WV Workplace Accidents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 5,000 workers were killed on the job in 2016. Forty-seven of those fatalities occurred in West Virginia, marking an increase over the previous year when there were 35.

Transportation incidents topped the list as the most common, with exposure to harmful substances or environments coming in second. Falls, slips, or trips were the third most frequent fatal work events, followed closely by contact with objects and equipment.

Meanwhile, as the oil and gas industry expands in West Virginia, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of workers killed while working on fracking wells, particularly while transporting gas from one place to another. Between 2008 and 2012, thirteen workers died, which represented twice the deaths recorded in the state’s industry between 2004 and 2008.

The BLS also notes that between 2016 and 2017, workplace fatalities in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry increased 26 percent, with over 70 percent of those fatalities incurred by workers in the oil and gas extraction industry.

Chaffin Luhana workplace accident lawyers are dedicated to helping people who have been injured on the job, and those who have lost loved ones due to fatal workplace accidents. By virtue of your employment, you likely have access to workers compensation coverage but, we can help improve your chances of receiving the compensation you need to cover all of your losses under a special West Virginia law known as “deliberate intent.” If you have a workers compensation claim in WV, we can also assist with it.

What to Do After a Workplace Injury

Employers are required to provide you with a safe and healthy work environment. If you are injured while on the job, it is likely that your employer failed to live up to this responsibility somehow. To increase your odds of obtaining the compensation you need to pay for medical expenses and lost wages, follow these steps:

  • See a doctor: No matter the extent of your injuries—even if you think you’re fine—it’s important to see a doctor so you have a medical record confirming the incident. Some injuries take time to develop, but you will need medical records to prove your case.
  • Report the incident to your employer: Do this right away, either the same day or the next day if possible. The important thing is to report it as soon as you can to protect your legal rights. Don’t admit fault, but simply report what happened. List the other employees that were involved and identify any equipment used.
  • Contact a workplace accident attorney: The sooner you do this, the better. We can then start working to gather evidence on your behalf and determine whether any third parties are at fault or if the employer violated the law so you can bring a separate claim in court in addition to your workers compensation claim. Your employer may not tell you everything you need to know, and it’s important you understand all of your rights, including the availability of other potential benefits like travel reimbursements. Every state is different, and Chaffin Luhana workplace accident attorneys understand the law in West Virginia. We can also help you submit your claim to the workers’ compensation court and help guide you on your next actions to build the strongest case possible.
  • Follow your doctor’s recommendations: It’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions completely, not only to speed your recovery, but to show evidence of your efforts to get well.

How a Workplace Accident Attorney Can Help in WV

It would be wonderful if all workplace compensation claims were processed smoothly and without issue, but that isn’t always the case. There are usually complications with the insurance companies, the employer, or third-party contractors that make it difficult to recover the compensation you need to pay your bills. And you need counsel to help evaluate whether you have an exception to the workers compensation law that will allow you to bring a case in court and recover greater money for your injuries.

The attorneys at Chaffin Luhana will launch a thorough investigation to uncover every detail related to your case. If you were working on a well or fracking site, for example, we will look into things like:

  • the fracking machinery (was it working correctly?)
  • the work environment (was it safe?)
  • the supervisors (were they doing their jobs?)
  • exposure to toxic fumes (did you have access to the right safety equipment?)
  • other parties involved (were other contractors unsafe?)

We follow a similar process for other workplace claims. No matter what industry you’re in, the questions remain the same, and we will do all the investigating necessary to uncover any missing evidence we may need to prove your case. We have the experience to determine how much your case is really worth, and we will fight to help you get that amount, protecting you from settling for less.

The Potential Benefits of a Workplace Accident Lawsuit

While your workers’ compensation coverage is likely to help you to some extent, it may not be enough, depending on the extent of your injuries. This is particularly true if you can’t return to work for an extended period of time, workers’ compensation may supply only about two-thirds or less of your salary in disability benefits. While this is definitely better than nothing, it can leave you shouldering unexpected costs and your family experiencing significant financial hardship because of the injury you sustained on the job.

In some cases, workers can benefit from filing a workplace injury lawsuit. In West Virginia, workers’ compensation laws generally prohibit employees from suing their employers unless they can prove a deliberate violate of a known industry safety rule. You may also sue other parties who may have shared in the responsibility for the accident. Such parties may include, among others:

  • Subcontractors and their employees
  • Manufacturers of unsafe tools and equipment
  • Manufacturers of transportation equipment
  • Manufacturers of unsafe products
  • Other drivers in car and truck accidents
  • Distributors of unsafe or dangerous chemicals
  • Installers of equipment

Chaffin Luhana workplace injury attorneys have the skills necessary to pursue these other potential avenues of recovery for you, and when possible, will gather the evidence needed to prove deliberate intent by your employer or negligence by of other parties, helping to increase your recovery.

We Can Help With These Types of Accidents and Injuries

We handle workplace injuries caused by all types of circumstances, including for example:

  • Trips, slips, and falls
  • Getting caught between structures
  • Struck or crushed by heavy equipment
  • Buried in materials
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Explosions and fires
  • Falling objects
  • Roadway accidents
  • Exposure to hazardous wiring and other sources of electricity
  • Vehicle accidents

We also represent victims suffering from a wide range of injuries, including the following:

  • Wrongful death
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Paraplegia and quadriplegia
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Neck and chest injuries
  • Electrocutions
  • Burns, scarring, disfigurement
  • Broken bones, amputations
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Diseases resulting from exposure to toxic materials
  • Head injuries
  • Crush injuries

No matter what sort of injury you experienced, we can help. If you have been permanently injured or expect that you will require long-term disability, it is vital that you get an experienced attorney on your side.

Experienced West Virginia Workplace Accident Lawyers

Our attorneys have recovered over $1 billion nationwide for our injured clients. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a workplace accident, call us today for a free consultation. Chaffin Luhana is now investigating these cases, and will not charge you unless we recover damages for you. Call today at 1-888-480-1123.