Loudoun Fairfax construction accident lawyer Doug Landau is often asked about safety violations on the work site. If the employer is in violation of safety standards, are they automatically found liable for the disabled worker’s injuries ? And if the injured employee is found to be in violation of a safety rule, can they still collect workers comp benefits ?
Unfortunately, it is not good for the injured worker in Virginia. Even if the employer is found to be in violation of a safety statute or fined by OSHA, that does not mean that the employee automatically gets their workers compensation benefits. The ABRAMS LANDAU injury trial team has won cases where the employers were found guilty of homicide in criminal court, and Virginia law still did not allow them to be sued for negligence ! So, the employer’s negligence or recklessness is not reviewed by the workers compensation judges.
However, the employee’s failure to follow a known and enforced safety rule, can and will preclude an award of workers compensation benefits. In one case that Loudoun Fairfax and Leesburg construction injury lawyer Doug Landau won, the employee had "unhooked" his safety belt right before he slipped and fell from a roof, fracturing both ankles. The employer’s insurance company lawyers alleged "wilfull violation of a safety rule," and comp benefits were denied. Landau won the case by showing that ALL the employees, and the supervisors all "unhooked" in order to put the top pieces of roofing in place. Furthermore, the injured worker had never been disciplined for this practice, written up or docked pay, so it was not an "enforced rule." If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction site accident or other workplace accident, e-mail ABRAMS LANDAU or call (703-796-9555) today. Just because the insurance company denies the claim, does not mean that the case cannot be won in court.