Workplace injuries are usually covered by workers' compensation insurance. However, there are some instances in which you might find additional financial relief through the courts by filing a lawsuit. If you believe you do have a case that should be heard in court, here is what you need to know.
When Can You Sue?
If your employer carried unemployment insurance, it is most likely protected from a lawsuit. There are some special situations in which the courts will allow a lawsuit though. However, if your employer does not have unemployment insurance, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages from a workplace injury. In this instance, you would need to prove that your employer's actions were negligent and that resulted in your injuries.
You can also file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of defective equipment if you were injured while using it. For instance, if you were operating a forklift at work and it tipped over due to structural design, you could sue for the injuries you suffered. You would need to prove that the manufacturer failed to properly warn consumers that the forklift could present a danger.
You also have the right to sue any other third party that could be involved in your injury. For instance, if a contractor who works with your company causes your injury, you can file a lawsuit against him or her.
When Can You Sue Your Employer?
Depending on your state's laws, there is a possibility that you can file a lawsuit against your employer even if it carries workers' compensation insurance. If your injuries were the result of an intentional or particularly bad act from your employer, you can file a lawsuit. For instance, if you work with hazardous chemicals and your employer refuses to provide you with safety equipment and an injury results, you can take legal action.
As of October 2015, 10 states, including New Hampshire and Indiana, do not allow this type of lawsuit regardless of the circumstances. Before taking legal action, check your state's laws to ensure that you are still able to file suit.
Workers' compensation claims can be straightforward, but when there is a question of whether or not other legal action is possible, it is important to explore it. An experienced attorney like McMullen & Ochs PLLC can provide you with help assessing your state's law and how it relates to your case to determine if there is further legal action possible.Share