Working in forestry comes with many risks. Those who must cut down trees know anything that undermines safety creates dire hazards. Anyone who is injured on the job due to unsafe conditions may have a strong workers compensation claim and, possibly, grounds for a civil suit. Employers whose negligence contributes to an injury may try to deny any culpability leading to a workman's compensation claim being rejected. Workers have to be aware of negligent factors contributing to an accident and log the proper documentation so a lawyer may use it as evidence in an appeal.
Understand Employer Culpability
Employers have a duty to make sure their employees are not injured on the job. Those involved with forestry should examine the following examples of employer negligence:
Being told to cut a tree with a chainsaw that shows the signs of obvious rust would be placing a worker at great risk. The rusty chain could snap and cause a serious injury.
Requiring someone to cut down thick trees or branches with a cutting tool designed for hedges is both foolish and risky. The tool could shatter causing a massive injury.
Forcing workers to walk in areas where weeds and vines are growing uncontrollably boosts the chances for a slip and fall hazard, steps should be taken to clear about the growth. Anyone who slips and falls and is injured by the cutting tool not only would have a workers compensation claim, but a civil liability one as well.
Strong evidence could nullify an employer's claims no work related accident occurred or the accident was solely the employee's fault. Taking photographs of damaged or improper equipment and an unsafe work area is advised. Depending on the state, using a cell phone to record audio of any conversations with employers that prove an unsafe working environment may be allowable. Gathering the names of witnesses to the event so they can be disposed to make statements at a later date is equally advisable. The more evidence that is compiled, the better case the worker has.
Speak with an Attorney
A skilled workers compensation lawyer can prepare a workman's compensation claim in an expert manner and handle any immediate appeals if a denial has been issued. Additionally, the total picture of the injury scenario can be examined to see if the employer committed other violations of the law.
To learn more, contact a workers compensation lawyer like Locklin & Mordhorst.