November 26, 2015
Everyone in Calgary—indeed, throughout Alberta and Canada—has a legal obligation to ensure their actions and their properties do not create dangers to the health and safety of others. This duty of care is at the heart of all personal injury claims, no matter what the situation, how any specific injuries were caused, or what the extent of those injuries is.
For business owners, this includes making sure all workspaces are free from hazards, that workers have proper training and safety equipment when they're engaged in potentially dangerous tasks, and that all structures and equipment are properly maintained so as to minimize the chance of an injury occurring. When employers fail to live up to the duty of care they owe their employees, the law can not only impose certain penalties on the employers, but also ensures that employees are appropriately compensated for their injuries, their missed work, and other related expenses.
In Alberta, this compensation is often meant to be accomplished through the Workers Compensation Board, which is effectively a government-run insurance program that many employers are either required or choose to pay into. When an employee is injured during the course of their employment, the WCB determines what their compensation should be for medical and/or disability benefits, and they are paid out of the general fund provided by all participating Alberta employers.
Farm owners in Alberta, however, have previously been exempt from paying into the Workers Compensation program, such that employees injured while working on a farm not covered by WCB would not have a WCB claim and would be required to bring a lawsuit in order to pursue compensation.
With recent updates to the Workers’ Compensation legislation, though, times are changing. A new law recently passed in Alberta will require all farms and ranches to become a part of the WCB program, such that their employees are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. In most cases, where the injured party is covered by the WCB, as is the at-fault or negligent party, the Workers’ Compensation Act bars any lawsuit or claim outside of the WCB from being pursued. If, however, the negligent party was not covered by WCB at the time of the incident, the injured party may have both a WCB claim and the ability to file a separate claim against that negligent party.
Calgary Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Injuries
WCB claims can be very confusing for individuals not used to dealing with them. It can also be very unclear if and when you might have a claim above and beyond a WCB claim. If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury as a result of a workplace incident and are unsure what avenues you have available to you for recovery, contact us for a free initial consultation and advice.
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