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After being injured, what are your legal options as a plaintiff?

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website, the requirement of employers to report work accidents has produced much safer workplaces, reducing the daily average of on-the-job fatalities from 38 to 12. Yet as a personal injury law firm that focuses on plaintiffs’ litigation, we know that prospective improvements will not provide immediate answers to injured workers or their surviving family members.

In most West Virginia workplaces, an employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage protects against on-the-job injuries, regardless of which party may have been at fault. Although a coal miner may have a workplace that is significantly different than the general office worker’s, he or she is similarly entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim after a workplace accident.

Our law firm focuses on personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We know that an attorney is often needed to protect a worker’s rights. For starters, the insurance company may not provide all of the benefits to which an employee is entitled. The mere fact of having legal representation may encourage an insurance provider to play fair.

If a worker is denied some of the workers’ compensation benefits that he or she needs, there are legal options available. One option is appealing an insurance carrier’s initial claim management decision to the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner, and specifically the Workers’ Compensation Office of Judges. That office conducts hearings and issues written decisions in workers’ compensation claim disputes. If a third party’s negligence also factored into the accident, an injured worker may also have a plaintiff’s claim to bring against that party.

Our law firm is committed to helping plaintiffs understand all of their legal options when pursuing their rights.

Source: “Office of Judges,” copyright 2017, West Virginia Insurance Commission

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