Employers are required to report certain types of workplace accidents to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That reporting may prompt an investigation by OSHA officials, in some instances. Yet an investigation may provide little consolation to an injured worker and his or her loved ones. For them, an attorney may be the better resource.
In a recent example, a worker brought suit against his employer, claiming that his wife was exposed to take-home asbestos fibers from his work clothes. The worker and his wife lived in Oklahoma at the time the wife’s health condition was diagnosed, so the case was brought in that state.
Sadly, the claim was dismissed on summary judgment. The court determined that it was not reasonably foreseeable that the worker’s occasional exposure to asbestos on pipe insulation would result in take-home exposure to his wife.
As an attorney that focuses on workers’ compensation issues is well aware, denied benefits claims are unfortunately not a rarity. Although an employer may carry insurance, that coverage is not a guarantee that an injured worker’s medical bills and wage losses will be fully compensated.
Workers’ compensation can help pay for the costs and expenses of an injured worker’s recovery. In the event of a fatal workplace accident, the surviving family members may be entitled to death benefits, payable at a percentage of the deceased’s wages.
Yet regardless of the injury, workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury are typically calculated on an individual basis. For that reason, an attorney that focuses on workers’ compensation benefits and workplace safety should be consulted. An attorney can work to achieve the best outcome for a client’s unique circumstances.
Legal Newsline, “Defendants win summary judgment in Okla. take-home asbestos exposure case,” Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, Aug. 18, 2014