search
top

Common issues with Workman’s Compensation and Workplace Injuries

Although preventable, workplace injuries are very common, especially in a number of worksites such as construction and mining. In fact, according to ABC news, an average of 50 to 60 coal miners die in this country every year while they work. If you ask any Minnesota workers’ comp attorney, a worker who was injured in the workplace or during working hours has the right to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who caused the accident. However, the injured worker also has the option of filing for a personal injury claim against the person who caused the accident if the cause was due to recklessness or negligence and the resulting injuries were significant enough to seek for damages. In order to understand which option is best to go with, it is therefore vital to know the difference between personal injury claims and worker’s compensation benefits.

The main difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is that the latter is dependent on establishing fault, while worker’s compensation is not. Recovering damages for personal injury claims require proof of negligence on the side of the other party, which means evidence should be provided that they did indeed were at fault. On the other hand, worker’s compensation benefits are given to workers injured while on the workplace or when performing their duties regardless of who was negligent. Even when you caused the accident, you are still entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.

As for damages, The Benton Law Firm states that personal injury claims entitle you to recover all types of damages, including pain and suffering, among other things. Workers’ compensation, however, can only provide for lost wages, permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and medical bills. Those who have availed workers’ compensation may not be allowed to file for personal injury claims, as workers’ compensation law also protects the management and company from lawsuits after workplace accidents. Although majority of workplace injuries are covered by compensation, there are specific cases where this benefit is not awarded to the injured worker. Compensation may be denied when the injured worker was under the influence of any prohibited drugs or alcohol when injured, as well as when the injuries were self-inflicted, when violation on company laws or policy was made, or when the injury occurred while not on duty.

Personal Injury Due To Electrical Hazards

Electrocution or electric shock injuries are very common in construction sites. According to the website of Ali Mokaram, there are clear statistics that show the dangers of construction workers’ exposure to electricity as one of the leading causes of deaths in the workplace. In the United States, electrocutions rank as the fourth leading cause of death among construction workers, with electrical workers being the top victims, then construction workers and carpenters, roofers, and supervisors of non-electrical workers.

For electricians, the danger comes from working with “live” wires or being near them and mistaking de-energizing and lockout/tagout procedures. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrical hazards can cause burns, shocks, and death by electrocution, For non-electricians, the risks arise from failing to avoid overhead live wires and the general lack of primary electrical safety awareness. Electric shocks can come from either direct or indirect contact, and any injury caused by strong electrical currents can have various effects to the body. Electrocution is the fatal result of a very strong electrical shock.

Non-electrical workers, such as those in the construction site, are in danger of electrocution via contact with hanging power lines after they have failed to de-energize or take care of the power lines or failing to keep the designated minimum clearance distance from live power lines. Based on information from the Abel Law Firm, many workers who suffered electrocutions or electrical shocks were injured through contact with electrical equipment, machinery, power tools, and defective power or extension cords. These physical contacts occurred on metal ladders, pipes, wires (that were intentionally stripped or cut or were accidentally damaged by drills or other tools) and other equipment or vehicles energized by live wires.

Furthermore, workers in cramped areas were a major contributor in electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Water in the workplace also increased the risks of electrocution and electrical shock injuries, and even low-voltage contributed to accidents and construction site injuries. On order to prevent or lessen the dangers that come with working with electricity, construction sites should always follow the OSHA safety guidelines and ensure that they train their workers properly. Likewise they should also comply with the specific permit systems and procedure to ensure the safety of their workplace and their workers.

Criminal Record Expunction

For those who wish to have their criminal records sealed or erased should consult a lawyer to help with the process of criminal record expunction or non-disclosure.  These two options help in giving those with criminal records a chance to move on and have better opportunities in life, especially when many people who have criminal records suffer from discrimination and limitations even when the charges or the case was dismissed or never ended in a conviction. In the state of Texas, people who fit a certain criteria can file for expunction or non-disclosure after a wrongful arrest or after completing your deferred adjudication program.

In order to know which option is best for you, it is important to know what expunction and non-disclosure does and how they can help you. According to the State Bar of Texas, once a person’s record is expunged, all information is removed from the criminal record and that person can deny the incident ever occurred. Expunctions are the ones where the records will be destroyed, while the non-disclosure will only seal the records against most private agencies. Choosing expunction would be the best option since many government as well as licensing agencies can still legally view your sealed records.

Before pursuing an application for expunction or non-disclosure, it is best to talk with a lawyer first, for a number of reasons. The Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter website states that Texas laws tend to change a lot and can be too complicated for ordinary people to keep up with. Consulting with lawyers qualified and knowledgeable on such cases is vital since you are only given one opportunity to qualify for either expunction or non-disclosure. It is also important to hire a lawyer to help you through the whole process.

Because convictions tend to last a lifetime, having the option for expunction or non-disclosure can undeniably affect a person’s life and their future. Through Texas law, you can clear up your records or seal them to help forge a better future without any judgment or discrimination from past mistakes. You should know your rights and take advantage of them as much as possible.

Next Entries »

top