Life-changing personal injury accidents can happen anywhere. The risk of a harmful accident dramatically increases, however, when a property contains a defect or hazard. A dangerous workplace in Arizona, for example, could pose many threats to your health and safety as a worker. If an unsafe work condition gave you an injury or took the life of a loved one, learn your legal rights in the State of Arizona.
Employer’s Responsibilities to Provide a Safe Workplace
Employees in the US have the legal right to expect safe workplaces. Work conditions should be conducive to a safe and productive workplace. An employee’s occupation should not put him or her at undue risk of serious personal injuries due to unsafe work conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces specific employer responsibilities to help reduce the risk of occupational accidents, injuries, illnesses and deaths.
- Obey applicable OSHA safety standards, rules and regulations.
- Provide a work environment that does not contain serious hazards.
- Provide safe, properly maintained tools and equipment to employees.
- Warn employees of known potential hazards in the workplace.
- Establish and communicate safe operating procedures.
- Post an OSHA poster that lists employee rights and responsibilities in a conspicuous place.
These are just a few of the standards OSHA imposes on employers in the US for the safety of workers. The average employer must take many steps to reasonably prevent employee accidents and injuries. These include inspecting for and recognizing hazards that could cause serious injuries or death, as well as repairing these hazards in a timely manner. If an employer doesn’t provide a safe workplace and this causes your accident, a Glendale workers compensation lawyer can help you with your claim.
What to Do If an Unsafe Workplace Caused Your Injuries
Unfortunately, not all employers obey OSHA standards or fulfill their responsibilities to workers. Employer negligence can create unsafe workplaces. If you are the victim of an unsafe workplace condition that causes an injury, take certain steps to make it easier to obtain fair compensation for your medical costs and other damages.
- Report the accident to your employer right away.
- Take photographs of the unsafe work condition.
- Write down the names of eyewitnesses.
- Go to a hospital right away.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions.
- File a workers’ compensation claim.
- Keep documents and records connected to your work accident.
- Check to see if your employer fixed the hazard.
- If not, report the unsafe workplace condition to OSHA.
- Contact a Glendale personal injury attorney for a consultation.
A personal injury attorney can review your case and help you understand your specific rights according to the circumstances of your accident and injury. For example, you may have the right to refuse to return to work until your employer remedies the dangerous condition. A lawyer could also help you with a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit, if necessary.
Workers’ Compensation Laws in Arizona
Arizona makes workers’ compensation insurance mandatory for most employers. Every employer with at least one employee must carry this insurance for part- and full-time workers. If an employee suffers an injury or illness while performing job-related activities, that employee can file a workers’ compensation insurance claim in Arizona. This claim will seek benefits for medical bills, partial lost wages and/or disability coverage from the employer’s insurance provider.
To have a valid workers’ compensation claim in Arizona, you must file a claim within one year of the date of the injury. You must report the accident to your employer, however, as soon as possible. The insurance company will have 21 days to respond to your workers’ compensation claim once filed. If the insurer denies the claim, you will have the right to take the matter to court instead. If your employer was responsible for negligently causing the unsafe work condition, you may benefit more from filing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer instead of a workers’ compensation claim. Consulting with an attorney can make the right legal action clear to you.