Are you forced to work in an unsafe work environment? Do you feel as though you have no way of resolving your complaints? Fortunately, with the help of an attorney with experience in fighting for the rights of workers, you can find a positive outcome to your case, and can even sue your employer for creating and facilitating a dangerous work environment. Unsafe working conditions can cause any number of damages from muscle strain to wrongful death.
How to sue your employer for creating and facilitating a dangerous work environment
If you or a loved one have experienced an unsafe work environment in Irvine, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, or the greater Orange County area, it may be in your best interest to seek Orange County attorney who has a long history at fighting unsafe workplace environment cases. Our attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group have a wealth of experience in representing workers and defending their rights. If you have any questions about seeking representation or how to file a claim after reading this article, please feel free to reach out to our law offices near Orange County, California for a free consultation from one of our many skilled legal advisors.
Unsafe and Hazardous Working Conditions
Orange County is home to over 3 million people, making it the third-most populated county in the state of California. Cities like Anaheim, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, San Clemente, and Laguna Beach attract even more people to the county on a regular basis. Known for its temperate coastal weather, and famous beaches, Orange County is one of the more popular areas to visit in Southern California. Unfortunately, workers in Orange County are subject to unsafe work environments just as often as they are anywhere else.
An unsafe work environment is defined as an environment where a worker is regularly subjected to hazards on nearly a daily basis. Victims of unsafe work environments often have to face the possibility of injury or even death while performing their job, which can result in further stress while performing the job. Many who work in unsafe environments are often unaware of their rights as workers and endure continued mistreatment feeling as though they have no avenue of escape. Fortunately, this is not the case. As a worker, you have every right to refuse work if there are hazards at your workplace that make it unsafe to do so. A worker in Orange County can also refuse work until a hazard is remedied by the employer. To give you an idea of unsafe work environments we’ve compiled a list of some of the common kinds of work hazards that you may encounter:
- Safety Hazards: These hazards create conditions that can cause direct injury to workers. Some common safety hazards can include things like electrical hazards from damaged wiring; closed spaces; wet floors or damaged flooring; damaged or faulty equipment or machinery.
- Biological Hazards: A biological hazard can create an unsafe work environment as well. Things like bodily fluids, mold, bacteria, and animal droppings can all create an unsafe work environment. A biological hazard can make a worker sick, or leave them with the condition that requires extensive treatment to overcome.
- Physical Hazards: Physical hazards are hazards that are created by factors in the environment that cause damage or harm to the body. This can include things like radiation, long exposure under the sun, or extremely high or low temperatures.
- Ergonomic Hazards: This kind of hazards occur if a worker is forced to work in an environment that causes short-term strain and long-term damage to the body. These kinds of hazards can create chronic conditions that often cannot be cured. Some of these hazards include frequently lifting heavy objects, poor posture, or repetitive, awkward movements.
- Chemical Hazards: A chemical hazard can occur when a worker is exposed to a harsh chemical that causes injuries such as skin irritation, lung damage, or severe illness. Typically this occurs when workers are not given proper equipment to mitigate the effects of harmful chemicals and as a result suffer the damages.
- Work Load Hazards: The most significant factor in workload hazards is stress. If a worker is put in an environment that causes significant stress, this can also be considered an unsafe work environment.
Under federal law, employers are expected to provide a reasonably safe and secure environment for their workers. If an employer fails to live up to this expectation of safety, the worker has every right to file a report with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. OSHA is put in place to protect the rights of workers, and to ensure that employers live up to their expectation of providing a safe and secure environment for their employees.
I Work In A Unsafe Environment, What Can I Do?
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are to ensure that their workers can perform their jobs in a safe and secure environment. Many who work in unsafe environments are unaware of this fact, and they come to our legal team asking what their rights are and what they can do to resolve their case. Our attorneys with experience in dealing with unsafe work environment cases, often recommend that these clients ensure they notify their employer first of a hazard before taking any further action. If you’ve notified your employer and still nothing is done about a workplace hazard, you can file a report to OSHA.
OSHA is the government body that ensures that employers hold up their promise of providing a safe environment for workers. OSHA has a right to uphold employers to the following standards:
- Employers must provide adequate and thorough safety training to all of their employees.
- Employers must provide safety equipment to mitigate the possibility of injury
- Employers must provide a safe workplace free from hazards that may adversely affect a worker’s health. Employers are also expected to remedy hazards as they arise.
