If you have suffered a workplace injury and your employer carries
workers’ compensation insurance, you may be under the impression that you can only receive compensation
by filing a claim through workers’ comp. While that is generally
true, there are several notable exceptions that might allow you to seek
additional compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Here are a few examples of workplace injuries that allow workers to file
a lawsuit outside of workers’ comp.
The owner of any property has a legal responsibility to ensure that the
property is reasonable safe. Many employees—particularly contractors—are
required to work on-site at various properties that are owned by someone
other than their employer. If you are injured on someone else’s
property because the owner was negligent in providing a safe workplace,
you could potentially file a premises liability lawsuit against the property
owner. A premises liability lawsuit would provide compensation above and
beyond what is covered by workers’ comp.
Third Party Claims
An injured worker may also have a viable “third party claim”
in addition to workers’ compensation. This type of claim is available
if your injury was caused, at least in part, by someone other than your
employer. “Third party claims” are very common in workplace
accidents, especially when contractors are on-site.
If your injury was caused by a defective product, you may be able to file a
products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product. Product manufacturers
can be held responsible for injuries caused by a product due to a design
defect, malfunction, or failure to warn the user of known dangers.
If your injury was the result of
exposure to a toxic substance or chemical, you could be able to file a lawsuit known as a “toxic tort.”
There are two types of injuries that can occur from exposure to a toxic
The first is what is known as an acute injury. Acute injuries are immediately
apparent and the source of the injury is generally easily identifiable.
An example of an acute injury would be suffering a burn from a toxic chemical
that is exposed to skin.
The second type of injury is known as a latent injury. Latent injuries
are the result of frequent exposure to small amounts of a toxic substance.
Many times, they can take years to develop, so identifying the source
of the injury can be difficult. A prime example of a latent injury is
workers who develop cancer or mesothelioma as a result of years of asbestos exposure.
Claims Against Your Employer Outside of Workers' Compensation
In some situations you may be permitted to pursue a lawsuit against your
employer in addition to the benefits provided by workers’ compensation.
Any potential exceptions or other causes of action against your employer
vary from state to state. Therefore, you should consult with an experienced
work injury attorney to determine your legal options.
Consulting with a Work Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured at work, you should consult with a work injury
lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights. Even if your
employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you may have the
right to file a personal injury lawsuit depending on the facts of your case.
Our lawyers can provide you with a free consultation to help you determine
your best legal options.
Contact us today
to learn how we can help you.