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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. That’s why having a knowledgeable and experienced work injury lawyer on your side can make all the difference in making sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
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.
Having a skilled and experienced work injury lawyer by your side and fighting for you is vital to the success of your claim. A knowledgeable work injury lawyer will help alleviate the stress and anxiety of dealing with “everything else” while making sure your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. 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 attorneys 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 place accidents can happen under any number of circumstances. Obviously, some industries and jobs are more prone to certain work 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 workplace accident than working in an office setting. 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:
- Track equipment
- 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 involve falling from a 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:
- Stairway or stairwell
- 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.
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 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 wrongful death.
Projectile accidents involve a worker being hit by an object. The object may fly out of a machine or off of a 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 any type of work accident, even an accident not listed above, you may have a work injury case. A knowledgeable work injury lawyer, like those at GKT, can help determine whether you have a case.
Common Work Injuries
When workplace accidents occur, the resulting injuries can range from mild scrapes and bruising to serious 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 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.
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 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 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. These can be the result of an oil and gas explosion, well pad fire, or chemical exposure.
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 three 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 be denied.
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