Work Injury Lawyers

Ohio Valley Personal Injury Attorneys
Work Related Accidents

Work Injury Lawyers

Each year, thousands of people in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are injured on the job.  Due to our history of coal mining and industrial work, workplace accidents in our communities often result in significant and severe injury.  These industries typically involve the use of heavy machinery, equipment, and vehicles.  Thus, when accidents happen, work injuries can be catastrophic.

Unfortunately, when a workplace accident occurs, the injury is often just the beginning.  In addition to recovering from the physical toll of a work injury, workplace injury sufferers must deal with their employer and workers’ compensation insurance companies.  Even more, a person may suffer an injury at work that is not caused by their employer.  Navigating the aftermath of a work-related injury is complex enough for a work injury lawyer, let alone an employee who has just been injured on the job.

That’s why having a skilled and experienced work injury lawyer by your side and fighting for you is so important.  A knowledgeable work injury lawyer won’t just make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve, a work injury lawyer will alleviate the stress and anxiety of dealing with “everything else.”  That allows you to focus on what is most important—your health and recovery.

If you’ve suffered an injury at work, contact the work injury lawyers at Gold, Khourey & Turak.  Our work injury lawyers have extensive experience handling workplace injury cases involving numerous different injuries caused under a variety of circumstances.  Our work injury lawyers have seen it all and more.  Contact GKT’s work injury lawyers at any time by calling (304) 845-9750, by live chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.

About Gold Khourey & Turak Work Injury Lawyers

Since 1978, Gold, Khourey & Turak’s work injury lawyers have represented countless workers injured on the job in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  GKT’s work injury lawyers understand the complexities involved in a workplace injury case.  Whether you’ve been injured in a coal mine, on a well pad, in a mill, or any other job site, you can rest assured that GKT’s work injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact GKT today for a free consultation.

Common Work Accidents

Work accidents can happen under any number of circumstances.  Obviously, some industries and jobs are more prone to certain accidents than other industries and jobs.  For example, industries and jobs that involve the use of heavy machinery, equipment, and vehicles are more likely to result in a work accident than working in a lawyer’s office.  The fact of the matter is that any number of accidents can happen in any type of industry or job position.  Below are some of the more common work accidents.

Car, Truck, and Other Auto Accidents

Car accidents and truck accidents don’t just happen outside of the workplace.  Many industries and jobs involve driving a car, truck, or other motor vehicle.  That’s why car, truck, and other auto accidents are perhaps the most common type of a work accident in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  As everyone knows, there’s always the risk of an accident when operating a motor vehicle.  Some reasons why a workplace vehicle accident may occur includes:

  • Negligent or reckless driving
  • Failure to repair a vehicle
  • Failure to maintain a vehicle
  • Failure to train an employee’s use of vehicle
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Inadequate safety inspections
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Inclement weather conditions

Truck accidents involving oil and gas tankers, water trucks, sand box trucks, and others are commonly involved in oil and gas injury cases.  However, car, truck, and other vehicle accidents are common accidents in many different industries.  Moreover, vehicles involved in work accident cases are not restricted to passenger cars and commercial trucks.  They may involve any number of heavy vehicles including:

  • Dozers
  • Backhoes
  • Riggers
  • Track equipment
  • ATVs/UTVs
  • Any variety of commercial trucks, including water trucks, cement mixers, bucket trucks, etc.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are another common type of work accident.  Many industries involve the use of chemicals and other materials that can cause a worker to slip and fall.  However, a slip and fall work accident can occur in an office or other setting when an employee simply forgets to display a wet floor caution sign.  Some of the more common factors involved in work place slip and fall accidents include:

  • Wet floors
  • Ice or other weather conditions
  • Uneven floors or walking surfaces
  • Debris or obstruction on floors or walking surfaces
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Failure to clean/dry floors in a timely manner
  • Failure to warn or display cautionary signs
  • Failure to use slip mats or take other preventative measures

While many people believe that slip and fall injuries are relatively minor, that is not always true.  For example, many slip and fall accidents cause spine injuries, some of which can cause life-long pain and debilitation.

