According to a recent article for Fox News, a plane bound for Asheville was forced to make an emergency landing after it suddenly made a significant dive. While diving, a flight attendant hit the ceiling and then fell on a passenger, injuring him. A drink cart also caused an injury. A total of six people were reported hurt.
As your Asheville workers’ compensation attorney can explain, when employees, such as flight attendants, are injured on the job, it is likely that they will have to file a claim under the state’s workers compensation program rather than filing a civil negligence lawsuit.
The workers’ compensation program is supposed to be a compromise to meet the needs of both employers and employees. The employer must maintain private insurance or purchase insurance from the state workers’ compensation insurance fund. In North Carolina, the state Industrial Commission is tasked with oversight of the program.
The theory is that employers will know how much they will be required to pay each month and the employees will be able to have quicker access to funds to help with medical bills, lost wages, and other financial consequences of the illness or injury.
On the other hand, the employee is generally precluded from filing a separate civil negligence action against their employer under the single recovery principle. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
If a worker is injured on the job, but that injury was caused by the negligence of third party other than the employer, the worker may be able to collect under the workers’ compensation plan and then also sue the negligent third party. You should discuss this issue with your attorney, because the facts of every situation are different.
A common example of a third party negligence claim filed by an injured worker is when a worker is struck by another vehicle while traveling for work. The worker may be able to collect under the workers’ compensation insurance program and then collect under the at-fault driver’s insurance program.
In the case of an injured flight attendant, it is possible that an investigation would uncover a mechanical issue with the plane caused by a third party contractor.
As an employee who is injured on the job, the most important thing you can do is make sure that you promptly report your injury to your employer or supervisor. It is often very difficult to prove that an illness or injury occurred on the job if there is not a report made at the time it happened. You should also seek prompt medical attention and get a list of anyone who witnessed the accident. Witnesses may be essential to proving your case, and it is often difficult to find people months later at the time of a hearing.
Even though your employer may be happy to provide you with full compensation if you are injured on the job, their workers’ compensation insurance company may oppose your claim. Most insurance companies are far more concerned about their profitability than your well-being.
If you have been injured at work in Asheville, North Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
4 injured when NC-bound Allegiant Air flight takes sudden dive over Florida, August 5, 2014, MyFox8
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Isack v. Acuity: Workers’ Compensation and Reimbursement Rights, July 29, 2014, Asheville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog