Have you tried to address unsafe working conditions with your employer, only for no changes to be made to improve the situation? Were you injured after reporting the hazard? As an employee, you should gain a basic understanding of your rights for workers’ compensation as well as how to proceed further in the legal process if your company has been negligent.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation
As an on the job injury attorney in Queens, NY from a firm like Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. can explain, workers’ compensation guidelines vary state-to-state, so you will need to check with your local workers’ compensation office or meet with a personal injury attorney to get a consultation.
Most state laws require employers to pay two-thirds of an injured worker’s lost wages. Companies must also pay medical bills and any additional expenses their employee may have in relation to their treatment. This includes medical devices such as walkers and crutches, as well as medications. Keep in mind that once you file for worker’s compensation, your employer is protected from a personal injury lawsuit if they follow the law and reimburse you as required.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Employers are not immune from lawsuits if they are guilty of extreme negligence. If your company severely or willfully ignored complaints about unsafe conditions, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury claim. This is especially true if your employer already received an OSHA violation for the hazard that caused your injury.
However, your attorney will still have to prove that your employer disregarded the citation and was intentionally careless. The OSHA documentation is solid evidence your legal team can use in court to help prove your employer’s neglect.
Filing an OSHA Complaint
If you want to prevent injury, you should first notify your employer about the hazardous conditions in your work area. Your company needs to know what is unsafe so they can fix the problem. If you belong to a union, you might want to contact them first, because they are usually responsible for addressing safety issues with employers.
If conditions do not improve after you informed your employer about safety concerns, it might be time to contact OSHA to file a complaint. This is also recommended when you don’t have union representation or if you fear your employer might retaliate in response to your reporting. Contact the OSHA office closest to you and talk to a representative to find out if your case falls under OSHA guidelines. If eligible, OSHA may conduct an investigation at your job site.
You have the right to work in a safe environment. If you have been injured on the job due to employer negligence, don’t hesitate to call a personal injury attorney to learn more about your options for seeking compensation.