People who are employed by local governments or waste management companies have to operate large trucks and disposal machinery for several hours each day. This is actually a very dangerous occupation and there are a number of possible causes of injuries. As in most other jobs that require long trips on the road, driving is the most dangerous regular activity that these people engage in on a daily basis.
Deadly garbage truck accident in Charleston
A fatal single car accident occurred when a City of Charleston garbage truck went off of the interstate and into the median. Three city employees were riding in the truck on Interstate 77 southbound while returning from a local cleanup event. It was later determined that none of them were wearing safety belts. At some point the truck veered out of the lanes and crashed until it came to a stop on the grass in the median. One of the men in the truck was killed as a result of the crash, the second man remained in the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, and the third man was treated for his injuries and released shortly afterward.
Workers Compensation and related lawsuits
When someone is injured on the job, they can usually file a Workers Compensation claim for things like lost wages and related medical costs. In the state of West Virginia, most businesses are required to carry a special type of insurance to pay out in situations where their employees are hurt on the job. However, this type of compensation is usually limited to the difference between a person’s normal salary and the losses incurred after an injury and basic medical expenses. For more serious accidents, there are other claims which can potentially pay out larger amounts.
To make a claim against an employer besides workers comp, there needs to be a clear showing of negligence or misbehavior. In cases involving truck accidents this would probably be something like sending workers out in a truck that was known to be in a state of disrepair or through unsafe road conditions. However, this is not always easy as a worker is assumed to have known that there are some normal risks of work related injuries associated with their job. Any occupation that involves driving creates the possibility of accidents and it is not always the employer’s negligence that causes the situation.
There are also cases where an employer retaliates against an employee who files a workers compensation claim by firing them. When an employee begins the process to make a claim for workers compensation, the employer is not allowed to take any action against the employee for doing this or asserting any other legally guaranteed rights. If any employer does this, there is a lawsuit called wrongful termination that can be filed against them. Civil penalties for wrongful termination can be severe. The best possible scenario for someone looking to sue an employer is to have proof of an incident that demonstrates clear misconduct such as harassment, discrimination, or other forms of unfair treatment related to prior work related injuries. The stress and economic harm caused by an employer’s actions can be factored into a judgement or settlement. However, being hurt at work on its own is usually covered by workers comp.
Get help from a lawyer in the Charleston West Virginia area
If you have been injured at work and are considering a lawsuit against your employer, contact an experienced local attorney. Lawyers who are licensed in the state of West Virginia and have knowledge of the local courts in Charleston will give you the best chance of winning a judgment or a settlement against your employer.