How OSHA Violations Can Affect Workers’ Compensation Claims
When you have been injured in the workplace as an employee, chances are you will want to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. This will ensure that your employer takes on financial responsibilities for your injury, even if they did not directly cause it as a result of inaction or negligence. However, if an OSHA violation is thrown into the mix, things can get little more complicated.
Read on to find out how OSHA violations can affect Workers’ Compensation claims.
Understanding the Basis of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance coverage that provides for the payment of medical expenses, partial wage replacement as well as rehabilitation for a worker who develops an illness or injury while carrying out their job scope. These systems are established and protected by state laws mandating that employers are required to have Workers’ Compensation systems in place.
Keep in mind that the compensation you can expect to receive under this scheme will not be as comprehensive as that of a personal injury claim. For one thing, Workers’ Compensation claims do not cover pain and suffering. You will also lose the right to file a separate lawsuit against your employer if you have accepted a Workers’ Compensation settlement.
Personal Injury Claims
There are two main reasons a worker may opt to pursue a personal injury claim instead of settling for Workers’ Compensation. These are:
- Personal injury claims tend to provide more comprehensive coverage. This includes loss of income, damages for pain and suffering, and loss of future wages.
- By accepting a Workers’ Compensation settlement, employees lose their right to sue their employers.
What if My Employer Have An OSHA Violation
If an OSHA violation is tied into your accident, particularly if it’s a willful violation, you may be wondering whether you should take the case beyond a Workers’ Compensation claim. The answer to this is not always straightforward, as many courts have determined that the bar on personal injury claims is not negated due to an OSHA violation.
However, that is not an absolute no as some courts may indeed remove this bar in exceptional circumstances. Another thing to keep in mind is that you may be able to pursue a third-party course of action even if you are barred from pursuing a claim due to having received Workers’ Compensation.
Let Our Experienced Team at Carcich O’Shea Advise On The Best Course of Action
If you are unsure whether you can file a lawsuit against your employer due to an OSHA violation, come to our knowledgeable team of attorneys at Carcich O’Shea, LLC. We will carry out workplace investigations to determine the individual facts of your case before advising on the best legal route to take, whether that is a Workers’ Compensation claim or a lawsuit. Besides workplace investigations, we also specialize in relevant practice areas that include employment litigation. To kickstart your case, please feel free to get in touch with our experienced team today.