St. Joseph Workplace Injury Attorney
Because Americans spend so much time at work, it is all but inevitable that workplace injuries will occur on the job. Some are the result of unavoidable accidents; others are caused by an unsafe condition or a hazard that is inherent in the job.
The Numbers: Workplace Fatality and Injury Statistics
In 2012, 4,383 workers were killed on the job, according to figures provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 full-time workers, an average of nearly 12 deaths every day. Fortunately, workplace fatalities have been steadily declining for several decades, but they are still unacceptably high.
In addition to those who lost their lives as a result of work-related accidents or illnesses, 2,976,400 workers were injured on the job in 2012; 905,700 were injured seriously enough to lose time from work.
Protections for Workers and Their Families
When a worker is injured or killed, the first place to turn is Workers’ Compensation. In all but the smallest companies, workers are protected by Workers’ Compensation insurance, a type of no-fault insurance for workers who have suffered injuries related to their employment. It provides benefits to workers and at the same time protects employers from lawsuits brought by their employees.
If you are injured while performing your job, Workers’ Compensation benefits will pay you around two-thirds of your regular earnings and will cover all of the medical treatment for the job-related injury or illness. If you are unable to return to your regular job, it provides rehabilitation to train you for other employment that you can perform with your disability. It also pays a death benefit to a dependent spouse and children of a worker who dies from an injury or disease suffered while at work, based on the earnings of the deceased employee, along with funeral.
If you are injured on the job, inform your employer of the injury, seek medical attention immediately and obtain the paperwork required to file a claim. It is usually a good idea to consult a St. Joseph Workers’ Compensation attorney at this point. Insurers frequently delay or deny claims, and having an experienced attorney working for you can expedite your benefits and ensure that you receive everything you’re entitled to.
Limitations of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ Compensation goes only so far in compensating you for a work-related injury. It does not cover damages such as pain and suffering that affect your quality of life; nor does it allow you to be awarded punitive damages as a punishment and deterrent when your injuries were caused by a wanton lack of concern for your life, health or well-being.
A Third Party Claim May Increase Your Potential Recovery
While you won’t be able to sue your employer if you collect Workers’ Compensation benefits, your lawyer will investigate to determine if one or more third parties might have contributed to causing your accident or injury. For example, if you were injured while working on a construction site as an employee of a general contractor, your injury might have been caused by the negligence of the owner of the premises, a subcontractor or the manufacturer of a defective tool or piece of machinery. In this case, you might be able to make a third-party claim against that party in which you could potentially win an additional award for damages not allowed under Workers’ Compensation.
Experienced Legal Representation for Workplace Injuries and Wrongful Death
If you’ve been injured on the job in Missouri, call the offices of Murphy, Taylor, Siemens & Elliott, P.C., in St. Joseph. In addition to facilitating your Workers’ Compensation claim, our dedicated personal injury and wrongful death lawyers will investigate closely to identify any third parties that might have contributed to your accident. We are deeply committed to helping you obtain compensation sufficient to cover all of your damages, including damages to your quality of life. With a combined 100 years of practice, our experience, reputation, and success are hard to beat. Protect your rights by calling now for a free consultation to learn about your legal options. You risk nothing because you don’t pay us unless we obtain money for you.