I was employed at a railroad car company in Altoona, PA. The company never followed O.S.H.A. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) fall protection for any employee that works on top or inside of a railroad tank car and/or hopper car.
I fell 16 feet from the top of a railroad tank car and I was knocked unconscious with a fractured skull along with both an epidural and subdural hematoma. I also got a fractured right clavicle, broken ribs and fractured lower spine.
I was on workers compensation but I would like to go for more because now the railroad company has started following the safety regulation that should have been followed before my accident on 12/15/2008.
I was also told by another employee that currently if any employee is caught on a rail car without fall protection they would be fired. Before my accident the company also never followed a correct procedure for confined space entry inside of a railroad car.
How can I pursue the rail car company for more than just the small amount that workers compensation is giving me? Aren't they liable for more since they weren't following safety regulations? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Company Not Following OSHA Regulations...":
Jeff (Altoona, PA):
Unfortunately the law in Pennsylvania since 1985 has provided that employees who are covered by workers compensation insurance and are injured on the job may not sue their employer. That was the reason workers compensation laws were created.
With workers compensation an injured person doesn't have to prove their employer was negligent. Workers compensation laws state simply that if an employee is injured on the job he is automatically entitled to benefits including the payment of his medical bills and lost wages.
Although medical bills and a majority of the injured person's lost wages will be paid, workers compensation laws do not allow an employee to receive, or sue for, an additional amount for pan and suffering.
At this point all you can do is attempt to secure the highest possible settlement from the workers compensation insurance company. If your case is still open you should be able to do that. Unfortunately if your case has already been settled you will not have that option.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.