Thousands of workers are injured on the job each year. While the common types of injuries include falling from one level to another or those sustained in a motor vehicle accident, a quick look through OSHA's web site shows dozens of injuries due to exposure to such caustic or hazardous chemicals as cleaning products, hot oils, sulphuric acid and even fireworks. These injuries are often quite painful with long recoveries and sometimes leave victims with permanent disfigurement.
Since the injury happened on the job, workers should file a workers' compensation claim even if they also plan to file a lawsuit. Serious burns often require extensive rehabilitation, therapy and perhaps ongoing work restrictions once the injured worker can return to work.
When is my employer at fault?
The circumstances of an injury will vary, but sometimes the employer does not take the right steps to prevent injuries. Common oversights include:
- Not adhering to the OSHA safety guidelines for workplace burn safety
- Failure to educate employees on the protocols safe use and storage of hazardous chemicals
- Failure to provide the proper safety gear or protective clothing
- Failure to provide proper first aid supplies and treatment protocols in the workplace
Filing a claim
One big benefits of workers' compensation claims is that an injured worker does not have to prove her employer's fault in order to be entitled to benefits. An attorney here in the tri-county area with experience handling workers' compensation and lawsuits involving workplace injuries can be a tremendous asset to victims. It is best to seek medical help first, but a knowledgeable lawyer can often help the workers' compensation process go more smoothly and address appeals if that is necessary. A lawyer can clear up any misconception that workers' comp should be denied by the employer if the injury was caused by the employee's negligence or the inherent hazards of the job. Getting a lawyer on board early can maximize your chances for getting all the benefits to which you are entitled.