When an employee is hurt at work in Illinois, they are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and can receive compensation for their medical expenses and partial lost wages. If the company violated an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule, it could affect your workers’ compensation case in specific ways. Our McHenry County workers’ comp lawyers can help if you have worker compensation questions.
OSHA is tasked with enforcing workplace safety, but many employers continue to ignore or cut corners on safety. Some of the most common OSHA violations that lead to workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims are:
In many cases, inadequate training or maintenance can lead to many workplace accidents. Also, defective or faulty equipment are common causes of workplace injuries. For example, you could lose your balance and fall if your company does not put handrails on an elevated platform.
Wherever the accident occurs on the job, Illinois has a ‘no fault’ policy for workers’ comp claims. This means that the workers do not need to prove who caused the accident but only that the accident happened at work. Also, if the worker violated OSHA standards, it does not necessarily mean the injured worker cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits.
If a company violated an OSHA rule that led to a worker injury, you might wonder if you can sue for the OSHA violation. In Illinois, you are usually barred from suing the company in a civil action if you get workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, there have been court rulings that the workers’ comp bar on personal injury litigation is not overcome when an employer willfully violates an OSHA rule. However, other courts have ruled that a purposeful violation of OSHA rules could be a factor in determining if the bar on private lawsuits should be disregarded.
Also, depending on the case circumstances, an injured employee could have legal options against a third-party company contributing to the workplace accident. Further, OSHA reminds companies that the law prevents them from retaliating against workers for making injury reports. Employers have been warned against providing prizes or bonuses for reaching safety goals if those rewards discourage workers from reporting workplace injuries.
Workers are also protected from workplace retaliation, including for reporting OSHA violations. If the company retaliates against you for reporting a violation, it could be violating federal employment laws.
If you are hurt on the job, and the company violated an OSHA safety rule, you should speak to an attorney about your case. Your attorney will ensure you obtain the maximum benefits and may explore whether legal action is possible.
If you were hurt in a workplace accident or suspect your company violated OSHA regulations, you should speak with a lawyer who understands workers’ compensation and employment laws. You could be entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. Our McHenry County workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., may be able to assist, so please call (847) 395-2200.