If You’re Hurt At Work, Can You Sue Your Employer?

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Sarah E. Stottlemyer | 888-981-8971 | Free Consult

Every workplace presents inherent risks that could make you eligible for workers’ compensation if you are injured on the job. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are not filing directly against your employer but against your employer’s insurance company. The question remains: if you’re hurt at work, can you sue your employer even if you’re already receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

We spoke to Sarah E. Stottlemyer, partner at Stottlemyer & Associates, LLC. She explains that generally speaking, workers’ compensation prevents you from suing your employer directly.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-981-8971 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Workers’ compensation is designed to protect employers and provide financial aid to employees injured at work.

Workers’ compensation, often referred to as “workers’ comp” is an insurance program employers pay for to offer financial compensation to injured workers in order to cover lost wages and medical bills as a result of workplace accidents. However, it is important to note that in most cases when an employee receives workers’ compensation benefits, they are no longer eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer.

The Exclusive Remedy Act prohibits injured employees from suing their employer if they are receiving workers’ compensation.

The Exclusive Remedy Act is designed as a compromise between an employer and employee, so neither can take unfair advantage of the other in the case of a workplace accident. This requires that injured workers receive compensation for their medical expenses and receive partial lost wages while they are unable to work due to that injury, and release the employer from fear of a lawsuit.

Depending on your state, there are rare, specific circumstances in which an employee may be allowed to sue their employer.

There are a few circumstances under which an employee may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against their employer. These circumstances include situations in which an employer was negligent regarding employee safety, or if the employer failed to maintain or provide workers’ compensation insurance. If you think you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against your employer, it is still important to note that you should file your workers’ compensation claim first if possible so you can begin to receive immediate compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.

It is important to preserve evidence at the scene of the accident.

Regardless of whether you are likely to receive workers’ compensation benefits or not, and especially if a third party is involved, it’s a good idea to record evidence at the scene of the accident; this is especially true if you suspect negligence. Evidence you can gather to strengthen your case or prove how the accident transpired to your employer may include photos, videos, and of course the information of any other parties involved.

If you are still unsure of whether you are eligible to sue your employer directly, contact an attorney.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will understand the complexities of workers’ compensation cases, as well as what may constitute negligence or an insufficiency in workers’ compensation benefits. If you or a loved one have been injured in a workplace accident, contact an attorney to explore your options and/or further understand what may be covered by workers’ compensation.

To learn more, contact Sarah Stottlemyer directly by calling 888-981-8971 or by submitting a contact form on this page. The consultation is free and confidential, and you owe no out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Video Transcript:

Rob Rosenthal:
This is another Quick Question from AskTheLawyers.com™. If you have workers’ comp insurance, can you still sue your employer if you’re injured? This is what Atlanta attorney Sarah Stottlemyer says.

Sarah Stottlemyer:
Under workers’ comp, you actually cannot sue your employer. If you suffer a job-related injury, it’s part of the Exclusive Remedy Act that was passed by the U.S. Congress. The workers’ compensation system was created so that it’s a no liability, no-fault system. Basically, if you’re on the job and you get injured, despite any of the other circumstances that may be surrounding it short of a few different defenses such as drug use or horseplay defense, or if you’re on a work break that’s not covered, then you would be covered by workers’ compensation. You cannot then go after your employer though the same way. Say your employer had some sort of like safety malfunction, things happen. They cannot be personally sued for that.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.