Let’s say that you’re working in a factory with many other people for a supervisor who sometimes doesn’t listen to your requests. You tell your supervisor about an issue with a piece of equipment that has been giving you and many other people on your shift issues. You never see your supervisor checking on the piece of equipment or sending anybody else for maintenance. A week later, somebody uses the equipment and becomes seriously injured because it was defective. Your supervisor knew about the equipment in a reasonable manner and never took action to have it fixed. In cases like these, there are always sufficient grounds to find that the supervisor was negligent. This is supervisor negligence in action, and unfortunately it happens in many workplaces every year.
Many people end up with injuries each year because a supervisor failed to take action where it was necessary, and this inaction led to an accident. Of course, employees should never exceed their authority or attempt to do a job that they are not trained to do. But in cases where an employer is giving you incentives to get a specific job done and the job at hand is inherently dangerous, you may find yourself in the middle of a case of supervisor negligence. You may wonder what you can do to bring a claim and what goes into a case. Now we will explain this for you and help you from start to finish.
Negligent Supervision Explained
Negligent supervision is known as a tort, or a wrongful act that occurs, leading to liability in many cases. This tort occurs when employees are being supervised in some incorrect way. This works almost the same as any negligence case, only you add in the fact that a supervisor was responsible for the injuries in some way. This means that it is proven the same way as many negligence cases. Did a supervisor breach a duty of care to their employees? Could a reasonable supervisor have foreseen that an employee would have suffered from those injuries, given the situation? This is how a negligent supervisor case is proven.
Have you been injured due to negligence on your supervisor’s behalf and wonder if you have a case? You may be surprised to find that, in some cases, supervisors are not only responsible for their own behavior. They may also be held liable for bad behavior on behalf of their employees. For instance, consider a situation where an employee was sexually harassing another employee and the supervisor knew about it. Some other examples are ignoring violence and threats, failing to provide adequate training for the job, allowing an employee to be alone with children even though they were accused of molestation, allowing an intoxicated employee to operate machinery, and failing to monitor an employee who has been conducting scams. Any of these cases could lead to a negligent supervisor claim, so it is important to learn the details of your case and alert an attorney about your options.
Of course, there are some questions you must ask yourself. Did the supervisor have a responsibility to monitor the employees at this specific job? Did they fail to supervise once this has been established? Did the person suffer injuries because of the supervisor’s inattention or carelessness? Was the negligence foreseeable? If you can meet these elements, you probably have a claim.
Immune from Liability?
Maybe you have heard at one point that supervisors are immune from liability, but this is far from the truth. What if you are using a defective piece of equipment on the job, point this out to your employer, but they reply with a simple, “Just deal with it already.” If you become injured after the supervisor realizes that there is a realistic harm in the workplace, they can certainly be held liable and have to pay you damages as a result. This is negligence on a level that too many workplaces see each year. In some states, employers may fight that they may be immune from lawsuits if an employee is injured in a workplace accident. However, that immunity is lost when the negligent acts occur “outside the scope of the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace.” Ignoring the problem and failing to take action will lead to an employee taking action and probably winning.
Lawsuits or Workers’ Compensation?
Next, you must ask yourself, “Did my employer harm me on purpose?” If not, then you probably cannot make a lawsuit case against an employer for negligence. This even applies to cases where an employer was careless and reckless in nature. Workers’ compensation benefits were put in place to change this course of action and make it simpler for employees to gain the compensation they need after an accident. Employers are still held liable for their actions through workers’ compensation, but in a different way that helps employees. The responsibility for the work injury simply comes under workers’ compensation insurance rules. Lawsuits are technically “off the table” unless the employer has intended to harm you in the workplace.
Workers’ compensation works to provide a larger amount of protection to the employee, even more so than a lawsuit would. In the case of litigation, there is the chance that you may lose. Running this risk is enough for many employees to turn away from the option. In the event of a lawsuit, you would have to go through the extra hurdles of proving that your employer actually acted negligently. Under workers’ compensation, you can skip these hurdles. In fact, negligence isn’t really relevant in these cases and you can still collect.
Of course, there are other deadlines you must meet including those that revolve around notifying your employer of what happened. You must also prove that your injury was work-related to the insurance carrier as well as mentioning how your supervisor was the cause of these injuries. Taking these steps with help you get compensation you deserve after you have felt distress in the workplace.
In the event of a negligent supervisor case, a supervisor will be held liable for your injuries. It is a good idea to have an attorney on your side through this dire time in your life. Let us handle your case when you are struggling with your injuries and let us take care of the courts. Call us today at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi for more information.