Do safety regulations impact workers' compensation claims?

Readers may have questions about the interplay of workplace safety rules and workers’ compensation laws. Legally speaking, there is none: According to Section 4(b)(4) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA does not affect workers’ compensation law in any manner. Said another way, workers’ compensation benefits are not contingent upon a showing of negligence or unsafe working conditions. 

However, as law firm that focuses on disability and work accident claims, we know that OSHA standards have helped injured workers. For example, OSHA standards on issues like environmental hazards have increased awareness of the type and extent to which certain injuries may affect workers in various work environments. 

Understanding the full scope of a worker’s injuries can be significant. Although workers’ compensation does not require a showing of fault against either the employer or the worker, disagreements may still arise regarding the amount of benefits to be paid out. This is where a worker can benefit from the skilled representation of a workers’ compensation attorney.

Our law firm has extensive experience helping injures workers seek the full extent of benefits to which they are entitled, including workers’ compensation settlements. There is no one approach that can result in a successful outcome. Rather, many factors may be considered when valuing a workers’ compensation settlement, including the amount of time the worker has been injured, the nature and possibility of permanent injury, the worker’s age and employment skills, and the impact to the individual’s earning potential. Pennsylvania law certainly looks at wage loss, but an attorney can help present evidence to support every persuasive factor. 

Source: FindLaw, “Protecting Yourself from Unsafe Working Conditions,” copyright 2015, Thomson Reuters

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