Employer Safety ViolationsIf an Employer Violates Local or Federal Safety Standards, Increased Benefits May Be Available
Wisconsin is a no-fault worker’s compensation state, meaning a worker need not prove his employer was negligent or otherwise at fault for the work accident that caused injury to the worker. There are circumstances, however, in which an employee can recover increased benefits against an employer whose negligence or other careless conduct caused the employee’s injury.
Section 102.57 of the Wisconsin Workers Compensation statutes provides an employer can be liable to pay a penalty of up to 15% to an employee if the employee’s injury was caused by his employer’s violation of any state or federal law, or any published industry safety rule or standard. For example, an employee who has been paid $50,000 in temporary and permanent disability benefits because of an injury caused by an employer who ignored state law or industry safety standards, could recover an additional penalty against his employer of up to $7,500.
If you feel your employer’s lack of care (including a failure to train its employees or permitting known safety hazards to exist) caused your injury, be sure to preserve all evidence that might be relevant, including obtaining photos or other proof of the unsafe condition. It is not always clear whether an employer’s conduct violated state laws or accepted industry safety rules, and Hawks Quindel’s attorneys are experts at researching such questions. Contact one of Hawks Quindel’s experienced workers compensation attorneys to discuss your safety violation claim.