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Was your work injury actually caused by a labor law violation?

A work-related injury, no matter how serious, can affect your life. You could be left with medical bills or even the inability to continue working due to an accident on the job. Although your first thought might be to file a worker's compensation claim, some injuries might not be mere accidents.

Instead, they could be the direct result of a New York labor law violation. Employers must follow basic legal requirements to protect the safety and health of their workers. Failure to obey regulations can pose a hazard to employees. This post will help you figure out what kind of claim you might have.

Worker's comp versus labor law

Although these two areas of law are related, they have unique implications.

A worker's compensation claim is typically for any accidents at the workplace, even if all rules are properly followed. For example, a worker trips over their shoelaces and falls down the stairs, spraining their wrist. In this case, they would likely file for worker's compensation benefits.

On the other hand, injuries from labor law violations may be preventable if the employer had followed regulations. For instance, a construction employer seeks to cut costs whenever possible, so they ignore the laws that are necessary to build sturdy scaffolding. As a result, the scaffold collapses and a worker falls with it, severely damaging their spine. This case would probably call for a labor law investigation.

How to know which claim to make

The first step is to learn your legal rights in the workplace. Many laws are industry-specific and protect workers from environmental hazards and unfair demands. One good resource is the OSHA website, which lists federal regulations, but New York has its own code, too. Because the circumstances are unique to every injury, it may be best to ask an attorney for advice.

Generally, a labor law violation means that the employer could have more at stake. Furthermore, the conditions you endured may also affect your co-workers. The government may become involved in a lawsuit if the employer allegedly broke the law. Ultimately, your employer has a duty to keep workers safe and prevent injury.

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