Fall Accidents

Fall accidents involve falling from height and are thus different from slip and fall accidents occurring at ground level.  Because of the nature of their industry, construction workers are more commonly injured in fall accidents.  Falls may happen from a:

  • Roof
  • Ladder
  • Stairway or stairwell
  • Scaffolding
  • Any other raised surface

Because fall accidents involve falling from a height, the injuries suffered are often more severe than those suffered in slip and fall accidents.  People who are injured in a fall accident may even suffer significant brain injuries depending on the height of the fall and the circumstances of the impact.

Entanglement Accidents

Workers who frequently use heavy machinery and other equipment are always at risk of being involved in an entanglement accident.  Entanglement accidents happen when a worker becomes entrapped in machinery due to any number of different factors, including:

  • Loose clothing, jewelry, shoes, or other gear
  • Failure to train
  • Inexperienced worker
  • Manufacturing defect
  • Failure to repair machinery or equipment
  • Failure to maintain machinery or equipment
  • Failure to use guards or other safety precautions

Machinery or equipment that contains the following may be more likely to cause an entanglement accident:

  • Cutting or shear points where moving parts have sharp edges
  • Pull-in points, commonly found on lathes, grinders, and crop harvesters
  • Wrap points, including attachments such as pulleys, spinning motor shafts, and auger gears
  • Pinch points, including machinery that have pulleys, gears, sliding doors, motors, and elevator leg drives.

While not as common as other accident types, when an entanglement accident does occur, it can be very serious.  Common injuries suffered in an entanglement accident include “soft tissue” injuries, such as torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons, broken bones, and loss of an arm, leg, finger, or toe.  Depending on the machinery or equipment involved, a worker can be killed, and his or her family may have a wrongful death case.

Electrocution

Electrocution and electric-related accidents can occur at any number of different job sites.  Faulty wiring and exposed electrical cords are common factors involved in electric-related accidents.  Workers in the construction and excavation industry are susceptible to electrocution when working around power lines or digging through underground cables.  Electrocution may result in very serious injuries and even death.

Projectile Accidents

Projectile accidents involve a worker being hit by an object.  The object may fly out of a machine or piece of equipment or it may be dropped on a worker.  Common causes of projectile accidents include:

  • Improper use of machinery or equipment
  • Lack of training
  • Inexperienced worker
  • Defective machinery or equipment
  • Failure to repair or maintain machinery or equipment
  • Failure to use safety devices on machinery or equipment
  • Failure to provide or wear personal protection equipment (PPE), including gloves, safety goggles, etc.
  • Improper stacking of materials
  • Failure to warn

Accidents involving projectiles cause some of the most severe work injuries.  Depending on the size, weight, and speed of the projectile, a projectile injury may be as slight as a bruise or as a severe as a brain injury or spine injury resulting in death.

Workplace accidents may take any form.  If you’ve suffered an injury in a work accident but weren’t involved in any of the accident types above, that does not mean you don’t have a case.  A knowledgeable work injury lawyer, like those at GKT, can help determine whether you have a case.

Common Work Injuries

When accidents occur at the workplace, the resulting injuries can range from mild scrapes and bruising to grave spine and brain injuries resulting in permanent disability or even death.  There simply is no “typical” work injury.

That being said, some of the worst injuries a person can suffer happen at work.  This is especially true in working communities such as those found in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  Heavy machinery, equipment, and vehicles weighing thousands of pounds are commonly found on many work sites.

