You’ve Been Served! Can You Sue an Employer for a Work-Related Injury?

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The Color of Money - Photo by: Chris Potter - Source: StockMonkeys.com

You informed your employer about a spill on the floor. You would have gotten it yourself but you were in the middle of helping a customer. Not even twenty minutes later, somebody does slip on the spill.

That, someone, was you. You don’t think anything about the incident until the next day when you can barely move. Is suing an employer possible even if they didn’t mean for you to get harmed?

It’s possible depending on the situation. Check out this guide to learn more about worker’s compensation and find out if you’re entitled to benefits for your suffering and medical bills.

Is Suing an Employer for Injury Possible?

The technical answer for this is no. You can’t sue an employer if you’re injured at work. You report the injury and workers comp does the rest.

That’s why your employer pays for worker’s compensation insurance. You might have a case if your injuries happened due to your employer’s negligence but it’s not a good idea. Considering you would have to have foolproof evidence that they harmed you, it’s better just to go through worker’s comp.

You Might Have a Case If…

So, what if your employer doesn’t have worker’s comp insurance? In this rare instance, it’s a better idea to sue for work-related injury simply because you don’t have any other avenue to go down. This isn’t the only situation that might call for you to lawyer up against your boss.

Employer Failed to Get Worker’s Comp Insurance

In most states, it’s a requirement for an employer to have some kind of worker’s comp insurance. Some states do allow them to opt-out but not many. Just because the employer is required to have insurance doesn’t mean that they do.

If your employer doesn’t have it, you can contact a lawyer and make a worker’s compensation claim. If the employer doesn’t have insurance, they don’t have any protection for such a claim. That means they’ll have no choice but to show up to court.

You’re Not a Company Employee

Depending on your position, you might not be considered as a technical company employee. For example, if you work in commission-based sales sometimes you’re not a part of the payroll.

If this is the case, if you’re inured at work, you won’t qualify for workers’ compensation. You’ll have to contact a law firm to find out if going to court is the smart move.

The Injury was Intentional

Say you get into a heated argument with your boss. During the argument, they haul out and hit you. You get a broken nose or a concussion due to the impact of the punch.

You absolutely have a case. Even if they are insured, your injuries didn’t come from slipping and falling. Your employer intentionally put their hands on you.

Contact a lawyer as soon as you can to file a civil suit. This way you can get compensation for your doctor’s visit and hopefully, your supervisor will be removed from their position.

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Exposure to chemicals such as asbestos can do more than harm you. It can cause you to develop a life-long condition or worse. If you believe this has happened to you, don’t bother with workers comp.

Go ahead and get in touch with a lawyer. Chemical exposure is one of the few times where the usual rules don’t matter. You can sue your employer.

Injury Due to a Defective Product

Sometimes you’ll be required to use equipment that your company has developed. This is all well and good until you’re hurt due to a defective product.

If this has happened to you, your lawyer can walk you through the steps of filing a liability claim against your employer. You won’t have to worry about going through workers’ compensation.

When You Don’t Qualify for Workers’ Comp

There are a few cases where even if the employer does have insurance, you won’t qualify to take advantage of it. For example, you get in a wreck while driving a company vehicle under the influence of alcohol. You were injured while performing your job but you don’t qualify for workers comp because the accident was your fault.

If you’re told during your training to wear safety goggles while using machinery and get hurt because you failed to do so, again, that’s your fault. You won’t qualify for worker’s comp. These are only a few examples.

Going Back to Work

Your doctor has given you the all-clear to go back to work but you’re not feeling it. Your body is still sore from your injury. The sad truth is because your doctor has given you the all-clear, you have no choice.

If you tell your employer no, you’ll no longer qualify for benefits. There are some instances where you’re ready to go back to work but your old position is no longer available.

Your boss hired someone else or you’ve got medical restrictions that render you unable to go back. In the case of both these situations, you should contact a lawyer to see what can be done.

Get the Compensation You Deserve

Have you been injured due to negligence? While suing an employer isn’t always possible due to workers’ compensation insurance, there are certain instances where it doesn’t’ matter. If you’ve been exposed to dangerous chemicals or have gotten hurt due to a defective product, you can cut out the middle man and hire a lawyer.

Do you need help with filing a claim? Are you not sure if you even have a case? You can contact a lawyer or check out our blog for daily posts on medical-related lawsuits.

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