Big Wins for Injured Workers
Over the past year, I’ve written a number of blogs on the workers’ compensation system and what to do if you’re hurt at work.
When I speak with people hurt at work, one of the biggest concerns they share is that in this tight economy, they’re afraid to file a workers’ compensation complaint against their employer for fear of losing their job or hurting their company.
I understand, but please remember, if you don’t seek legal help right after you’re hurt at work, you risk not getting proper medical help; the workers’ comp benefits you’re entitled to by law; and all the monetary compensation you deserve for your temporary and/or permanent disability.
Here are two examples of what some injured workers have been awarded due to workplace injuries:
A Texas jury has handed down a verdict of more than $82 million against two natural gas plant companies after a worker in a rebuilt and refurbished plant was killed in an explosion.
In April of 2010, 68-year-old Rhoda Evans won $208.8 million for the mesothelioma caused by asbestos contamination that her husband brought home from his job. The jury awarded $8.8 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. The compensatory award was split 70/30 between the pipe maker and the employer, but the pipe maker alone was held responsible the entire punitive award.
Regardless of how you were hurt at work, you must notify your employer within 30 days of an injury or as soon as you learned or believe your injury was caused by your job or you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
One final note: The above examples are exceptional awards and involved third party claims that were work related. Every case and work injury is unique. Results of your case may differ if based on different facts. Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject up to five years in prison or a fine of $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater or by both.
Be careful. Be aware. Be sure to wear all proper safety equipment. And please make job safety your number one priority.
Robert M. Cohen
Attorney at Law
Attorney Network at 1-800-THE-LAW2
The information within the blog is not to be construed as legal advice.