Welding Accident Attorney
Welding is a highly skilled trade and vital for many industries, including the motor vehicle, aerospace, and mining trades. More than half of the items manufactured in the United States require welding. A successful welding career requires experience and certification. The government regulates the field, yet workers often sustain injuries while on the job. Welding is among the most hazardous construction and manufacturing jobs, and the damages are often costly. If you need help recovering compensation after an accident, consider contacting a seasoned welding accident attorney from the Mark Casto Law Firm at (706) 940-4030 to review your case.
Common Welding Accident Causes
Welding is the process of bonding metal pieces by liquifying the material with extremely high heat. Many things, including the high temperatures, put welders at risk for injuries. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), welders commonly sustain injuries from ultraviolet radiation, toxic metal fumes, confined workspaces, and noise exposure. Because of the inherent risks, OSHA requires that companies follow many regulations and safety precautions. However, despite the strictly enforced laws, accidents leading to severe injuries and losses can still occur.
Welding Accident Injuries
Welders have the right to a safe work environment. The job of welding, however, puts workers at high risk of severe and life-altering injuries, even when they follow every safety precaution. Some injuries welders may sustain on the job include:
- Respiratory illnesses from breathing toxic fumes
- Burns or internal injuries, including cardiac arrest from electrical shock
- Hearing loss from noise exposure
- Severe burn injuries from fire, sparks, hot metals, and explosions
- Eye injuries from sparks, metal drops, and flash burns
- Ergonomic injuries from working in confined workspaces
- Repetitive motion injuries from repeating the same motion for prolonged periods
- Finger and toe crushing injuries
Welders work with hazardous materials; therefore, sustaining injuries on the job is not uncommon. While following safety procedures will not ensure that no accidents happen, the practice can reduce occurrences significantly.
How To Avoid Welding Accidents
Welders face many potential hazards daily, and there are safety precautions to avoid accidents and severe injuries. Best safety practices include:
- Wearing safety gear, such as a welding helmet with a shield to protect the eyes
- Changing out the eye shield as necessary for each job
- Wearing appropriate fire-resistant clothing
- Wearing ear protection
- Using fire-resistant boots and gloves
- Utilizing respirators for protection from fumes
When welders ensure that they always use safety practices with every job, they can minimize or avoid sustaining injuries. When workers follow the safety guidelines yet still sustain injuries at work, they have options to collect payment and compensation for damages.
Collecting Workers' Compensation After a Welding Accident
After sustaining injuries while on a welding job, the worker may be eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits from the state of Georgia. He or she can ensure that the process goes smoothly and avoid delays in recovering benefits by following the workers' compensation process precisely as the state requires. According to the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation guidelines, the injured welder must take crucial steps after an accident that include the following:
- The injured team member must file for workers' compensation benefits within one year of sustaining the injuries
- The worker must report the accident to his or her employer immediately or within thirty days of the incident
- The welder must accept reasonable medical care as the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation requires
- If the treating physician clears an injured worker for specific job duties, the welder must report for work even for less pay than before the incident
- The injured welder must submit to drug testing when necessary
Failure to follow the process will lead to a denial of benefits. While legislation does not require the team member to obtain legal representation, a skilled welding accident attorney could ensure that the team member meets all the requirements. An experienced attorney from the Mark Casto Law Firm can also help file an appeal if there is an initial denial of benefits. Hiring a qualified lawyer can significantly reduce the time to collect workers' compensation benefits.
Third-Party Lawsuits After Welding Accidents
The law protects employers from lawsuits when they offer workers' compensation to employees. However, in many welding accident cases, the injured party can collect workers' compensation and recover damages from a negligent third party. The team member can sue in civil court when the accident occurred because of a third-party's negligence. A third party could be the company that manufactured a piece of machinery or equipment if there was a malfunction, a contractor working on the job site, or the owner of the property where the accident occurred.
Workers' compensation benefits, if approved, will cover a portion of the injured worker's damages. Therefore, injured workers may often collect workers' compensation benefits while also filing a civil liability claim against a negligent third party. The lawsuit will not affect the workers' compensation benefits but will allow the injured welder to collect additional economic damages for medical expenses and missed time from work. A civil suit will also enable the injured worker to collect non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Compensation could cover any out-of-pocket verifiable expense and the subjective losses a person suffers from severe injuries related to negligence. An award for damages in civil court might cover:
- Current and future medical bills and expenses
- Current and future loss of pay and benefits
- Home modifications, if necessary
- Travel expenses
- Emotional anguish and pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
Meet with an Experienced Welding Accident Attorney Today
If you have sustained injuries on a welding job, you might be eligible to recover compensation for your losses. An accident often leaves workers with painful injuries that require extensive medical care and cause the worker to miss pay and benefits from working. Being approved for workers' compensation benefits could cover part of the costs. However, a civil claim can provide the money needed to cover the extra costs while the worker recovers. Consider contacting a hard-working welding accident attorney from the Mark Casto Law Firm today at (706) 940-4030 to schedule a consultation to discuss your unique case.