Mon. May 20th, 2024

As an employee, it is in your best interest to know whether you can sue your employer instead of proceeding with the worker’s comp case. When it comes to suing, irrespective of your state, you can sue pretty much anyone for anything. 

However, the important question here is whether or not you will be successful at suing your company. 

Generally, the chances are that if you sue your employer for a work-related injury, you won’t be successful. Why – you might ask. The reason is that, in almost all instances, your employer is immune from being sued for your work-related injury.

How Has the Law Changed Over Time?

So, you will want to understand the rare circumstances that may allow you to sue your employer if you get injured at work. According to most worker’s compensation laws in different states, potential employees lose the right to sue employers, but they gain the right to medical care and a percentage of lost wages that are paid for and provided by the worker’s insurance carrier – only – if they meet certain criteria. 

Now, this aspect used to be seen as a mutually beneficial compromise for both – the injured workers and employers. These were solid rules that could not be changed in the past. However – as time has progressed, the law has changed and become more in the favor of employers while seeming to go against the injured workers.

The compromise was that the injured worker’s personal negligence or fault was removed from the equation, which could have been the most litigated issue in a personal injury case. 

What Goes On In a Worker’s Comp Case?

In worker’s comp, there are only two types of benefits: medical care and lost wages. However, medical care is paid at pennies of the dollar and lost wages at around 2/3rd of one’s average weekly wage. If you look at the bigger picture, you see that this aspect is already saving the employer and their insurance company tons of money.

Also, unlike in a personal injury case, in a worker’s comp case, there are no damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and punitive damage, which is even more in savings. So, you understand that even though the employer and their insurance company are paying during the pendency of the case, they are paying way less than they should be paying. 

Also, even though the employee’s fault isn’t a consideration anymore – there are countless reasons why the employer’s insurance company will deny your case, which can result in you getting nothing. 

Rare Instances You Can Sue Your Employer

There are rare instances where you can actually sue your employer outside of the work comp system. Here are some of them:

Your Employer Failed to Secure Workers Comp

The most common way you can crack the worker’s comp case is with the help of a personal injury lawyer, such as the Personal injury attorneys in Maryland, if your employer failed to secure worker’s compensation coverage when it was required to do so. 

In such a scenario, you can proceed with your case in circuit court, which is where personal injury cases are heard. The benefit of this is that you can sue your employer for damages that would otherwise be unavailable to you in a worker’s compensation case, such as pain and suffering damages. 

You would also get to see your own doctors. However, you will have to pay for the doctors yourself. You would also avail of the massive benefit of your employer losing the ability to argue that the accident was occasioned by a co-employee, assumption of the risk, and comparative negligence, which reduces your recovery by your own percentage of your own fault. 

This aspect happens to be the primary defense in a typical personal injury case. In this scenario, instead of arguing about your fault, you argue about damages or how much money your employer has to pay you for your work-related injuries. 

Your Employer Denies Your Employee Status

Another way to sue your employer for your worker’s comp injury is if your employer claims that you weren’t an employee. In this scenario, if you aren’t an employee, then you don’t actually qualify for worker’s comp. Thus, you can proceed and deal with the case as a personal injury case. 

If you do that, your employer will try to get a summary judgment in the personal injury case by stating that you are an employee. This will then be the complete opposite of what they stated in the worker’s comp case, and they cannot do that as your employer cannot have it both ways. 

The thing is that you are either an employee or not. Now you know what to do and how to sue your employer if you are injured at work and they claim that you haven’t been an employee. 

Your Employer Intentionally Injures You 

You can also sue your employer if your employer intentionally injures you. However, this might be quite impossible to prove because there usually isn’t any documentary evidence in existence which leaves you only with testimonial evidence. 

A testimonial evidence is where people – your colleagues – will tell their side of the story. Speaking of evidence, you should always take pictures and videos of yourself and your surroundings when you are injured at your workplace. This is especially important if you work at a construction site, as we know that construction sites change fast, so you have to record how things have been at the moment when you were injured. 

However, in this case, your employer will bring everyone to testify against you to prove that the accident wasn’t intentional. Now, it will be your word against theirs. Also, your employer’s insurance company doesn’t most likely cover intentional acts, which is why you should be seeking compensation from your employer’s pocket rather than its insurance company. 

The Takeaway

Sometimes, employers deliberately conceal or misrepresent potential danger at a worksite that can lead to injury or death. In this case, you can also sue your employer for your worker’s compensation injury with the help of a personal injury lawyer

However, make sure to talk to your lawyer and doctor only because everyone else at your workplace will be against you, trying to get information to use later against you. 

By Admin

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