Workers’ compensation benefits are typically sought after when an employee is injured while on the clock at their place of employment. However, a civil lawsuit against an employer can arise in a variety of circumstances.
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System of Compensation for Injured Employees
No matter who is at fault for an accident, workers’ compensation benefits are available to those who have been injured on the job. Medical expenses, such as doctor visits, physical therapy, and medication, are typically covered by benefits. Rehabilitation services such as vocational training are sometimes included as part of workers’ compensation. The employee’s salary may be replaced if they are unable to work due to a temporary or permanent total or partial disability. Civil lawsuits, on the other hand, may provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, future medical treatment and disfigurement as well as pain and suffering for injured victims. Victims of personal injury may also be eligible for punitive damages, which are intended to punish the employer for particularly egregious conduct.
A majority of the time, injured workers are unable to sue their employers for injuries sustained on the job. Employers are usually shielded from having to defend personal injury claims brought against them by their employees who are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance they provide to them. As a trade-off for the ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits without proving that the employer was negligent, the system was created to prevent employees from suing their employers. The general rule that injured workers cannot sue their employers for injuries sustained on the job has a few exceptions.
Torture with Intent
Accident victims should be reimbursed for harm caused by the employer’s negligence, which is the foundation of the workers’ compensation system. An employee may be entitled to sue their employer if the latter knowingly harms him or her through tortious activities. If the employer beat, assaulted, or falsely imprisoned the employee, there is grounds for a lawsuit.
Physical harm or emotional harm, such as the intentional infliction of emotional distress, can be grounds for a claim of tortious interference. Intentional injury to an employee is a legal basis for a lawsuit in the majority of jurisdictions. Some states, on the other hand, do not permit this specific sort of litigation. Even if the employer did not commit the intentional harm, such as when instructing a supervisor or employee on what to do, some states allow this type of claim.
Some states allow employees to sue their employers if they are injured as a result of their employer’s negligence or recklessness. These claims are treated in the same way as intentional misconduct in the states that recognize them. An employer may be held liable for an employee’s injuries if they fail to provide adequate safety equipment, implement inadequate safety controls, or impose hazardous working conditions.
Insufficient Workers’ Compensation Insurance Is Being Provided by the Employer.
Employees have the right to sue their employers if they don’t have proper workers’ compensation insurance. This action can be brought in cases of simple negligence. As opposed to workers’ compensation claims, a civil lawsuit based on negligence requires an injured employee to prove that the employer’s negligence was the cause of his or her injuries. If a company is not insured, some states have a fund that pays out workers’ compensation benefits to injured employees.
Liabilities Asserted by Others
Sometimes, an injured worker can file a civil lawsuit against another party who is responsible or contributed to his or her injuries. These lawsuits may or may not be brought against the employer in some cases. Other defendants who share some responsibility for the victim’s injuries may be targeted instead.
However, in some instances, the injured worker may bring a lawsuit against the company. Workers’ compensation benefits do not apply to independent contractors. Independent contractors can sue their employers if they get hurt while doing what they were hired to do.
An Attorney’s Help
Work-related injury cases are often complicated. Worker’s compensation claims or civil lawsuits against an employer may be confusing to a worker. People who find themselves in this situation might benefit from speaking with a workers’ compensation personal injury lawyer to learn more about their legal options and the advantages and disadvantages of each.