On the Job Injuries and Workers' Comp
When we go to work every morning, we expect to come home every night in the same condition as when we left. Below are two examples of workers’ compensation claimants who went to work but did not make it home that night in the same condition.
In Houston, Texas, a worker in a packaging plant was operating a machine when it stopped working. Adjustments were made to the machine so that it would start working again. The operating controls of the machine were put into a manual operating mode so that it could be operated by hand. Even though the machine was not in an automated mode, it allegedly malfunctioned and turned “on” unexpectedly. The worker’s arm was in the machine at the time and was severed just up from the elbow joint. Besides sustaining the amputation injury, the worker also sustained psychological injuries and got treatment for that as well. In this type of situation, besides pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, in Kentucky the injured worker can also potentially sue the manufacturer of the machine he was using at the time of the accident. Before suing the manufacturer of the machine, it has to be shown that the machine was defective.
The second workers’ compensation claim involves the death of a train worker who went to unload from a rail car a roll of newspaper print which weighed approximately 1,500 pounds. It is alleged that the roll of newspaper print had not been properly secured for transport and that there was no procedure in place to safely open the train doors. When the rail car door was opened by the worker, the improperly secured 1,500 pound roll of paper came out of the rail car, striking and killing the worker. Again, in Kentucky, the worker’s family would be able to pursue not only a workers’ compensation claim against his employer but a lawsuit against the company responsible for the transporting of the newspaper print.
These are extreme and tragic instances of on the job injuries. Fortunately, most workers’ compensation claims are not this tragic. However, should you or a loved one be involved in a workers’ compensation accident, make sure all of your rights are protected. While you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you may also be due compensation through a civil suit.