Below are some of the common injuries suffered on the job:

  • Brain Injury: brain injuries range in severity from “mild” concussions to traumatic brain injuries, bleeding, and swelling.  Brain injuries suffered on the job site can result in partial or complete disability and even death.  Truck and other vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, fall accidents, and projectile accidents have the greatest risk of causing a brain injury.
  • Spine Injury: like brain injuries, spine injuries can be as “minor” as a slipped or herniated disc that heals in a matter of months or a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis.  Spine injuries can be extremely painful and debilitating, especially those suffered at work.  Truck and other vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and fall accidents have the greatest risk of causing a spine injury.
  • Loss of Limb: people who operate heavy machinery, equipment, and vehicles are those most likely to suffer a loss of limb at work.  Sometimes, an arm, leg, finger, or toe is injured so badly that amputation is required.  Other times, the limb is severed from the body during the work accident.  Either way, the loss of a limb can result in a permanent disability.  Truck and other vehicle accidents and entanglement accidents have the greatest risk of causing a loss of a limb.
  • Broken Bones: broken bones are a relatively common work injury.  While the bones of the arms, legs, fingers, and toes are most commonly involved in a workplace injury, any bone in the body can be impacted.  Any work accident can result in a broken bone, but truck and other vehicle accidents and entanglement accidents are the main culprits.
  • Burns: burns are a less common work injury but still occur with some frequency.  Burns are some of the most painful injuries a worker can suffer and can cause both cosmetic and functional disfigurement.
  • Death: unfortunately, some work injuries result in death.  When a worker is killed on the job, his or her family may be entitled to compensation.  The laws regarding wrongful death vary from state to state so contacting a wrongful death lawyer with workplace injury experience is key.  Death is more likely to occur as a result of a truck or other vehicle accident, a fall accident, or an entanglement accident.

Workers’ Compensation Laws  

When a person suffers a work injury, his or her recovery may be limited by state workers’ compensation laws.  Under these laws, employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. When a worker is injured during the course of their employment, he or she will be entitled to certain benefits regardless of fault.  With certain, limited exceptions, the injured worker will not be able to recover any additional compensation from the employer.

Workers’ Compensation Law in West Virginia

West Virginia’s workers’ compensation law is found at W.Va. Code Section 23-1-1, et seq.  WV’s law requires employers with 3 or more employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.  To receive workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must have been injured during work and in the course of his or her work.  If he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the work injury, benefits will likely not be available.

An injured worker in West Virginia may be entitled to the following workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Payment for medical bills
  • Temporary total disability benefits
  • Temporary partial rehabilitation benefits
  • Permanent partial disability benefits
  • Permanent total disability benefits

Workers’ Compensation Law in Ohio

Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws are found at R.C. 4123.01.  Similar to West Virginia’s laws, employers in Ohio with one or more employees must obtain workers’ compensation insurance.  An injured worker does not have to prove his or her employer’s fault to obtain benefits.

An injured worker in Ohio may be entitled to the following workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Payment for medical bills
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Permanent partial disability benefits
  • Permanent total disability benefits
  • Loss of wages
  • Death benefits (for certain surviving family members)

Workers’ Compensation Law in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws are found at 34 Pa. Code 121.  Similar to Ohio, Pennsylvania employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for all employees.   There is no requirement that the injured worker prove the fault of his or her employer.

An injured worker in Pennsylvania may be entitled to the following workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Payment for medical bills
  • Partial disability benefits
  • Total disability benefits
  • Permanent injury benefits
  • Death benefits (for certain surviving family members)

In order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must take certain steps within certain timeframes.  That’s why if you’ve suffered an injury on the job, it’s important to contact a work injury lawyer as soon as possible.

When Other Compensation May Be Available

While workers’ compensation laws typically limit the amount of recovery an injured worker can expect, there are some circumstances in which other compensation may be available.

Third Party Fault

What about when a work injury is caused by a third party?  Under those circumstances, workers’ compensation laws typically don’t apply.  The classic case is a subcontractor who is injured on a construction site by another subcontractor.  There is no employer-employee relationship, so the injured subcontractor will likely have a case against the other subcontractor.

The important thing to remember is that if there is no employer-employee relationship between the injured worker and the person, business, or other entity at fault, the injured worker may have a case.

