Can I Sue My Employer After a Workplace Injury?

State law says employers should provide a safe working environment for their employees. However, sometimes an accident can occur due to negligence or unsafe working conditions, causing injuries and other forms of loss.

When this happens, your employer's insurance cover should compensate you for your injuries under the worker's compensation program. In return, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for these same injuries. 

There are exceptional circumstances, however, where you may sue your employer after a workplace injury, as detailed below.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries may be physical or psychological. They may include fractures, sprains, and worsening of preexisting conditions owing to the work environment. Some instances when such workplace injuries commonly occur are:

  • Slip-and-falls
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Inhalation of harmful substances, among others

When Can I Sue My Employer For a Workplace Injury?

You can sue for an injury at the workplace that resulted from an intentional act such as battery or assault by your employer, as long as their acts caused you harm, either physically or psychologically.

In some states, reckless conduct by your employer at the workplace may form grounds for a workplace injury suit. For example, suppose your employer failed to provide the necessary safety equipment that would have protected you in the event of an accident. In that case, you may sue them for the resulting loss you experience.

Another instance you can sue your employer is if their worker's compensation insurance is inadequate to cover your injuries. Usually, employers are protected from civil action by employees if they carry workers' compensation insurance. However, should the cover be insufficient, you may file additional claims against your employer.

Is There a Specified Duration for Suing My Employer After a Workplace Injury?

The time frame within which you can sue your employer largely depends on the individual state laws. Legally, this is known as the statute of limitations, and it's the time beyond which you cannot seek legal redress for your civil suit.

Workplace injuries are part of personal injury cases, and they all have such a specified duration. It is therefore important to document your workplace injuries and inform your employer as soon as they occur.

How Much Can I Claim From a Workplace Injury Suit Against My Employer?

Damages awarded by the court can be economic, such as lost income and costs related to the workplace injury, or non-economic, like the pain and suffering caused by your injuries.

To determine the value of your claim, your attorney will take into consideration several factors such as:

  • Your lost wages, both present and future earnings, as a result of the injury
  • Medical costs incurred in seeking treatment 
  • Lower quality of life brought about by your injury 
  • Disability caused by your workplace injury, among others.

As such, the value of your workplace injury lawsuit might vary, depending on the circumstances. In addition, several states have caps on damages the courts adhere to when awarding personal injury claims.

Seeking Legal Help

It might not be wise to go at it alone, given that insurance companies have some of the best legal minds at their disposal to defend claims like yours. Instead, consider seeking legal advice from a reputable law firm knowledgeable in workplace injury laws, such as Slingshot Law.

An attorney will increase your chances of a successful outcome and represent your interest in any negotiations towards compensation. Having legal support will also assist in the handling of the paperwork involved. 

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