Although it is common for employees injured in the workplace to obtain compensation through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, sometimes workers may obtain compensation from others. These exceptions include situations in which you have the right to sue for damages as a result of your injuries. For example:
- You suffered injury from a toxic substance and file a toxic tort lawsuit against the manufacturer
- You suffered injury from a defective product
- Your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance
- Your employer caused your injury through egregious or intentional conduct
- A third-party caused your injury
- You are classified as a contractor, and therefore are ineligible for workers’ compensation
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 2.9 million worksite injuries occurred in 2016. As usual, construction jobs were among the deadliest private industry jobs. Nearly a thousand workers lost their lives that same year. Thankfully, construction workers and their families often have legal options if they wish to pursue a claim.
Filing a product liability lawsuit
When a worker incurs an injury from equipment or machinery that has a defect, fails to function properly, or is highly dangerous to use, liability may rest on the manufacturer for the injury if the manufacturer was aware of the danger and/or failed to provide proper warning to the business or employees. A legally liable manufacturer may be required to compensate an injured construction worker for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.
Toxic torts: making a claim after a work-related illness
Certain chemicals and other substances used in the workplace have the potential to cause serious injuries and illnesses to workers. Some substances that may cause such harm include radium, benzene, asbestos, silica, and chromium compounds. These and other potentially harmful substances have the potential to become the subject of a toxic tort lawsuit.
Toxic injuries can be divided into two categories: acute and latent. Acute injuries are immediately apparent. Some examples include chemical poisoning and chemical burns. Latent injuries take time to manifest – in certain cases even years. Examples include various types of cancers as well as lung disease.
Due to the time delay often accompanying latent injuries, they are generally more difficult to prove in court than acute injuries. However, successful lawsuits concerning latent toxic injuries are certainly possible. Many successful latent injury lawsuits have occurred from workers who have suffered from mesothelioma and asbestos, for example.
The liability for a toxic substance injury often rests on the manufacture of the substance and/or any manufacturers of equipment intended to safely handle the substance, but failed to do so.
The issues surrounding exposure to toxic substances and subsequent injuries and/or illnesses can be complex and difficult to sort out. However, a skilled personal injury attorney who handles these cases can investigate your case thoroughly, sort out the issues, and litigate effectively for the best settlement possible based on your injuries.
Our team at Crandall & Pera Law is experienced at successfully handling workplace injury cases for our clients in Ohio and Kentucky. We understand what is at stake for you when workers compensation coverage is not available or insufficient. We can fight vigorously on your behalf for the compensation you are owed. To arrange a free, initial consultation, fill out our contact form, or call our Kentucky team at 877-651-7764 or our Ohio team at 877-686-8879.