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Can I sue my employer after a work-related injury?

Many employees have an incomplete understanding of workers’ compensation claims and what they protect. Of course, workers’ compensation insurance does protect employees by ensuring that they receive proper medical care in the event of an on-the-job injury. However, many experts believe that workers’ compensation insurance exists primarily to protect an employer against lawsuits from employees.

In most cases, a person who suffers an injury on the job does not have legal grounds to sue their employer. If you recently suffered an injury at work, the most effective way to receive complete compensation for your injury is through getting the most out of workers’ compensation.

Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation system is not easy to navigate for those unfamiliar with it. You may experience greater success with professional help than by working on your own. An experienced attorney can help maximize your workers’ compensation benefits.

Still, there are some exceptions that allow an employee to sue an employer in certain circumstances.

Did an employer intentionally harm you?

The vast majority of workplace injuries are accidents, either brought on by someone’s negligence or by a mistake. However, in some cases, an employer may intentionally harm an employer.

If your employer intentionally harmed you, then you may have grounds to bring a suit against them. This can take many forms, so it is important to consult with a legal professional to understand if your experience qualifies.

If, for instance, an employer physically assaults an employee, that is usually grounds for a lawsuit, just as a fistfight in a bar might be. Intentional harm can also mean something like excessive infliction of emotional distress or being held against your will at length.

Other, less tangible, offenses can also qualify as intentional harm, such as defrauding employees or defaming them. If your employer makes false accusations against you, for instance, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Was your workers’ compensation claim denied?

In some cases, the insurer covering your workers’ compensation claim may deny it. If this occurs, you can appeal the denial, but it is important to understand that every insurer has a slightly different process of appeals, so it is not something to approach casually.

Should you exhaust the appeals process and still do not see you claim honored, then you may have grounds to sue your employer, but not before.

If you believe that you do have grounds to sue your employer, you should begin building a strong team as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more difficult seeking justice for injuries gets.


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