If you are injured at work, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits which provides for lost wages, medical benefits, and, in some cases, disability benefits. While the workers’ compensation program is designed to protect injured workers, it also protects employers from personal injury lawsuits. This is because neither the employer or the employee are deemed to be at fault. Depending on the circumstances; however, a workplace injury may also be grounds for a third-party injury claim.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits at a Glance
Workers’ compensation provides temporary disability benefits to cover a portion of your wages while you’re off work, as well as all of your medical expenses. First, workers who sustain a job related injury or illness are eligible to receive partial compensation for lost wages equal to two-thirds of their weekly wages.
Additionally, all necessary medical treatment for work-related injuries or occupational illnesses are paid no cost to the employee, including doctors visits, prescription medications, surgical procedures and any physical therapy, rehabilitation or other treatment you need to recover. Finally, workers who suffer a permanent impairment that results in a partial or total disability may be entitled to either temporary or permanent disability benefits.
While this seems straightforward, obtaining workers compensation benefits can be complicated with numerous forms to complete and procedures to follow. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process and make sure you obtain the benefits you deserve. At times, however, an employer or the insurance carrier may question whether the injury actually occurred in the workplace or deny any liability by claiming your injury was caused by a pre-existing condition. If your application for workers’ compensation benefits has been denied, an attorney can also assist with an appeal and continue to fight for your rights.
Lawsuits Over Workplace Injuries
Although workers compensation provides benefits to injured workers while simultaneously protecting employers from civil lawsuits, certain job-related injuries and illnesses arising from negligence may be grounds for a third-party injury claim. If you were injured by defective equipment or a toxic substance in a factory or construction site, for example, a products liability lawsuit can be brought against the manufacturer or distributor. On the other hand, an employer that does not carry workers’ compensation can also face legal action over a workplace injury.
Contact a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been injured on the job, an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation benefits can assist with your claim and also pursue an appeal if your benefits have been denied. At the same time, an attorney can also assess whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit for your workplace injury.