4 Instances You Can Sue for a Workplace Accident

When it comes to workplace accidents, the general rule is: when an employee is injured in the workplace, the only compensation they can receive is from the employer's workers' compensation insurance. And the only claim possible would be a worker compensation claim; a lawsuit seems absolutely impossible.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim has its advantages over a traditional lawsuit. The major one is its predictability and how it affords you monetary and medical benefits immediately – as long as you’re eligible, as opposed to the unpredictability of a lengthy lawsuit.

Unfortunately however, workers’ compensation does not indeed fully compensate the worker in every situation. For example, in an instance of permanent disability, the compensation is often too low, and might not fully compensate the injured worker for things like pain and suffering. This is unlike in a personal injury claim, where the victim may also be entitled to reimbursement for pain and suffering.

Another shortcoming of workers’ compensation is that the injured worker cannot recover punitive damages, which would otherwise have been granted them in a civil lawsuit and could be a sum many times the amount of actual damages incurred. This is usually a compensation granted to punish an employer for poor safety controls or dangerous work condition.

There’s however a glimmer of hope for the workplace accident victim.

There’s hardly a general rule in law without an exception, and this is true with workplace accidents too.

According to Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, there are instances where you can sue for a workplace accident outside the Workers’ Compensation Law. And as an employee, you should be able to spot when the opportunity comes to sue for a workplace accident, so you can get compensated both from workers’ compensation insurance, and from a civil lawsuit.

Here are 4 instances you can sue for workplace accidents:

1. Employer's intentional conduct

Where your injury is caused by an action your employer has taken specifically with the intent of harming you, then you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. This however only covers deliberate actions, and not your employer’s negligence to provide safety and due care in the workplace.

A great example of intentional conduct is when an object is hurled at you in anger, or when your boss deliberately hits you with an object.

2. Employer's egregious conduct

Other than an employer’s intentional conduct, some states allow the injured worker to file a lawsuit where the employer’s conduct that caused the injury is so egregious -- grossly negligent or reckless; outstandingly bad or shocking, that it’s tantamount to intentional harm.

3. Insufficient or non-existent workers’ compensation insurance

Where the employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, or doesn’t have sufficient workers’ compensation insurance, they have broken the law and you can therefore file a lawsuit against your employer to recover damages from your injury.

4. Injury caused by a third party

Where the injury suffered is not the fault of the employer, but that of a third party, then the injured employee can sue that third-party person or group for damages.

If you believe you deserve more than the workers’ compensation system would afford you for your injury, and your specific situation falls within any of these 4 instances discussed here, by all means file a lawsuit.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at HowToCreateABlog.org. Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at Jimmy@HowToCreateABlog.org

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