Work-Related Injuries Are Complex and Often Times You Cannot Sue Your Employer for Negligence
Work-related injuries are, unfortunately, very common. Claims and compensation for work-related injuries are potentially complicated. Generally, workers’ compensation laws provide that a person injured on the job by an employer or co-employee may not pursue traditional civil action and, instead, must use workers’ compensation as the exclusive remedy for their injuries. This is subject to limited exceptions, but what that means is a person usually cannot sue their employer or co-employee if they injure them on the job. However, third-party claims are not subject to this rule and a person injured on the job by a person who is not an employer or co-employee is not granted immunity from civil suit. It is important to find an attorney capable of spotting the difficult issues and guiding you through the process as identifying and differentiating between traditional workers’ compensation claims and third-party work-related injuries can be difficult. Members of Goodnow|McKay are experienced with these claims and here to help. We are committed to helping our clients recover fair compensation. We are often able to negotiate reasonable settlements with the responsible insurance companies, but we are willing to fight for our clients through trial if it is necessary.
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Common Types of Work-Related Injury Legal Claims
Employer/Co-Employee Claims: Generally, workers’ compensation statutes provide that a person may not sue an employer or a co-employee who caused their injuries and the exclusive remedy for the injured employee is workers’ compensation. Employers may lose this remedy by failing to have proper notices posted and claim forms available. Employers and co-employees can also be sued if they injure an employee through a willful act of misconduct that disregards the safety of an employee.
Third-Party Claims: Third-party claims are common claims that can be pursued outside of traditional workers’ compensation claims. While workers’ compensation laws provide immunity from civil suits to employers and co-employees, this immunity does not extend to third parties who are unaffiliated with a person’s employment who injure an employee on the job. What this means in practicality is if a person is working and someone other than a co-employee or employer is the cause of the injury then civil action may be pursued.
Examples of Work-Related Third-Party Injury Claims
Differentiating between traditional workers’ compensation claims and third-party work-related claims can be difficult. The general rule is if the person who causes the injury is not an employer or co-employee then it is a third-party claim. Common examples include:
- A groomer bit by another person’s dog while at work
- A delivery man hit by a car in a traffic accident while at work
- A postal worker bit by a resident’s dog
- Defective products causing injury in the course and scope of duty