The state legislature and the state Industrial Commission require employers to follow a number of specific rules related to workplace safety. If an employer does not follow a rule designed to safeguard the lives, health, or safety of an employee, and the employee gets hurt as a result, a claim called a violation of a specific safety rule can be filed.
Essentially, this is a claim that both punishes the employer and compensates the employee. The award varies based on the severity of the injury and the extent of the employer safety violations in Toledo. Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help injured workers file a report with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which oversees workplace safety issues.
The administration conducts an investigation and cites the company if it finds violations. That report can be used to substantiate a claim alleging the violation of a specific safety requirement. An example of a situation where this type of award might be warranted would be when an injury results from an employer requiring an employee to work at a certain height without proper scaffolding or safety harnesses.
Workplace Intentional Tort
Sometimes an employer’s conduct that results in a workplace injury can be so egregious that an additional claim can be made outside the worker’s compensation system. This type of claim is made through a lawsuit filed in court that alleges a workplace intentional tort, which means the conduct was so bad that the courts view it as if the employer acted intentionally to cause the harm.
These cases have always been difficult to win because the standard that must be met in order to prevail is extremely high. In recent years, it has become even tougher to win cases involving employer safety violations in Toledo.
What is the Role of the Ohio General Assembly?
The Ohio General Assembly passed legislation that raised the standard of proof so high that an injured worker can only prevail on this type of claim in very limited circumstances. The Ohio Supreme Court has not considered whether this standard is constitutional, so an attorney would need to be consulted to determine whether this type of claim is viable.
Lump Sum Settlements
In certain circumstances, the employer and the injured worker may enter into a settlement agreement to compensate the worker for injuries sustained due to employer safety violations in Toledo. The settlement, though, must be approved by the BWC, regardless of whether the employer is state-funded or self-insured. The BWC settlement department determines whether the settlement agreement is justified and fair.
An injured worker should be careful before agreeing to a lump sum settlement because it will stop them from seeking additional compensation through the BWC. It closes the door for all payments for future compensation and future medical treatment related to the claim.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If your injuries were caused because your employer failed to follow the proper safety rules, you may be able to pursue a remedy that exceeds a worker’s compensation claim. Contact an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to start your case. A distinguished attorney can help you pursue compensation for employer safety violations in Toledo.