In West Virginia, like most other jurisdictions, a worker who is injured on the job is entitled to receive certain workers' compensation benefits, including payment of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Job retraining
- Partial wage replacement
West Virginia workers' compensation law
West Virginia law, like the law of other jurisdictions, provides that a worker who is injured on the job and uses workers' compensation benefits may not also sue his employer in the regular court system. However, in West Virginia, unlike most other jurisdictions, there is an exception by which an employee may, in certain limited circumstances, avoid the workers' compensation immunity and pursue a claim against the employer for damages over and above the limited benefits available under the workers' compensation system. This exception is set forth in West Virginia statute, and is referred to as the "deliberate intent" exception.
There are two types of conduct which constitute deliberate intent, allowing recovery of full damages in the case. They are as follows:
- The simple meaning of the phrase "deliberate intent" means that an employer cannot knowingly harm you and then claim workers compensation immunity. Obviously, this type of claim is rare.
- However, there is a second meaning that holds the employer responsible for injuring the employee under the following circumstances:
- The existence of a specific, unsafe working condition which presented a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury or death
- The employer had actual knowledge of these risks
- The unsafe circumstances are a violation of the law or a commonly accepted and well-known safety standard
- The employer intentionally exposed the employee to the unsafe conditions
- The employee suffered a serious injury or death
At Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC, we have years of experience handling personal injury cases and West Virginia workers compensation cases. If you have been injured in the workplace, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate in contacting the firm today. We are happy to schedule a free consultation to determine the best way we can help you.
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Call or visit us for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury matter. We also offer home and hospital visits for those who are injured and cannot travel to us. In family law matters, you can obtain fee information by phone, or schedule a consultation. To obtain fee information or a consultation contact us today.