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George Fusner
George Fusner
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Catastrophic Workplace Injuries-The Role of the Plaintiff Personal Injury Attorney

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I was doing some research today after posting on the death of a worker by electrocution. I ran across an interesting article written for industry on what to do and what not to do. What struck me as great advice that also would apply to the injuried workers and their families is the early role of attorneys in the process. A few choice quotes:

After the appropriate emergency or medical personnel have been contacted, the next step is to notify the appropriate corporate officers regarding the emergency. It is important to notify the appropriate corporate legal department, which is responsible for managing the risk and avoiding potential legal liability. (A determination will have to be made if outside legal counsel is needed based on the scope of the workplace emergency.)

As in any accident investigation, the employer should anticipate an attempt to discover or obtain the documents generated by the accident investigation team by outside governmental agencies or plaintiff’s attorneys. Such documents should be appropriately marked as being a “draft” prepared at the direction of an attorney. The document should be marked “confidential and privileged, attorney-client communications.” All “draft” accident investigation documents should be reviewed by an attorney before they are completely in final form.

In dealing with incidents involving fatality and catastrophic accidents, it is likely that the employer will also have to handle requests from other third parties. These third parties include equipment manufacturers, contractors, property owners, vendors, and attorneys representing the injured or deceased employees. It will be critical to effectively deal with these third parties, because they represent potential financial and legal liability to the company.

Good advice. As you can see the company is already getting its attorneys involved. Thus anything that is said may be priviledged. Any statements that ultimately are given have been "approved" by the company attorney. Is that really a true statment of the facts?

This is why it is so critical to get an experienced attorney working for YOU, not the company, not the insurance company, not the trucking company. So he can gather the facts for you in unfiltered form.