Your employer provides a valuable benefit if you are injured at work. You can expect to have your medical expenses covered as well as receive a portion of your lost wages for your injury. Some specific circumstances call out for compensation that goes beyond your workers' compensation insurance, however. Read on to learn more about these particular circumstances and how you may be able to file suit and collect far more than would be possible with workers' comp.
Why would your workers' comp payments be inadequate?
For more severe injuries, you may be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering, which workers comp does not address. Additionally, workers' comp doesn't offer a direct opportunity to address the cause of the injury, an issue that could evolve into positive changes in everyone's work environment. Getting payments for being injured at work is good, but returning to the same unsafe environment is not optimal.
You may be exposing yourself to hazardous substances in your workplace. Toxic substances like arsenic, benzine, radium and many more are common in some industries, and exposure can result in debilitating conditions. For example, asbestos, a known toxic substance, is still in use in manufacturing in the United States, in spite of some 30 billion dollars being held in a trust to compensate victims of that very substance. If you are a victim of the related medical conditions that may have been caused by exposure to hazardous substances in your workplace, you may be able to file suit and receive compensation for not only lost wages and medical expenses, but the pain and suffering brought to both you and your family.
You employer has an obligation to provide you with a safe work environment, but damages from suing small companies can be somewhat limited. If your injury was the result of a defective machinery or product, however, you may be entitled to seek damages from a larger entity and have an affect on the safety of other workers. Make sure to file a report with OSHA about the issue as well.
Actions from an employer that compel you to act in a dangerous and injurious manner are grounds for a negligence lawsuit. For example, mining is a dangerous job, but sending a worker down into a mine where conditions were known by that employer to be unsafe is blatant negligence.
These unique circumstances require a personal injury attorney (like Henry C. Devening) to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. While more complicated than simply filing a workers' comp claim, you may be suffering from a permanent injury that requires far more compensation and support to be successfully made financially whole.
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