Work injuries are often unavoidable, but more importantly, they can be quite hazardous. Nearly 2.3 million people around the world die as a result of a work-related injury or disease. While most work injuries are unintentional, some are caused as a result of a third party’s negligence.
What’s more, nearly 3.4 million work-related accidents are reported globally every year. Since these injuries can maim people severely, workers need to be aware of their rights and the steps that they can take following such accidents.
While most injuries are compensated by employers with the help of a Worker’s Compensation, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if you think they were caused due to negligence. Here are a few common types of work injuries that you can file a personal injury lawsuit for:
1. Auto Accidents
For many, driving is a core part of their work schedule. When you need to drive extensively every day, the probability of being in an accident is much higher. Such accidents can happen offsite while transporting goods, or right in your workplace.
If you are injured in such an accident, you may need extensive medical treatment, or even incur a loss of pay. If the root cause of the accident is a negligent party at work or a faulty employer-issued vehicle, then your employer is liable to compensate for the damages.
In case your employer has not registered for Worker’s Compensation and denies any kind of payment to compensate for the accident, you have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
2. Slips and Falls
Another type of work injury that often takes place is a slip and fall injury, most commonly observed in construction sites or industrial facilities. While most times such an injury may not cause a lot of distress, on rare occasions, it may have serious implications and even prove fatal.
Due to the high probability of such accidents in certain industries, employers are obliged to provide you with the necessary safety gear to protect yourself. Even then, you might end up getting injured and require medical attention to recuperate. The most common causes for such accidents are wet floors, loose wires, damaged carpets among others.
In more serious cases, the fall could be from a height and cause catastrophic injuries and trauma. Industries that are at risk of such injuries generally provide Worker’s Compensation, if such a provision is not available, you can go ahead and file a personal injury lawsuit.
3. Injury by Faulty Equipment
Another major cause of injury at the workplace is operating faulty equipment. It can often lead to burns or electrocution, which can be quite traumatic for victims.
Such accidents can pull you out of your job temporarily, and in many cases, cause a lot of pain and suffering to your family. If this happens, and you are sure that a piece of faulty equipment is at the root of it, file for worker’s compensation. Establishing liability is often tricky in such cases, which is why victims of such accidents prefer to file an injury claim.
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, ensure to identify the responsible party first. If the equipment malfunctioned due to wear and tear, you should hold the employer responsible. But if the equipment had any major defects, you would need to sue the manufacturer. In several cases, you may need to hold both parties responsible — the employer and the manufacturer.
4. Toxic Exposure
Manufacturing industries, especially ones that use a wide range of chemicals in the process, can expose employees to a highly toxic environment. While such industries have safety precautions in place, the likelihood of health issues due to such exposure is extremely high.
Many toxic chemicals such as benzene, ammonia, mercury, and lead among several others can cause negative health implications upon exposure. Occupational exposure to chemicals accounts for the death of nearly 2.3% of the global population.
Due to this, many employers provide worker’s compensation for such injuries even if they had taken all precautions to prevent such instances. On the other hand, if the exposure took place due to the employer’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit instead. However, for the latter, you need to prove that the employer’s negligence played a part in your injury.
Regardless of how you got injured, work injuries can be quite debilitating. They can leave victims with severe trauma, disabilities, or in worst cases, even cause death. If you work in an industry where you are at risk of such an injury, it would benefit you to be cautious and aware of the steps to take in such an event. You should assess whether you need a worker’s compensation or a personal injury lawsuit for claiming compensation. If you decide on a lawsuit, find a lawyer who can represent your interests effectively and get you the compensation you deserve.