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Will an OSHA Violation Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Case? Get the Facts If an employee gets hurt at work, they will often submit a workers’ compensation claim if they want the employer to cover the costs of the accident. While an employee does not have to prove that his or her employer was negligent and caused the accident, proof of this attribute, such as an OSHA violation, may have legal implications. Keep reading to learn more and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for help with workplace injuries and accidents.

Background on workers’ compensation

If a person’s carelessness causes another party to suffer injury, the injured victim must typically establish that the person’s negligence was to blame for the accident under common law. The injured person would have to establish that the other party owed him or her a duty of care, such as demonstrating that a motorist owes a responsibility to drive fairly safe to all other road users.

The victim would next have to establish that the other party breached this duty of care by doing something or failing to do anything.

The accident victim would then have to prove that he or she was injured and that the injury was caused by the other party’s breach of duty. The party was not entitled to compensation as a matter of law if he or she could not show one of the required requirements.

Having such a structure in place was not realistic in the employment spectrum. Employers and workers are not on equal footing, therefore suing the employer may result in unfavorable outcomes, such as the employee’s discharge. The workers’ compensation system was developed as a result.

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is insurance that pays for medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, and partial salary replacement if an employee is injured or becomes ill while on the job. State legislation establishes workers’ compensation schemes. Which employers are obliged to have such procedures in place is determined by state regulations.

Some states require all companies to have this type of insurance, while others only need it if there are a specified number of employees. Employees who are harmed at work when such coverage is not provided obtain compensation through the conventional tort-based system.

Other employees who suffer a work-related accident or sickness are normally banned from suing their company and must instead rely on the workers’ compensation system unless an exemption applies.

Damages for personal injury

One reason why some injured workers prefer to pursue a personal injury claim over a workers’ compensation claim is that personal injury claims sometimes result in more substantial damages than workers’ compensation claims. An injured worker may be eligible to medical expenses and wage replacement for a set number of weeks under workers’ compensation, depending on the kind and severity of the accident. In some instances, a lump-sum payment is appropriate. There are no damages for pain and suffering, however.

A personal injury lawsuit pays the sufferer for medical bills as well as any losses incurred as a consequence of the accident. If the victim is unable to return to work as a result of the accident, the defendant may be held liable for the victim’s lost wages. Personal injury sufferers may also be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering.

OSHA’s role

The Occupational Safety and Health Act is enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This organization is in charge of ensuring that workers may work in a safe atmosphere. OSHA creates rules for companies to follow in order to keep workplaces safe and prevent workers from getting hurt on the job.

OSHA requirements must be understood by all employers. They must also report any major injuries or fatalities. Most businesses are also required to maintain track of work-related injuries and make this information available to employees and their representatives on a regular basis. Employers who fail to obey OSHA regulations face steep fines.

Employers are required by OSHA requirements to give proper training to their employees. Employers are also required to offer fall prevention and personal protective equipment.

Workers’ Compensation and OSHA Violations

The ability of an injured worker to utilize evidence of an OSHA violation to establish a claim outside of the workers’ compensation system differs by state. Many courts have held that a willful OSHA violation does not eliminate the prohibition on personal injury claims against an employer. However, some courts have ruled that a breach like this might be a consideration in deciding whether or not this bar could be disregarded.

Even if a worker is banned from pursuing a claim against his or her employer, an OSHA violation can be utilized as evidence in a third-party lawsuit. If you are not sure how an OSHA violation affects your workers’ compensation claim, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.

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