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Can I sue my employer after a workplace accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2014 | Workers' Compensation

Generally speaking, a worker cannot sue his or her employer after being injured on the job. As FindLaw.com explains, that’s because most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which is in place to compensate the injured workers.

Workers can be compensated for expenses related to their injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. 

In exchange for having workers’ compensation coverage, employers are generally not liable for personal injury claims that could otherwise arise from workplace injuries caused by employer negligence.

However, there is an exception to this rule if the employer intentionally caused the injury.

Examples of intentional injuries caused by employers include assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In these rare cases, the injured worker may still be able to pursue a civil claim against the employer.

Additionally, a civil claim may be possible in cases where an injured worker has been retaliated against after filing a workers’ compensation claim or the insurance carrier has denied or undervalued the claim. In these cases, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who can provide the legal insight and guidance needed.

Although it is usually not possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer following a workplace accident, claims against third parties are possible. A third party refers to someone other than the employer who was responsible for causing the injury.

For example, if a worker was seriously injured by piece of defective machinery, that worker may have a claim against the manufacturer of the machinery. Though, it’s important to keep in mind that any damages awarded in a third-party suit could impact the amount of workers’ compensation the injured worker is entitled to.