Decatur, Alabama Workplace Injuries Lawyer
If you are injured in the workplace, there may be several potential solutions for how to pay your bills and take time off from work. In some cases, it may be appropriate to file a workers' compensation claim. However, there are other situations in which a personal injury lawsuit or another form of legal action may be appropriate. At the Reeves Law Firm, our Decatur workplace injury lawyer represents victims in claims arising out of mesothelioma, welding illnesses, and maritime injuries in many areas of Alabama. Mr. Reeves has 25 years of legal experience and has handled cases for clients in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and California.Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a disease that arises from asbestos exposure. Often, this exposure happens on the job in Alabama. Working in certain industries creates a greater risk of being exposed to asbestos and thereby contracting mesothelioma. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, and it may only appear decades after the last exposure to asbestos. If you contract mesothelioma and believe that it might be because you were exposed to asbestos on the job many years ago, you should contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney right away.
If a company knew about the danger of asbestos exposure but failed to protect its employees, it may be possible to recover compensation for economic and noneconomic losses arising out of mesothelioma. For example, asbestos manufacturers and distributors can be held liable for a failure to warn if they made and sold asbestos-containing products that caused a worker to develop mesothelioma, and they knew of the risks associated with breathing in asbestos.Welding Illnesses
Welding activities are associated with certain illnesses. In 1989, the carcinogenicity of welding fumes was classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Prolonged exposure to smoke while welding results in manganese poisoning that can cause long-term damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, heart, and lungs. Additionally, eye burns from artificial UV radiation during welding can result in an increased risk of ocular melanoma.
Welders who contract Parkinson's Disease, Manganism, ocular melanoma, or another welding illness may be able to recover workers' compensation benefits with the assistance of a workplace injury attorney in the Decatur area. You have the burden of showing that you are entitled to benefits. You would need to show that your disease arose from and in the course of your employment and that it was caused by dangers that are more than what is ordinarily incident to employment and peculiar to your occupation.
You may also have a separate claim against a third party for damages. For example, if a manufacturer knew of certain dangers associated with welding rod use but failed to warn you or reduce the dangers, and as a result you inhaled fumes, you may have a product liability claim arising out of a failure to warn, particularly if you are diagnosed with lung cancer. You may be able to sue welding rod manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors. Family members may be able to serve as representatives of an estate and sue a manufacturer in a wrongful death action if a welder dies from an occupational welding illness.Jones Act Claims Arising from Maritime Injuries
Workers' compensation protects people injured in jobs that they undertake on land. However, a seaman is not entitled to workers' compensation. By contrast, they may be entitled to recover damages under the federal Jones Act. A seaman is someone who performs a significant amount of work on a vessel. However, a seaman does not have to work on the sea to be covered under the Jones Act. In fact, the person can work on a river, such as the Tennessee River. Your employer is required to provide you with a reasonably safe place to work and use ordinary care to keep a vessel where you work in a reasonably safe condition. If your Decatur workplace injury attorney can show that a fellow employee, or a sailor or ship's captain, acted negligently while you were at sea or involved with a vessel's purpose, you may be able to recover damages. To be eligible, you need to spend a significant time on board the ship or other vessel. Under the Jones Act, you may be due medical expenses and living expenses from your employer.
In some cases, a vessel is unseaworthy. This means that it has not been properly maintained, has structural problems, has mechanical problems, or has defective equipment. In that case, you may be able to recover economic and noneconomic damages in a civil lawsuit. However, you may also be able to recover certain compensation, such as medical bills, under the doctrines of maintenance and cure without showing fault. You will need to show that your injuries are related to your work.
Consult a Workplace Injury Attorney in Decatur or Surrounding Areas
If you suffer a workplace accident or develop a job-related illness, you should contact the Reeves Law Firm. We represent people in Decatur, Huntsville, Athens, Hartselle, Madison, and Birmingham, as well as other communities in Madison, Morgan, Limestone, Lawrence, Jackson, Lauderdale, and Cullman Counties. Call us at 256.355.3311 or use our online form to set up your free appointment.