From construction sites to schools, from restaurants to the handling of hazardous waste – safety rules abound in so many of our activities. Safety rules are created to protect people, to keep us safe. When safety rules are violated people get injured or killed.
Who enforces our safety rules? What role can juries play in enforcing safety rules?
The agencies sworn to uphold a law have the power to crack down on violators. When it comes to safety rules, there are a number of governmental agencies across the various industries and activities that are regulated. But sometimes violations are not caught and corrected in time. Enforcement agencies may lack resources. Employers or others might decide implementation of safety rules would be too costly. In these scenarios when a rule is broken and someone is seriously injured or killed, the enforcement of the safety rule may hinge on a jury.
An injured plaintiff can bring a lawsuit against the party who violated a safety rule and caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In these cases the injured party is seeking damages, financial compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, maybe even pain and suffering or punitive damages. Juries have the power to not only compensate the injured person for dollars spent or lost, juries have the power to impose harsh financial penalties designed to punish the wrongdoer for his or her bad behavior.
This is how juries enforce our safety rules. When a jury comes back with a massive award for punitive damages, the parties who violated safety rules have to pay up. Punitive damage awards in the six and seven figure range serve as a deterrent for future safety rule violations.
While the way in which juries help us to enforce our safety rules cannot undo the harm done to the plaintiff already injured, it can and does prevent future injuries to others. The enforcement of safety rules makes our world safer for all of us.
The experienced attorneys of Matthew G. Miller can help you recover fair and just compensation when you have been injured in an accident. Call our office today (402)558-4900 to schedule a free consultation.
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