Accidents in the workplace can range from a bruised thumb to an explosion causing brain injury or death. Every state has some kind of workers’ compensation system, but the benefits are always limited and never ever provide full compensation. In any situation involving catastrophic injury or death in the workplace or while on the job, consultation with experienced legal counsel is critical. Workers’ compensation laws generally prohibit lawsuits by an employee against his or her employer when an accident occurs on the job, except to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are typically limited to payment of medical bills and a portion of lost earnings.
If someone other than the immediate employer is at fault, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit seeking full damages for pain and suffering, disfigurement, past and future loss of earnings, loss of consortium, and so forth. Such a lawsuit can bring a much larger recovery than workers’ compensation benefits alone may provide.
Our law firm has successfully brought many such third-party lawsuits, recovering millions of dollars in additional benefits for our clients. For example, on a construction site, where a worker fell into an unguarded hole, we were able to successfully sue another subcontractor working on the site. In another case, a telephone pole broke off at the ground with a cable installer working on the pole 25’ above. Our lawsuit against the utility company responsible for maintaining the pole settled just before trial. In another case, we obtained a settlement for a teenager whose father died when he came in contact with an energized ground wire.
There are many other examples of such cases successfully concluded, bringing victims or family members additional compensation far beyond what was provided by workers’ compensation. Mr. Hamilton obtained a jury verdict against a local electrical provider after an ironworker inadvertently touched an energized high-voltage line with a steel beam he was installing. In another case, he has able to negotiate a settlement after a client suffered a severe head injury falling through an unguarded manlift in a power plant. In another case, where a special purpose high-voltage jumper cable blew out during hot work on an electrical line and electrocuted two linemen, a products liability suit was successfully maintained against the manufacturer.
When death and severe injuries occur in carpet mills and other manufacturing facilities, questions must be answered – was a safety device removed, was preventive maintenance neglected, was someone careless or inattentive? Was the employee placed there through a temporary agency? Was an independent contractor at fault? All such cases are very dependent on the facts, as well as the law in the state where the accident occurs. Thorough investigation and consideration of all the legal options is extremely important.
The lawyers at the Hamilton Firm have years of experience handling cases involving workplace injuries, including construction sites, carpet mills, industrial facilities, manufacturing plants, power plants, elevators, boilers, bucket trucks, lifts, and the like. Do not hesitate to call.