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What Are Willful Violations?

A willful violation is one in which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes when a party knowingly  fails to comply with a legal requirement… or acts with “plain indifference to employee safety.”

Example of Willful Violations

Any time a party, such as a property owner or contractor, turns a blind eye to a hazard or safety risk in the workplace, their behavior may constitute a willful violation.

For example, a safety inspector notifies a property owner that there is a danger that will cause injuries on the premises. The property owner neglects to remedy the hazard and does not make anyone aware of the danger. This may be deemed a willful violation due to the blatant disregard for safety.

How Employees Are Typically Compensated for Workplace Injuries

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board requires that an employee who suffers injuries on the job, regardless of who was at fault for causing the injury, receive compensation for medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, and a portion of lost wages via the employers’ workers compensation insurance plan.

In exchange for this provision, New York employers bear no liability for work accidents, and employees are precluded from suing their employers for work injuries. As a result, employees injured in the workplace frequently have no means to receive compensation for pain and suffering. However, you may be able to file a claim if another party violated an OSHA regulation.

How a Willful Violation Affects a Workplace Personal Injury Case

An injury sustained via workplace injuries due to a willful violation is one in which you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court for. As you pursue recoverable damages, you can continue receiving the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. 

To file a lawsuit, you must be able to prove a third party either caused your injury or is statutorily liable for the damages you have suffered as a result of your injury.   A third-party claim is an action taken against a party—other than your employer or co-workers.  When a third-party has willfully committed an OSHA violation 

this may provide evidence that a third-party negligently caused your injuries or that the circumstances of your workplace injury were such that a third-party, such as a property owner or general contractor, should be held statutorily liable.

Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Your Employer

As mentioned earlier, workers’ compensation benefits compensate an employee for medical expenses and a fraction of their lost wages. By opening your action to a civil lawsuit, you may be able to recover many more types of damages including the following:

  • All medical expenses
  • All lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Replacement services
  • Consortium claims by your family
  • Pain and suffering

A Willful Violation Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

A Long Island personal injury lawyer can investigate and build your case, taking care to include special evidence very specific to this type of case, including the following:

  • Visual documentation of the hazardous condition that caused your accident
  • Sworn depositions from witnesses or fellow employees
  • Sworn testimony from the third party
  • Sworn deposition of the OSHA investigator
  • Safety records from the third party
  • OSHA records regarding the history of violations

A Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You with Your Willful Violation Case

If you were injured as the result of someone’s willful OSHA violation, it is important that you consider pursuing civil action.

Workplace injury lawsuits can be extremely technical and complicated, but the process can be greatly simplified if you work with a personal injury lawyer who has handled these types of cases.  

Since 1991, the OSHA violations lawyers at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. have represented injury clients across a range of practice areas. Our legal team works tirelessly as passionate advocates for the injured.

Call us today for a free case review at (516) 932-0400. Our multilingual staff (Kannada, Tamil, Greek, Spanish, and Bengali) are eager to assist you.

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