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If I Get Injured at Work, Can I Sue My Employer? | Workers Compensation Attorneys

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 6 minutes

If I Get Injured at Work, Can I Sue My Employer? | Workers Compensation Attorneys

In this article, you’ll find answers to common questions about what to do when you are injured at work, or get hurt on the job, Worker’s Compensation, and what to know when considering “Can I sue my employer?”

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Workplace injuries are surprisingly common across America. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.7 million injuries in private industries alone and 4,764 fatal injuries in the year 2020. If you’ve been injured in the workplace, then you could be left reeling with a variety of different losses. This can be overwhelming and difficult to recover from. Fortunately, the law does provide several paths to justice and recovery. Perhaps most important among the available options is that of workers’ compensation benefits. 

Examples of Damages Recoverable in a Lawsuit

Examples of losses from work related injuries are:

  • Wage loss
  • Medical expenses
  • Disability issues
  • And more

Which Situation Qualifies an Employee for Workers Compensation Coverage?

Workers compensation benefits are paid out to employees who are injured on the job, or who suffer injuries linked to their job duties. These benefits are critical for many employees, particularly those in riskier professions. Let’s take a closer look. 

Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Despite the name, worker’s compensation benefits are not available to all workers. They are available only to employees, not independent contractors. So, how do you recover losses from injuries at work as an independent contractor? Assuming you can prove that the employer was negligent, reckless, or engaged in intentional misconduct, then you can sue them and hold them liable for your injuries without workers comp. Also, these damages may even be greater than your would-be workers compensation benefits. 

What Is the Advantage of Workers Compensation?

Well, for one thing, you get to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit. But more importantly, worker’s compensation benefits are paid out even if your employer wasn’t at fault for your injuries. If you have a slip and fall accident while working and hurt yourself, even if it wasn’t anyone else’s fault, you are still entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits! That’s an enormous advantage for situations where you have suffered a loss, yet no one else is to blame. 

Workers’ compensation benefits are valuable, of course, but they are still limited in certain ways. For example, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering damages and other such losses. Instead, these benefits cover wage loss and medical expenses

When to Hire a Workers Comp Lawyer

Serious Personal Injury

In cases of severe injury, only having access to workers’ compensation benefits can lead to a lower recovery than if you had been able to successfully sue your employer or some other defendant. 

The problem is that workers’ compensation laws shield employers from liability. If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, then you are prohibited from suing your employer for damages. However, there are exceptions that allow you to sue your employer and secure a larger compensation amount. 

Continue reading about: Hiring a Workers Compensation Lawyer Made Easy

Should I Claim for an Accident at Work?

Employer Liability for Employee Actions

To sue your employer and take advantage of the exception, you’ll have to show that:

  • the employer’s misconduct caused your injury
  • it was intentional or reckless misconduct

For example, you can sue your employer if you can prove that they intentionally withheld protective goggles from factory workers in an effort to cut costs. Perhaps they knew that this would increase the risk of injury, but did so anyways because of their new cost-cutting approach. 

What Should an Employee Do If There Is a Workplace Accident?

Workplace injuries can leave employees feeling confused about what to do next. When you get injured at work, here are the first three steps you should take:

  1. Contact a workers’ comp lawyer immediately. They will gather evidence, speak to opposing counsel, and ensure that all procedural requirements are met. Work injury attorneys are comprehensive advocates, and are invaluable at every stage of a dispute. 
  1. Preserve records of the injury. Make sure to save all medical documentation, work documentation, and even pay stubs. These all form an important part of your claim. 
  1. Do not accept a settlement until you have consulted an attorney. Insurance companies and your boss will always attempt to minimize their liabilities. If you don’t have an attorney advocating on your behalf, they will try to push harder for a quick resolution that undermines your claims. 

Find a Workers Compensation Lawyer Near You

If you’ve been injured in the workplace, then the law may entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits, and in some cases, damages through a lawsuit. Workplace injury disputes can be challenging and complex, however, so it’s important that you secure the assistance of a qualified work accident lawyer who can help you at every stage. 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of attorneys, which includes experienced workmans comp lawyers. It’s worth speaking to one of our network attorneys for guidance on how to proceed with your claims. 

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

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