When Can You Sue Over a Workplace Injury?

by | Jul 28, 2014

An employee’s sole and exclusive remedy against his or her employer is under the Workman’s Compensation Act. This law is “no-fault” insurance coverage for employees. “No Fault” means that the employee is covered no matter who is at fault for the injury, even if the employee causes his or her own injury. As long as the injury occurred during or in the course of the scope of employment, the employee is entitled to compensation. The downside is that the law greatly limits the employee’s right to damages against the employer’s worker’s compensation carrier.


Could There Be Third-Party Liability for Your Workplace Injury?

What if the employee’s injury on the job was the fault of someone other than a fellow employee, himself, or the employer? The employee is still entitled to recover worker’s compensation for the injury. However, the employee would have a negligence claim against the party at fault, too, because the compensation statute does not protect the third party from separate liability. The compensation carrier would have a right of subrogation to the employee’s third-party recovery, meaning the carrier may get paid back part or all of the money it paid for replacement income while off work and for medical expenses paid.


What to Do If Hurt on the Job?

You must make a claim with your employer’s worker’s compensation carrier, and if you think the party at fault is not your employer, you need to make a claim against that third party. Most people will need legal representation to deal with the third-party liability. Sometimes, employees need legal representation for their worker’s compensation claim, too, if the employer’s carrier disputes that the injury happened on the job.


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