment level of at least thirteen percent (13%) as a final award in the employees workers’ compensation claim.
As you can see, West Virginia law that governs workplace injuries and accidents is complex and makes it more difficult than ever to recover full and fair compensation. That’s why it’s so important to speak with an experienced work accident lawyer if you have been seriously injured at work. The attorneys at West Law Firm have a proven track record of winning 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 More Legal Options for Workers Injured in West Virginia
Below are five other legal claims that may entitle you to compensation above and beyond West Virginia workers’ compensation:
Third Party Personal Injury Claim
If you were injured at work by a party who is not your employer or a coworker, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against that third party. For example, if you were driving for your employer and were injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by another driver, you would likely have a personal injury claim against that driver and his or her insurance carrier. There are many other circumstance where you might have a separate civil claim against a negligent third party.
No Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If your employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance when you were injured, you may be able to sue your employer directly for your damages.
Defective Product, 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.
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.
If you were injured by a toxic substance, like asbestos for example, you may have a toxic tort lawsuit against the manufacturer of that substance.
Mandolidis / Deliberate Intent Claim
As mentioned above, If your employer or supervisor intentionally injured you or exposed you to a dangerous working condition, you may be able to sue your employer for damages.
Free Case Evaluation With an Experienced Work Accident Lawyer in West Virginia
If you or a family member died or has been seriously injured at work, we invite you to call West Law Firm today for a Free Consultation. Our toll free number is 1-877-943-WEST (1-877-943-9378). Also, there’s never a fee unless and until we recover money for you. West Law Firm is located in Charleston, West Virginia, and our experienced workplace accident attorneys serve clients throughout the state and country.