Examples of injury liability for workplace negligence
In most instances, victims of workplace accidents receive benefits from workers’ compensation while they recover from their injury. Workers comp is a no-fault system that provides workers benefits without having to prove an accident occurred due to fault or negligence. Typically, workers give up the right to sue their employer when they file for workers comp, however, there are some exceptions: Workplace negligence is one.
After sustaining injuries because of your job, you have the right to consult a work injury lawyer to determine if you might be able to recover greater compensation through a lawsuit if you can prove your employer has liability for your workplace accident. This will depend on whether the incident was accidental or due to negligence.
What is workplace negligence?
Workplace negligence is a legal term that often comes up in workers’ compensation cases that describes a person or entity that fails to act reasonably, given the circumstance. Employer negligence refers to actions and omissions by employers that lead to property damage, loss, theft, illness, injury, or wrongful death.
If you are injured on the job due to the negligence of others in the workplace, you are entitled to restitution to compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, and possibly pain and suffering. Employer’s liability insurance covers negligence lawsuits over work-related injuries and occupational diseases.
When a worker injury lawyer evaluates your claim to determine whether it might be appropriate to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or another entity, he or she will look for actions that fall below the widely accepted standard of care.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for oversight of work environments and worker protections to ensure worker safety. Negligent acts can include any type of violation of OSHA standards.
Situations of employer negligence
When exploring whether workplace negligence played a role in your injury, it’s important to understand your employer’s responsibilities under OSHA. Below are several examples of employer negligence.
Workplace negligent hiring
An employer has a mandate to keep his or her employers safe. This includes making sure the people he hires are qualified to do the work they were hired to do and ensuring employees that are hired are safe to be around in the workplace. An example: An employer would be considered negligent if he failed to do a background check on a new hire to later find out that this employee was fired from a previous job for assaulting a co-worker.
If the worker has been reported to the employer for stalking or displays worrisome, violent or careless behavior in the workplace, it is the responsibility of the employer to remove this person to protect employees.
If the worker commits an act that harms himself or another employee, such as assault or repeated sexual harassment, the employer can be found liable.
Negligent training and supervision
An employer might be negligent in failing to properly train employees in safety procedures or the use of safety equipment. If you worked on a construction site and were not trained on how to properly use the equipment, you could injure yourself or others and they could hold the employer negligent for their work injuries.
Failure to provide proper safety equipment
This can refer to equipment safety guards or proper protective equipment such as gloves, masks and eye protection to provide worker safety in hazardous environments or working with dangerous equipment and substances.
Refusal to eliminate an imminent danger
When an employer does not or cannot voluntarily eliminate the hazard or remove affected employees from exposure to a dangerous condition or area in the workplace, they can be found negligent.
Failure to maintain or repair tools and heavy equipment used to perform work
If your injury was due to defective or malfunctioning equipment used to perform your job, the vendor responsible for maintaining the equipment or the manufacturer may be found liable for your injury.
Employers have the responsibility to provide employees safe, appropriate and properly maintained equipment and tools to perform their jobs safely. In the event your employer knew of a hazard involving the equipment or machinery that failed and was cited by OSHA for ignoring it, you likely have a claim for negligence. Lawyers with knowledge of personal injury law and workers’ comp law and experience with cases similar to yours may be able to help you pursue compensation through a negligence claim against your employer.
Did you incur an injury as a result of a dangerous condition in your work environment that your employer should have addressed? Because workers’ compensation insurance is based on the premise that blame is generally not considered relevant to the amount of money that is paid out, if you are working in a factory or warehouse and injure yourself by slipping and falling on a wet floor, for example, your only recourse is to seek recovery through workers’ compensation insurance. In rare cases, however, a third party that is partly responsible for your injury can be sued in a personal injury premises liability case. An example is if an equipment manufacturer supplied defective equipment that in some way caused your injury. For instance, if a machine leaked oil on the floor causing your fall, they may be partly liable for your injuries.
Work with a knowledgeable workplace negligence attorney
Partnering with a worker injury lawyer knowledgeable in both workers’ comp and personal injury law to pursue your claim discourages the insurance company from acting in bad faith by denying claims or delaying payments, as well as prevents your employer from defrauding you. Your attorney doesn’t collect a fee unless you are successful in receiving damages.
If any of these situations describes your work accident, you may have a claim for workplace negligence or a third-party personal injury claim. Consult a tenacious attorney as soon as possible after you have received medical treatment for your injury to explore your options in pursuing just compensation.
Trammell Piazza – Experienced trial lawyers who are in your corner
The Trammell Piazza team helps victims of catastrophic injuries focus on their family and their recovery while working their cases through the legal system to achieve maximum compensation for their injuries. We are your advocates in the courtroom and work tirelessly to win fair judgments that drive employers to provide safer work conditions and better protection for employees.