Workplace Injury Attorneys WinningInjury Claims in Alabama
Suffering an injury in the workplace have serious long-term impacts for victims, and with statistics showing that there were 89 workplace fatalities in Alabama during 2018, this is an issue which could become a reality for many of us. From reducing your ability to work, to causing life-long pain, the consequences can be life-changing.
Employers have responsibilities to their employees, and a violation of these resulting in injury could be the grounds for legal action and the acquisition of damages by the injured party. It is crucial that you have a strong understanding of your rights, the obligations of your employer, and the action you can take if something goes wrong.
What is Defined as a Workplace Injury?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration defines a workplace accident as being: “a discrete occurrence in the course of work which leads to physical or mental harm.” In addition, the document sets out criteria to help establish a workplace injury or accident. To qualify, the following elements must have been present:
- Fortuitous, sudden, or unexpected external event
- Occurs during working hours/on the way to and back from the workplace
- Arises out of work performed in the course and the scope of employment
- Causes bodily harm
- Underlying link between the event and the harm
If these criteria are met, the victim may be able to take advantage of workplace compensation.
What Types of Injury May Occur?
There are a few primary groups used to categorize workplace injuries:
- Transportation Related: any workplace accident involving a vehicle can fall under this category
- Equipment: misuse of equipment, improper training, or faulty equipment can all be common causes of injuries
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: a common cause of injuries in the workplace, and can occur in almost any environment
- Harmful Exposure: contact with dangerous substances or environments, including chlorine, stabilizers or toxins
- Injury Due to Violence
- Management/Training: poor management or inadequate access to training resulting in an accident
What Are My Rights as an Employee?
Any employer who has a staff of four or more employees is required to offer workers compensation insurance. This is a form of compensation which is designed to allow those injured in the workplace to obtain the financial support they need to move forward. Compensation may assist with medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and other costs which are incurred as a direct result of the accident. An employee can also instigate a lawsuit against a third party, if it can be proven that their actions or negligence directly contributed to the injuries.
In order to successfully file a lawsuit or claim damages, you will need to prove that the actions or lack of action of your employer directly contributed to the accident and your subsequent injuries. This could be due to an unsafe workplace or working conditions, lack of training, negligence, or recklessness on the part of the employer.
Workers compensation will offer either temporary or permanent compensation, depending on the severity and nature of your injuries, and can be invaluable for rebuilding your life following an accident, especially if you are unable to work.
Will My Application for Workers Compensation Be Denied?
Workers compensation exists to help protect those on both sides of a workplace injury. As a general rule, the system is ‘no-fault’, meaning that the employee is not legally required to prove fault. Employees also cannot be denied access to compensation, even if they are found to be partly to blame for the accident.
Despite these guidelines, there are certain citations which may negate the right of an employee to access compensation. These are:
- A willful breach of a rule or regulation by the employee
- A refusal by the employee to use safety equipment or follow safety rules
- The situation arose due to the intoxication of the employee
- The accident was caused by the willful misconduct of an employee
If any of the above circumstances are present, you may be prevented from claiming for a workplace injury.
What Are My Next Steps?
If you have been involved in an injury in the workplace, get in touch with Pharr & Goree Injury Attorneys today. Our experienced team has worked with hundreds of individuals across Alabama and work tirelessly to help you secure the outcome you deserve in your workplace injury case.