When you are at work, your employer should ensure your workplace is as safe as possible. The environment should be as clean and tidy as you, your coworkers, and your supervisors can reasonably make it. You should have the appropriate safety gear, and your tools, equipment, and machinery should be well maintained. Your workplace should also be secure from intrusions, whether you work in an office building in a suburb or work at various outdoor sites across the state. When you head into work, you should not have to worry about your safety. Yet, things go wrong at work all the time. Sometimes it is the fault of a coworker or supervisor. Other times, an employee from another business or a random individual is responsible.
Whenever your work accident and injury are the result of someone from outside your employer, or you are injured at work without workers’ compensation coverage, contact our work injury lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm to discuss third-party liability.
Why You Need a Work Injury Lawyer
Suffering an injury at work leads to a slightly different type of legal claim than if you were injured at a friend’s house or harmed while visiting another business’s property. Work accidents have a number of factors you and your attorneys might not explore in a general personal injury or premises liability claim. The potential complexities of a work injury case is just one of the reasons why you need an attorney specifically experienced with work accidents like our team at The Cagle Law Firm.
Work injury claims may be complicated by workers’ compensation. If you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance and someone within your employer is at fault, then your right to compensation is dictated by workers’ comp. You typically do not have the right to sue your employer or the coworker responsible for the accident. However, your accident may have occurred because of a business or person separate from your employer. Someone from off the street or working for another company may have been at fault for the accident or occupational exposure that led to a work-related injury or medical condition. In this situation, you need to speak with a work injury attorney immediately. Whether or not you have a workers’ comp claim, you also may have a third-party claim against someone other than your employer.
The basis for your third-party liability claim depends on what caused the accident and who is liable. If an individual is responsible for what happened, then you may have a work-related personal injury claim. If you were injured while working on another person or business’s property and it turns out they were negligent in keeping the premises reasonably safe for you, then you may have a premises liability claim. If you were harmed by a defective product, then you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. No two third-party liability claims are alike, which is why it is essential you speak with a St. Louis work injury attorney after a work accident. A lawyer will investigate your circumstances and advise you on the best way to move forward.
Dangerous Industries and Common Work Accidents
In Missouri and Illinois, all types of workers face injuries while on the job. However, certain industries routinely face more injuries and fatalities than others. Workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, transportation, warehousing, construction, and manufacturing have a higher risk of being hurt or killed on the job than most other professionals. At The Cagle Law Firm, we are experienced in handling third-party claims arising from these industries and others, including construction accidents.
One of the reasons these professions experience a higher rate of injuries and fatalities is due to dangerous machinery. Many workers in agriculture, transportation, construction, manufacturing, and the other risky industries have to work with or around large vehicles, like tractor-trailers and forklifts, and deal with large, heavy, high-tech machines. These dangerous machines and vehicles increase the risk of workers being struck by an object, pinned by an object, electrocuted, and caught in a machine. All of these types of accidents can lead to serious and fatal injuries.
Other common work-related accidents include:
- Slip and falls
- Falls from a height
- Being struck by an object
- Being pinned by or between objects
- Electric shock/Electrocution
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Exposure to loud noise
- Fires and explosions
- Transportation accidents
- Drug or alcohol impairment
- Workplace violence
Whatever accident you experienced at work, contact a St. Louis work injury attorney to discuss your rights. Depending on who is at fault for the accident, you may have a third-party claim.
Common Work-Related Injuries
Our work injury lawyers have seen it all, from work-related ergonomic injuries to catastrophic collisions. Some of the most work-related injuries and conditions we handle include:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skin reactions
- Open head injuries
- Brain penetrating injuries
- Hearing loss
- Eye damage/vision loss
- Muscle strains
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
We are here to evaluate whether your injury is the result of a third party’s actions, and if so, whether you have a strong third-party claim for compensation. Whether or not you have or plan to file a workers’ compensation claim, contact an attorney to review your rights. Workers’ comp benefits will not cover all of your financial, physical, and psychological injuries. If a third party is at fault, then you can pursue additional compensation beyond workers’ comp benefits.
Pursuing Compensation for a Work Injury
After being hurt at work, you are forced to deal with all sorts of issues. You may need a lot of medical care, including surgeries, medications, and physical therapy. Treatment and recovery could have you out of work for weeks or months. Depending on the type and extent of the injury, you may have long-term or permanent limitations that alter the jobs you can take, which in turn, reduces your potential earning capacity. Through all of this, you have to deal with the physical pain and emotional distress associated with being out of work and trying to get back to providing for yourself and your family.
Because of all of the consequences of a work-related injury, you have the right to pursue a number of damages, including:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical limitations
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Punitive damages (when applicable)
Punitive damages are those intended to punish the defendant for their misconduct. They are not available in most cases. However, you may have a strong claim for punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were shocking or egregious. To discuss the potential value of your third-party claim, contact our work injury attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm.
A Skilled St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer Can Help
After a work accident, you do not have to fight for your rights without help. You do not have to file a claim with your employer and simply hope for the best. You have every right to contact an attorney and you should. At The Cagle Law Firm, we are here to put you first. One of our St. Louis work injury lawyers will thoroughly review your situation and advise you on whether you have a valid third-party claim. If you do, then we will discuss the best next steps, including filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. We will tenaciously fight for you to receive fair compensation whether you are in Missouri or Illinois.
Call us today at (314) 276-1681 or use our online form to schedule a consultation.