Am I Eligible to File a Workplace Injury Lawsuit?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Grant Lawson with Metier Law Firm.
When someone is injured at work, they may have multiple options for recovery. The first one that comes to mind for many people is workers’ compensation or “workers’ comp”. Workers’ comp is a type of insurance that most employers are required to carry, designed to protect the employer from liability while offering benefits to the injured worker to help compensate limited lost wages and medical bills.
In most cases, an employee receiving workers’ comp benefits is not eligible to file a workplace injury lawsuit against their employer. However, there are a few circumstances in which a workplace injury lawsuit may be viable. Workplace injury lawsuits generally cover a much wider array of damages, including but not limited to medical bills, lost wages, life care expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
If any of the following are true, you may be eligible to file a workplace injury lawsuit:
- Your employer does not offer workers’ comp. If an employer does not offer workers’ comp or another employee injury compensation program, an injured worker may be eligible to file a workplace injury lawsuit. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide a reasonably safe environment and to ensure that their employees will not be left destitute in the event of a work-related injury.
- The workers’ comp benefits offered by your employer are insufficient to pay your damages. If you suffer an injury at work for which the damages are extensive, such as a catastrophic injury, you may be eligible to file a workplace injury claim in addition to or instead of receiving workers’ comp benefits. Unfortunately, workers’ comp is often insufficient to pay for some of the more extensive damages after a severe injury.
- The injury occurred as a direct result of intentional or negligent safety conduct. Employers are required not only to provide adequate safety measures for their workers but to enforce safety protocol as well. If an injury occurs due to negligent conduct on the part of an employer, supervisor, or even another employee, the injured party could be eligible to file a workplace injury claim in addition to workers’ comp. This allows injured workers to hold the liable parties accountable while providing incentives to prevent the same situation from occurring in the future.
- Someone other than the employer caused the injury while on the job. If you are injured by someone other than your employer while on the job, you may be eligible to file a third-party claim. While a third-party claim is not technically a workplace injury claim, it can be filed in addition to receiving workers’ comp benefits. An example of this might be if someone was hit by a drunk driver while on the job.
A workplace injury attorney can help you quickly assess your options at no cost.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, it may help to note that most workplace injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay for their services unless they win their case. This is great news for someone who is injured at work but isn’t sure about their eligibility to file. Workplace injury attorneys can sit down with you and evaluate your case for free to give you a better idea of what your options are for physical and financial recovery.
To learn more about workplace injury lawsuit eligibility, or to discuss your case, reach out to a workplace injury lawyer in your area.