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How an Unsafe Work Environment May Affect Workers’ Compensation

 Posted on June 26,2023 in Workers' Compensation

Santa Clara County workers' comp lawyer for unsafe work conditionsIf you work under unreasonably unsafe conditions, you are far more likely to be injured on the job than you would be in other situations. This is an issue that can affect both people who work in high-risk occupations and those in traditionally safer jobs. Although there are legal and financial protections that you can take advantage of if you sustain work-related harm, these will not address the underlying safety issues that affect you and others. By not speaking up about working conditions that could be unsafe, you and your co-workers will remain in a position where you are likely to be harmed in potentially life-altering ways.

Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Helpful, but Limited

If you are an employee who works directly for an employer, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event that you sustain harm while engaging in work-related activities. In California, most employees have the right to file a claim for benefits under these circumstances, as long as they are not rightfully classified as independent contractors or are employed in select specialty industries.

All too often, however, employees continue working in unreasonably hazardous conditions because they reason that if they get hurt, they will simply file a claim, and “everything will come out in the wash.” It is important to understand that while workers’ comp benefits are truly valuable, they only cover medical care, a portion of lost wages, and other limited benefits. The opportunity to file a claim should not serve as an excuse for employers to allow workers to operate under unreasonably unsafe conditions, as the consequences of work-related harm can be life-altering for injury victims, both physically and financially.

Others May Be at Risk of Work-Related Injuries

Unsafe working conditions affect everyone who works at a job site, and these issues can also put non-workers who visit a location at risk of being injured. As a result, many workers only find the courage to report unsafe conditions to government authorities when they think about how an injurious incident can impact others. This is not an uncommon reality, especially in industries that prize toughness. A worker may not be inclined to speak up on their own behalf, but they may be willing to look into anonymous reporting and other opportunities for whistleblowing when acting primarily to benefit others.

Speak with a Discreet Morgan Hill Work Injury Lawyer

If you are concerned about speaking up about unsafe working conditions, filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim if you have been hurt on the job, or both, know that you do not have to navigate your situation without legal support and informed guidance. While it is true that retaliation against a worker for exercising a legally-protected right – including reporting unsafe working conditions or filing a workers’ compensation claim – is unlawful, it does happen. Fortunately, with experienced representation on your side, you will be in a stronger position to act and to achieve a favorable outcome.  

To learn more about your rights and options under the law, reach out to the knowledgeable team of Gilroy workers’ compensation attorneys at Cramer + Martinez today. By either submitting a contact form on our website or calling us at 408-848-1113 to schedule a free case evaluation, you can take the first step toward better protecting your interests and the interests of your co-workers and others who may be at a heightened risk of harm.


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