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What Is Workplace Negligence?

Posted in Uncategorized, Workers Compensation on April 20, 2022

In general, if an individual sustains an on-the-job injury, they will be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, a portion of their lost wages, and disability benefits if necessary. Usually, going through the workers’ compensation system prevents an employee from filing a lawsuit against their employer. However, there may be times when the employer is negligent and it is acceptable for an employee to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for their losses.

What to Know About Workplace Negligence

Workplace negligence could entitle an injured employee to compensation if they sustain injuries or other losses on the job. There are various types of negligent employer behaviors that individuals need to be aware of, particularly when it comes to determining whether or not they will be able to file a lawsuit against their employer:

  • Negligent hiring practices. When an employer hires a new worker, the employer must ensure that the new hire is actually qualified to perform the work required for the job. Failing to do so could result in significant workplace issues, including placing other workers in danger due to a lack of qualifications. Employers can conduct background checks and confirm the previous work experience of all new hires before allowing them to work in the new environment.
  • Negligent training. After an employee has been hired, it is the job of an employer and supervisors to ensure that the new hire is properly trained for the job. For example, if an individual is going to be asked to use a piece of equipment that they have never used before, they should be properly trained before using it, or it could cause harm to themselves or others in the workplace.
  • Negligent supervision. After an employee has been hired and trained, it is still crucial that they have adequate supervision. Of course, this will look different depending on the workplace, but typically, supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the workplace is safe at all times.
  • Negligent retention. If an employee continuously displays worrisome, careless, or intentionally reckless behaviors in the workplace, the employer must take steps to terminate this employee (if the actions or behaviors cannot be corrected) in order to protect the workplace and the other workers. Failing to do so could lead to other employees filing personal injury lawsuits if they sustain an injury due to the actions of the negligent employee.

Can You File a Lawsuit Against the Employer?

Employer or coworker negligence in the workplace is not always a straightforward case. For example, if a sanitation worker inside the workplace spills a mop bucket and causes that person to slip and fall, this does not necessarily mean that there was direct negligence involved or that the employer should face a personal injury lawsuit. These types of issues are typically handled through the workers’ compensation system.

Indeed, there is a high bar set for when it will be okay to file a lawsuit against an employer as opposed to going through the workers’ compensation system. We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled Phoenix worker’s compensation attorney who has experience handling both work injury and traditional personal injury claims. An attorney will help determine the best steps moving forward and whether or not you have a viable civil personal injury lawsuit.