In either case, those who are hurt are entitled by law to compensation for many costs, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Unfortunately, many injured workers fail to collect all of their medical and financial benefits because they wrongly believe that they do not need an attorney. The insurance companies who provide workers’ compensation benefits have attorneys protecting their rights and so should you.
While workers’ compensation does not typically result in large awards to the injured person, our Kentucky lawyers have the experience and training necessary to fully investigate the incident and determine if a civil suit can be filed in order to ensure our client gets maximum compensation.
RISKY BUSINESS – DANGER IN THE WORKPLACE
There are certain industries in which workers are particularly at risk for getting hurt. Here in Eastern Kentucky, we know about the dangers of coal mining. Oil and gas companies are looking at our area as they seek new locations for fracking operations, drilling through layers of rock and injecting water mixed with chemicals to release hidden pockets of underground fuel. Mining and fracking use heavy equipment and expose workers to numerous health risks.
Construction sites are home to large numbers of people working on any number of projects that may involve heights, machinery, and the movement of very large and heavy items. Manufacturing jobs also contain a high level of risk, due primarily to the heavy machinery used in their operations. As we see increased growth in Appalachia due to the many programs underway to bring prosperity to our region, we are likely to see an increased number of construction and manufacturing injuries as well. The Johnson Law Firm is poised to help folks who suffer an injury while working to build our communities.
Here in Pike County, Kentucky, we’re blessed to have the Appalachian Regional Hospital (ARH), Pikeville Medical Center, and numerous home health care agencies. The Kentucky Workers’ Claims report indicates that the three most common causes of work-related injuries are falls/slips/trips, lifting, and strains. Healthcare workers are especially susceptible to these types of injuries in their efforts to lift and transfer patients in and out of beds and wheelchairs. The Johnson Law Firm is pleased to offer assistance to injured healthcare workers in Eastern Kentucky.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Other industries are not as fundamentally dangerous, but still may be prone to a high incidence of workplace injury. Jobs that require repetitive motions, for example, put workers at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome and similar repetitive motion injuries. These types of injuries are suffered by assembly line workers, grocery store scanners, and painters, among many others. One of Pike County’s largest employers is the University of Pikeville, where hundreds of office workers are at risk of repetitive strain from using computer keyboards.
Other workplaces are made unsafe by negligence on the part of the employer or a third party. Any job dealing with hazardous materials can become unsafe, and even seemingly benign work environments are dangerous when the facilities (stairwells, floors, etc.) are not properly maintained.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims publishes an annual report that includes statistical information on a variety of topics, such as distribution of claims by body part, work-related fatalities, and first reports of injury by industrial classification.The data from the most recent report (for the 2011-2012 fiscal year) shows that more employees in the service sector were injured than those in manufacturing, agriculture or mining. Jobs in the service sector include retail work, transportation, restaurant work, and healthcare.
Were you injured at work while performing your daily duties? Or were you injured by a third party while “on-the-job”? These situations are similar, but with different context.
Perhaps you were injured by a machine that you use everyday. Or maybe you’re a construction worker repairing a road and were hit by a passing car. Both of these situations may allow you to be eligible for compensation, but require separate approaches to how your claim is handled.
The worker’s compensation and work injury lawyers at Billy Johnson Law Firm have experience dealing with both types of cases, and can help you identify which approach is best for you.
BENEFITS OF WORKERS’ COMP INSURANCE
In the majority of cases, injuries sustained at work are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is paid for by employers and is designed to cover medical expenses as well as lost wages resulting from a workplace injury. If injured, a worker can be awarded benefits for lost wages and medical expenses without having to file a lawsuit to prove that the injuries were the fault of the employer.
The flip side of the worker’s compensation system is that it prohibits a worker from bringing a third-party claim against his or her employer to recover damages sustained in a workplace accident. There are, however, a number of exceptions to this. An employee may, for example, file a third-party claim if the injury sustained was caused by someone other than himself, a co-worker, or the employer — for instance, a sub-contractor or a vendor on the property. Sometimes accidents happen because a piece of equipment or a machine was dangerously designed or defectively manufactured. At the Johnson Law Firm, we know what questions to ask to identify all parties who could have been responsible for an injury.
Tell Us What Happened
Because each case is different, it is always advisable to seek the counsel of an experienced Pikeville, KY work injury lawyer. Furthermore, despite the protections of workers’ compensation, there remains the potential for improper (and sometimes illegal) handling of a workplace injury. Due in part to the rising cost of workers’ compensation insurance, some employers engage in tactics to try to minimize an individual’s injury or claim.
Protect your rights by discussing your case with the Johnson Law Firm. Call us toll free at 606-433-0682 or use our online form. The initial consultation is free.