• Tuesday, 30 October 2018

What You Need To Know About Workplace Injuries

#AskTatyanaLoefflerVulpe

Where you work can be a dangerous place. The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board reports it approved 44,660 claims for benefits filed by injured workers who lost time from work in 2017, and it allowed 111,411 claims for workers requiring medical treatment for workplace injuries without time lost from their jobs. It is important to know your rights when a job-related injury or illness requires medical care and makes it impossible for you to continue earning a living during your recovery.

Benefits available to workers injured on the job

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board handles workers’ compensation benefit claims by individuals suffering a job-related injury or illness. It is a no-fault system, which means benefits are available without regard to anyone being at fault in causing the accident or incident that resulted in the injury.

If you are injured at work, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act provides benefits to most workers who are injured or become ill due to accidents or conditions related to the individual’s employment. Some of the benefits available to an injured worker include:

  • Payment for health care and treatment related to the injury or illness, including physical and occupational therapy.
  • Recovery of earnings lost from being unable to work during treatment and recovery from an injury or illness.
  • Payment of the cost of prescribed medications related to the injury or illness.
  • Reimbursement for specialized clothing, shoes or other equipment needed because of the injury or illness.
  • Transportation reimbursement for travel to and from appointments with doctors and other health care providers.

You might be entitled to additional benefits if the injury or illness results in a disability. Permanent loss of a physical or a psychological function due to a work-related injury or disease can be compensated through a non-economic loss benefit. Your dependents, such as your husband or wife and children, may be eligible for benefits in the event of your death caused by an injury or illness related to your work.

Your right to sue when injured through our job

If you are a worker covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, your eligibility for benefits administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board becomes your exclusive remedy. As a general rule, you do not have the right to sue your employer for damages. This limitation extends to filing a lawsuit against a co-worker. For example, if you are hit by a forklift operated by another employee of your company, the WSIA precludes you from suing the co-worker for negligence.

There are two categories of employers under the WSIA: Schedule 1 employers paying premiums into an insurance fund administered by the WSIB from which claims for employee benefits are paid; and Schedule 2 employers in such industries as railways and municipal governments that do not contribute to a collective insurance fund. Claims by workers in Schedule 2 industries are processed by the WSIB.

Schedule 2 workers elect to sue third parties who were responsible for causing their injury or illness, but they cannot sue their employer or a co-worker. Third parties might include:

  • The driver of another vehicle involved in an accident with the worker.
  • The manufacturer of a defective product, such as a piece of machinery or vehicle, that caused a worker to be injured.
  • The owner of a building or property where a dangerous condition, such as ice accumulation, caused someone working at the site for another employer to be injured.

Whether you are better off making a claim for benefits with the WSIB or electing for forego benefits in favor of suing a third party for negligence is a decision that should be discussed in detail with a personal injury lawyer who is also familiar with the WSIA and the WSIB.

Ontario personal injury lawyers can help

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation for individuals suffering injuries in accidents caused by the negligence of others. Their familiarity with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act make them a valuable source of legal advice about claims for benefits for elections to sue. If you have been injured in an accident or have an illness related to your work, you should speak to one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

 

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