- If a worker is injured by a hazard, employers are expected to keep a thorough and adequate report on every accident that occurs.
As mentioned previously, workers who experience hazards at their workplace that go unresolved, have every right to refuse to work without putting their job at risk. If a worker is fired after refusing work while waiting for a response from OSHA, that worker has every right to sue their employer for compensation for damages like a loss of wages, a potential loss of future wages, and any medical expenses the hazard may have caused them.
Suing an employer for creating and facilitating an unsafe work environment can be a tricky process. While you have every right to represent yourself in court, it is, in your best interest that you seek legal representation from a lawyer with experience in unsafe work environment lawsuits. Often when workers go to file an unsafe working conditions lawsuit alone, they are often forced to face off against a team of attorneys hired by their employer. The best way to avoid this issue is to retain an experienced Orange County unsafe work environment lawyer.
One of the first steps in filing a lawsuit against an employer is collecting evidence that substantially supports your case. This evidence can take the form of:
- Eyewitness accounts from other workers and customers
- Photographs that display the hazard in detail
- Video footage from security cams that show a workplace accident in detail
- Medical records that detail the damages you endured as a result of a hazard.
After you’ve collected this evidence with the help of an attorney you must then prove the negligence of your employer, and showing how your employer’s negligent actions of not remedying a work hazard directly led to your injuries. Listed below are the essential components needed to file a claim for negligence against your employer:
- Duty: The plaintiff (injured or damaged party) must be able to show that the defendant (employer) owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the particular circumstances of the case.
- Breach: The plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant breached said legal duty through specific actions or failure to act appropriately
- Causation: The plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant’s actions or lack thereof caused the plaintiff’s injuries
- Damages: The plaintiff must be able to show that they endured some specific damages. This can usually be shown through the presentation of medical records, a loss of wages, or a loss of potential income.
Collecting substantial evidence and filing a claim negligence is often only a small part of a much greater legal process. Many who decide to take on this kind of cases alone find themselves overwhelmed by the legal burden cases of this nature can pose. For this reason, it is highly recommended that seek legal guidance from an Orange County attorney who can take unsafe work environment cases. Having the right attorney by your side can mean the difference between filing a successful claim for compensation and having your case dismissed completely.
How California Employment Attorneys Group Can Help
Workers should not have to perform their day-to-day duties in an unsafe environment, nor should every day at work be a constant threat to your health and wellbeing. For this reason, victims of unsafe working environments have every right to file a claim against their employer if they fail to remedy a potentially injurious hazard. However, when filing a report with OSHA, or filing a lawsuit, it is in your best interest that you seek legal representation from an attorney who has experience in representing victims of unsafe work environments. At California Employment Attorneys Group our well-versed Orange County employee rights attorneys can guide you through the process of building your case, filing a claim, and reaching the settlement that you deserve. If you file a claim with our employee rights law firm, you may find some if not all of the following damages compensable to you:
- All of you medical and hospitalization costs
- All of your future medical care and treatment
- A loss of income and loss of future earnings due to long-term recovery or permanent disability due to the accident
- Compensable economic damages include loss of property or damaged property.
- Compensable non-economic damages include emotional distress, trauma, PTSD resulting from the accident, pain and suffering and anxiety.
Victims of unsafe work environments contact our law offices to learn more about how to receive compensation for their injuries. While our law firm is based in Orange County, our attorneys also practice in Oakland, Riverside, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Stockton, Bakersfield and throughout the state of California.
Free Second Opinions
Other attorneys will sign you up for their firm but will disappear once your name is on the paper as they are busy signing up more cases. In these instances, their business is based more on volume and will attempt to sign up as many cases as possible. In turn, they will spend less time on cases resulting in severely reduced settlements. Our firm will not treat you like a number. We will be in communication with you throughout our lawsuit and will treat you like family. So if you already have an attorney don’t worry, we’ll give you a second review of your case 100% free of charge.
Zero Fee Guarantee-No Upfront Fees Ever
If you contact our law offices today, we can walk you through the complicated process of filing your claim completely free of charge. As a show this commitment to you and your case we offer our clients the benefits of a zero fee guarantee policy. Under our zero fee policy, all clients don’t pay for our services until their case is won. If you feel in need of a second opinion, second opinion case reviews are also free under this policy. Please, feel free to give us a call, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation for your damages.
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