If you suffer an on-the-job injury, you will typically file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws and coverage.
However, in almost all states, employees file a workers comp claim and typically cannot sue their employers for work-related injuries.
But, there are exceptions.
In the article below, we will discuss when you can potentially sue your employer for an injury at work.
What To Do If You’re Injured On The Job
Before you worry about whether or not you can sue your employer for your work injury, there are a few things you need to do immediately after your accident.
These steps will help you build and solidify your workers’ compensation claim with the insurance company.
Here are a few steps to take after being injured at work:
- Determine Your Workers’ Compensation Coverage. Before figuring out if you need to take legal action against your employer, you must determine your workers’ compensation eligibility. If you are eligible, you most likely cannot sue your employer. However, you can and should file a compensation claim for benefits.
- Seek Medical Attention. To sue, you need to prove the cause and extent of your injuries. That’s why you need a comprehensive medical evaluation as soon as possible after your accident. Just remember that you might need to see an approved doctor to maintain your eligibility for workers’ comp.
- Follow Your Treatment Plan. Whether you have only minor injuries or are at risk of permanent disabilities, you need to follow your doctor’s advice. But if you ever have concerns about your treatment plan, you can seek a second opinion. If you plan on suing your employer for your work injury, you need the opinion of a doctor who isn’t company-approved. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you find an experienced physician who has your best interests in mind.
- Take Notes about the Accident. Write down as many details as you can remember about your workplace injury as soon as you can. If you can sue for your work injury, the more information you have about the accident, the better.
- Consult with an Experienced Lawyer. An injured at work lawyer experienced in representing injured workers can tell you if you can sue for your work injury. If you can, your lawyer can file a claim on your behalf. If you can’t, your lawyer can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits.
These are some of the most critical steps to take after an accident at work, but there are many more you should take.
To protect your legal rights and maximize your recovery, you should consult with an experienced lawyer right away.
The Workers’ Compensation System
The workers’ compensation system benefits injured workers no matter who is at fault for the accident.
These benefits typically include paying medical expenses, including doctor visits, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.
Injured workers may also receive vocational rehabilitation.
If necessary, you may also receive disability benefits to provide wage replacement if you cannot work.
Injured victims who successfully prevail with a personal injury lawsuit may be able to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, future medical treatment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Sometimes personal injury victims receive punitive damages, a special type of damages meant to punish employers for egregious misconduct.
But more often than not, injured employees are prohibited from suing their employer for a workplace injury.
Since they provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees, employers are usually protected from personal injury lawsuits by their employees.
The system is designed so that an employee would give up their right to sue in court in exchange for collecting workers’ compensation benefits without having to show that the employer was negligent.
Understanding Employer Immunity
Workers’ compensation laws establish “employer immunity.”
Employers are required to pay workers’ comp benefits regardless of fault rather than requiring employees to prove that the employer was negligent, so they are protected from lawsuits.
However, there are notable exceptions to employer immunity. Here are some examples of situations in which you may be able to sue your employer.
- You were injured due to your employer’s willful assault or sanction of an assault by another employee.
- Your injury became worse or was aggravated due to your employer’s wrongful or fraudulent concealment of your injury and its link to your employment.
- Your on-the-job injury was caused by a defective product made by your employer, and you had obtained the product from someone other than your employer.
- Your employer did not have the Workers’ Compensation Insurance required by law.
- Your injury was caused by a power press with the machine guard removed. If a worker’s injury or death is caused by the employer’s knowing removal or failure to install a point of operation guard on a power press, it can lead to a civil lawsuit. The removal or failure to install the machine guard must have been authorized by the employer under conditions of which the employer has the knowledge to create the possibility of severe injury or death to their employees.
Let Schuerger Shunnarah Fight For You!
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is a top-tier firm boasting years of experience in personal injury cases, such as those revolving around worker injuries and workers’ compensation.
We are here to defend your right and prevent exploitation by your employer and the insurance companies.
If you were injured at work, schedule a free consultation so an expert workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate your case.
Our attorneys will help you get the maximum compensation you deserve!