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What are some West Virginian workers' compensation defenses?

Every day, West Virginians put themselves in harm's way, simply by going to work. Particularly, those who work in the oil, gas, mining and construction industries, a minor mistake on behalf of an employer or a coworker can cause serious injuries, perhaps even death. Fortunately, the workers' compensation system exists to help these individuals recover some of their losses, which may take the form of medical expenses and lost wages.

However, before an individual can recover workers' compensation, he or she must file a successful claim. One way to put together a successful claim is to know what defenses a victim may face. One defense, for example, is intentional infliction of harm. With this defense, an insurer may claim that the victim intentionally injured him or herself and is therefore not entitled to workers' compensation.

Another defense is that the victim's own negligence caused the claimed injuries. Thus, a victim who breaks safety rules implemented by his or her employer may be unable to recover workers' compensation. It is also important to remember that to recover compensation, a victim must typically be able to show that the injury was causally linked to his or her employment. That is to say, the course of her employment was the cause of his or her injury.

These are just a handful of the many workers' compensation defenses available to employers and their insurers. As claims are often denied in hopes that the victim will just walk away from the incident, an individual injured in a mining or construction accident should consider seeking the assistance of a legal professional. A skilled attorney can help a victim navigate the legal waters and fight for the compensation the victim truly deserves.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Common Workers' Compensation Defenses," accessed on Aug. 22, 2015

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