Workplace Injury: When You Can Sue Outside of Workers' Compensation

Workplace Injury: When You Can Sue Outside of Workers’ CompensationWhat happens when you end up with an injury that occurred in the workplace? You may have been misinformed that the only compensation you’ll be able to receive will come from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. You may also be able to sue for damages, however. If a defective product was the cause of the injury, you may have a products liability action. You may be able to bring action against your employer if you were injured because of intentional conduct. If a third party was the cause of your injury, then you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person. There are many different situations that could call for damages.

Were You Injured by a Toxic Substance?

In some cases, workers could be in environments that contain toxins and could cause severe injuries and illnesses. This could include anything from asbestos, benzene, chromium compounds, silica, and radium. This could lead to a “toxic tort” lawsuit. Toxic tort injuries include acute injuries and latent injuries.

  • Acute Injuries: Acute injuries are apparent immediately. This includes chemical burns and poisoning.
  • Latent Injuries: These may take many years to appear. This could include cancers and lung diseases. They tend to be more difficult to prove than acute ones.

When a toxic substance has caused injury to a worker, generally the worker will be able to sue the manufacturer of said toxic substance. They could also sue any manufacturers of safety equipment that proved to be ineffective in the handling of the toxic substance.

Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury

There is a difference between a workers’ compensation case and a personal injury claim. The biggest and most important difference is that a personal injury claim is based on fault and a workers’ compensation claim isn’t. Negligence must be proven in these cases. If negligence is proven, then you may be able to recover damages against someone in a personal injury claim.

The Rules of No-Fault

When it comes to workers’ compensation cases, employees who are injured on the job are typically always entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are limited exceptions, however. Workers’ compensation is not reliant on fault. This means you do not need to prove that your employer or your co-workers did anything wrong in order for you to receive the benefits you deserve. Even if you were negligent and it caused your injury, you are still entitled to those benefits.

However, you will not be able to receive benefits for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation case. Why? Workers’ compensation is basically seen as a tradeoff between labor and business owners. If an employer was not negligent or if the employee did not sue, then in most cases the employee would get nothing.

When it comes to workplace injuries or any personal injury in general, there are usually complex laws surrounding them. You will want an attorney on your side who understands the laws and will be able to review your case with the experience necessary. Call Welebir Law today to get an assessment of your case.


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