Metal fabrication involves using power equipment such as saws, drill presses, flame-cutting torches, and other types of tools to cut or shape metal. These workers operate these tools for hours at very high speeds and can suffer serious personal injuries if they are not careful. Metal fabricating machine tools are used to shape and form metal parts. Many metal fabricators must use personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, dust masks, and even hard hats. Unfortunately, many workers are injured because they are not adequately protected or monitored in the wrong areas for potential hazards.
For Example, some fabricators may be distracted by what they believe to be a relatively minor injury and fail to watch out for their own safety. Metal Fabrication is a hazardous trade and falls under construction work. Because of this, there are several federal and state regulations about workplace safety. Metal fabricators must adhere to or face disciplinary action by OSHA or a fine from the state.
Every state has its own workers’ compensation board. It sets the rules for what injuries are compensable and what benefits must be provided to employees who have been injured on the job. In most cases, benefits include medical care and payments of some portion of lost wages. In severe cases, a worker who is permanently disabled will receive a lump sum known as “scheduled benefits”. It is equal to the projected value of lifetime benefits.
Injured workers in these cases will likely make an initial claim for compensation with either their employer or the state’s workers’ compensation board. In all states except North Carolina and New York, workers’ compensation cases are resolved through the state workers’ compensation system, not the civil courts.
North Carolina is the only state that handles workplace accidents differently by allowing injured employees to sue their employers for negligence through the civil court system. However, an employee must typically prove gross negligence to win a lawsuit against an employer. Workers’ compensation cases are based on the principle that injured workers are entitled to receive benefits without proving fault on the part of their employer.
Insurance companies typically represent employers in workers’ compensation cases and hire a lawyer to contest any claim they feel is not valid or does not warrant benefits. The state board typically schedules an administrative hearing where both sides can present evidence and witnesses. If the case cannot be resolved in this manner, a judge will hear arguments from both sides and decide based on the evidence.
In some cases, the insurance company may not contest a claim, or they may offer to settle it for less than you feel you deserve. In these cases, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance carrier on your behalf to arrive at a fair settlement. Disclaimer: This article does not provide any legal advice.