Workplace Safety Violations Can Significantly Impact Your Benefits
Did you know that not all workplace injuries are treated the same way? This is especially true in the case of Kentucky injuries involving safety violations.
If your lawyer can prove the employer intentionally violated safety rules, the law may increase your benefits by 30%. That’s really important considering some injuries can result in:
• The employee not being able to perform the same job,
• A career-ending injury (including not being able to generate income and extensive medical bills),
• A tragic workplace fatality.
The 30% increase in benefits can make a significant difference to the employee and his/her family for years to come.
Employers are required to provide an environment free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm. The situation gets blurry when trying to prove that the workplace safety violation was “intentional.” That’s why you need anexperienced workers compensation attorney to help you and your family.
Your attorney will need to consider the following:
• Did the condition or activity present a hazard to the employee?
• Did the employer’s industry generally recognize this hazard?
• Was the hazard likely to cause death or serious physical harm to the employee?
• Did a feasible means exist to eliminate or reduce the hazard?
What happens if the injury involves a vehicle?
Some workplace injuries involve vehicles such as delivery vans (including FedEx and UPS) or other types of trucks (such as flatbed delivery trucks). Those drivers are held to high safety standards.
If you’re injured at work because of a “third party” driver, you can file for worker’s compensation benefits. You could also sue the driver and/or his company. This is especially true if the accident involves violation of safety laws or traffic laws.
Regardless of whether the driver is a company employee, independent contractor and even other non-employee performing work on behalf of that employer, you should consult a Louisville workers’ comp lawyer.
What happens if you’re injured while travelling outside of KY on business?
Kentucky employees are entitled to the same types of compensation and benefits they would have received under Kentucky’s workers compensation laws. This basically means that your employer is subject to our work comp requirements regardless of where the injury happened.
What happens is the injury is the employee’s fault?
We’ve discussed how your benefits can be increased if the company willfully violated established safety laws. But, what happens if the worker causes an on-the-job injury due to a safety violation? I briefly covered this in #18 of my website’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Page.
If the company’s attorney can prove that the employee neglected the safety procedures, it’s possible that the worker’s benefits can be reduced by 15%, under Kentucky laws. Examples include injuries sustained because the employee was drunk, using drugs or even engaged in horseplay.
The 15% reduction to benefits may be applied if it can be proven that the employee purposely decided not to use a company-furnished safety device. It can also come into play if the employee ignores or fails to obey reasonable safety policies, rules and/or regulations.
Even if it was your fault, you should still apply for benefits. You’ve earned them. Remember, “Some is better than none”
While the occurrence of any workplace accident in Kentucky is unfortunate, they happen more frequently than many of us would imagine. The good news is that your employer should have a workers’ compensation policy in place. Making your way through this complicated maze can be difficult.
To maximize your potential benefits, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. He or she will look at the issues related to your injury. It’s important to determine all possible sources of benefits available to you. Depending on the type of injury and the results of that injury, there could be many things to consider, especially if your situation includes a Kentucky workplace safety violation.