Defective Equipment and Manufacturing Defects

When defective machinery, equipment, or vehicles result in a work injury, the injured worker may have a case against the manufacturer and other third parties.  Such cases can be extremely complex since there are often issues as to whether the machinery, equipment, or vehicle was defective or whether it was not properly maintained, repaired, or used.  An experienced work injury lawyer can make all the difference in such a case.

West Virginia’s Deliberate Intent Law

In West Virginia, injured workers can sometimes get around the state’s workers’ compensation laws by the deliberate intent statute, W.Va. Code S. 23-4-2.  West Virginia’s deliberate intent law allows two forms of lawsuits against an employer.

The first is where the employer “consciously, subjectively, and deliberately formed intention to produce the specific injury.”

However, most “deliberate intent” cases are brought pursuant to the 5-factor test.  In order to sustain this type of case, the injured employee must prove:

  • The existence of a specific unsafe working condition that presented a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury or death;
  • That the employer, pre-injury, had actual knowledge of the existence of the specific unsafe condition and of the high degree of risk and the strong probability of serious injury or death presented by the specific unsafe working condition;
  • That the specific unsafe working condition was a violation of a state or federal safety statute, rule, or regulation, whether cited or not, or of a commonly accepted and well-known safety standard within the industry or business of the employer;
  • That notwithstanding the existence of each of the above-referenced facts, the person or persons alleged to have actual knowledge intentionally thereafter exposed the employee to the specific unsafe working condition; and
  • That the employee suffered serious compensable injury or compensable death as a direct and proximate result of the specific unsafe working condition.

As one can tell, proving a deliberate intent case can be difficult in light of the complexities of the law.

If an injured worker is able to obtain compensation other than workers’ compensation benefits, they may be entitled to the following types of compensation:

  • Payment for medical bills and expenses
  • Payment for future medical bills and expenses
  • Lost wages and income
  • Lost future wages and future income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Loss of companionship
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Aggravation, annoyance, and inconvenience
  • Punitive damages

That’s why a good work injury lawyer is necessary.  He or she will be able to investigate every avenue to recover compensation outside of workers’ compensation benefits.  An unexperienced lawyer may miss opportunities to obtain compensation on behalf of his or her client.

Have You Suffered a Work Injury?  Do this. 

Your health and safety always come first.  That means if you’ve been injured, you should stop work immediately and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Below are some of the things you should do if you’ve been injured on the job:

  • Stop work immediately
  • Seek medical treatment as soon as possible
  • Report the accident and your injuries to your employer as soon as possible
  • Do not provide any statement to your employer
  • Do not sign any document for your employer
  • Do not accept any money or other compensation from your employer
  • Do not speak with an insurance company
  • Contact a reputable and experienced oil and gas injury lawyer, like those at GKT

It cannot be stated enough—companies, employers, and insurance companies seek to avoid paying for work injuries and/or seek to pay as little as possible for work injuries.  Some of the more common tactics used to do so include:

  • Obtaining written and recorded statements that can be used against the injured person
  • “Misplacing” critical evidence of the accident
  • Blaming the injured person
  • Discrediting the injured person
  • Downplaying the severity or extent of any injuries

Contacting a work injury lawyer as soon as possible is so important for these reasons.  He or she will be able to take immediate action to protect your rights and start building your case.

GKT’S Work Injury Lawyers are Industry Leaders

GKT’s work injury lawyers have represented countless people injured in workplace accidents.  The results speak for themselves.  No matter the industry, job, accident type, injury, or any other factor, GKT’s work injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience to maximize our clients’ financial recovery.  Let GKT’s work injury lawyers help you help yourself.

Contact GKT Today

If you’ve been injured in workplace accident, contact GKT today to discuss your options.  Consultations with our work injury lawyers are always free and without obligation.  Consultations are available 24/7, 365 days a year in person or by phone, text, or livechat.  We take all of our work injury cases on a contingency fee basis.  That means that we don’t charge a fee unless we obtain compensation for you.  If you have suffered an injury on the job, we are here to help.

Contact us by calling (304) 845-9750, by live chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.