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Power plants produce electricity and supply energy that powers communities across West Virginia. However, they can also be dangerous workplaces not just because of the inherent dangers present in these worksites, but also because of other factors caused by negligence that could put workers in harm’s way. Power plant workers face a heightened risk of catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
The experienced Morgantown West Virginia power plant accident lawyers at the Robinette Legal Group have successfully fought on behalf of injured workers and their families. In addition to routine hazards faced by workers in industrial settings, power plant workers face the added danger of working with electric or nuclear power. This could lead to accidents that result in horrific injuries. If you have been injured in a West Virginia power plant accident, please contact us to discuss your legal rights and options.
Here are some of the most common risks and injuries power plant workers face in West Virginia that require the knowledge and help of our dedicated work accident lawyers:
Fires and explosions: In a power plant, fires and explosions could have life-changing consequences. They could cause painful and disfiguring burn injuries that might require long-term treatment and care. Workers might require surgical procedures including costly skin graft surgeries, physical rehabilitation and ongoing pain management. Despite treatments, they may never recover from their permanent disabilities or scarring. In addition to the physical effects, such injuries cause serious psychological damage as well.
Electrocutions: Because workers in power plants deal with electricity and electrical equipment, there is the danger of electrical injuries or electrocutions. Electrocution is defined as death or severe injury caused by electric shock or an electric current passing through the body.
Falls: Falling from heights is a danger in any industry. Power plants are no exception. Falls often result in major injuries including head injuries, neck and back injuries, broken bones, internal organ trauma, etc. Many of these injuries could require lengthy treatment and rehabilitation, and often require time off work.
Excessive noise: Loss of hearing from an explosion or the work environment is a common injury suffered by workers at power plants. When workers are subjected to several years of loud noises at work and are not given protective gear, they could potentially suffer partial or total hearing loss. Some experience symptoms such as ringing in the ears or the need to turn up the volume to hear better.
Toxic Exposure: Burning fossil fuels in power plants could result in the emission of a number of harmful chemicals, gases and particulate matter that could be harmful to human health. Such toxic exposure could result in respiratory and cardiovascular problems as well as immune system damage and even cancers.
If you have lost a loved one in a power plant accident, you may be able to seek workers’ comp death benefits. These benefits for survivors of the wrongful death of a deceased worker might cover medical expenses incurred by the decedent as well as funeral and burial costs. However, it is important to remember that death benefits provided through the workers’ compensation system in West Virginia alone would be woefully inadequate when it comes to compensating victims’ families.
It is difficult to fathom that such compensation would suffice for a family that has just lost a primary wage earner or breadwinner. In such cases a West Virginia power plant accident injury lawyer will be able to explore other avenues of compensation to help families bear their financial losses.
Whether you’ve lost a loved one in a power plant accident or if you are a worker who has suffered catastrophic injuries and is unable to return to work, you might be wondering how to seek just compensation in your case. There are situations where workers might be able to seek monetary compensation in addition to their workers’ comp benefits.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to file what is known as a third party claim, which is essentially a personal injury lawsuit against a party other than your employer who may have caused your injury or your loved one’s death. Third-party claims are worth a lot more than workers’ comp benefits because they include compensation that you cannot seek through workers’ comp.
For example, workers’ compensation benefits typically may not include loss of earning capacity or compensation for pain and suffering. However, you can seek compensation for those losses and others such as cost of ongoing treatment and care when you file a personal injury lawsuit. Examples of third parties include property owners, contractors, manufacturers of defective products or equipment, etc.
There are a number of steps you would be well advised to take if you have been injured in a power plant accident. First, make sure you report your accident and injuries to your employer and supervisor. Obtain a copy of these reports for your records. Get medical attention right away, even if you believe you may not be injured. If you are bleeding or have suffered apparent injuries, go to the emergency room.
Getting immediate care not only helps you recover faster, but it also helps you document your injuries and the treatment you received for them. Be sure to keep all invoices, receipts and documents pertaining to your accident and injuries.
Be sure to file a workers’ compensation claim within the required deadline. West Virginia requires injured workers to file an application for benefits within six months of the date of injury. Finally, make sure you contact an experienced West Virginia power plant accident injury lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.
You may be able to seek compensation for losses including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. The experienced personal injury lawyers at the Robinette Legal Group will fight hard to protect your rights and help achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Call us at (304) 594-1800 to schedule a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.