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Impact of Deliberate Intent on Workplace Injury Claims

There are two ways to obtain compensation after a workplace injury: applying for workers’ compensation benefits and filing a lawsuit. Most businesses in West Virginia are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which protects employers from liability in the event of a workplace accident and allows injured workers to apply for monetary and medical benefits.

The legal concept known as “deliberate intent” allows some employees who are injured on the job to circumvent the immunity granted by the State’s workers’ compensation program and bring a case against their company/employer. For the claim to proceed, a worker must prove that the injury they sustained was the result of the company or employer’s deliberate intent. “Deliberate intent” can involve the employer’s intention to place workers at risk of harm or death, or an environment that places workers in such danger and which the employer knew about.

Suing Your Employer for a Workplace Injury

If your employer did act with malice or failed to improve working conditions despite knowing their unreasonable danger, you can bring a lawsuit outside of the state’s workers’ comp program. You will need to prove that your employer acted intentionally in harming you or disregarding employee safety in general.

If your employer is not enrolled in the workers’ compensation program, you may file a claim without having to prove deliberate intent and would only be responsible for establishing their negligence in allowing you to be hurt on the job. In either case, a local lawyer can help you gather evidence of an employer’s deliberate intent or negligence, depending.

Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, there is not a limit on the amount of compensation awarded in a workplace injury claim filed in civil court. You may be able to recover lost wages, reimbursement for medical treatment, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and coverage of future medical care necessitated by a permanent or severe injury.

Punitive damages may also be available in workplace injury claims involving particularly egregious misconduct. Most common in cases based on an employer’s deliberate intent, punitive damages can make up a large portion of an injured worker’s compensatory award.

Work with a Lawyer if You Have Been Injured at Work

A workplace injury lawsuit can be tricky to litigate without the professional help and guidance of a seasoned lawyer. If you are eligible to file a lawsuit, it is important to reach out to a knowledgeable attorney to ensure your rights are protected against your boss and their team of lawyers.

The deadline to file a claim for workplace injuries caused by deliberate intent is short. Our team can help ensure your claim is filed on time and that you receive comprehensive compensation for all your damages and legal fees.

If you or someone you know suffered an injury at a work, contact an attorney at our firm to help you understand your legal options and expedite the claims process.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
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