How Safety Violations at Work Can Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Most workers genuinely strive to adhere to our company’s safety regulations and rules. We simply go to work to earn a living so that we can continue supporting ourselves and our families and we understand that complying with safety stipulations is an important aspect of that. However, we have all had moments at work where we were overloaded with the amount of work or under pressure from a manager to meet a tight deadline. These kinds of work conditions can cause us to unintentionally and mistakenly overlook or forget about a safety regulation which, unfortunately, results in a workplace injury. While you never intended to be injured, you should understand that noncompliance with safety regulations can still affect your workers’ compensation case.
Can I Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits If I Didn’t Comply With Safety Regulations?
Yes. Fortunately, noncompliance with your workplace safety requirements does not automatically stop you from being able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
How Can a Claim Be Affected?
While fortunately, you can still recover benefits, that doesn’t mean that the amount of your benefits can’t be affected. Under Florida Statute Section 440.09(5), the amount of benefits that an injured worker is compensated with will be reduced by 25 percent whenever the worker’s injury resulted from either:
- The knowing refusal of the employee to use a safety appliance or observe a safety rule required by statute or lawfully adopted by the department, and brought prior to the accident to the employee’s knowledge, or;
- The knowing refusal of the employee to use a safety appliance provided by his or her employer.
Even though you know your actions were not deliberate, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will attempt to show that your failure to comply with the required safety measurements was intentional and willful so that it can legally pay you less benefits under this statute. However, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you prove the truth and obtain all the benefits that you deserve. The worker’s compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates can provide the legal help you need.
What Factors Will Be Considered?
Your worker’s compensation attorney will ask you many questions about your employer’s practices regarding the safety regulation that you are being accused of having knowingly refused to comply with. Regardless of whether you were given a harness or the rule was contained in your employee handbook, these questions will concern factors such as:
- How the safety rule was communicated to you
- Whether you were given reasoning for provided safety equipment
- Whether you underwent training regarding the rule
- Whether the rule was enforced in your workplace
Have You Been Injured at Work After and Fear You Will Be Accused of Failing to Comply With a Safety Requirement?
Regardless of whether the allegations are false, we understand that mistakes happen and sympathize with you and your family during this difficult time. We have helped many other people in similar situations overcome challenges and can help you overcome yours and obtain all the benefits you are entitled to while you focus on restoring your health. The experienced Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates will help ensure that you maximize your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.