Can I Sue My Employer Outside of Workers' Compensation?
Injuries at work can cause injured workers to miss work or become disabled. Often, workers who have been injured on the job turn to workers’ compensation claims to help them with medical expenses, but there may be other sources of compensation you can pursue. In certain situations, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover further damages.
Because workers’ compensation covers very limited expenses, it may be prudent to learn if you have a strong case for a lawsuit. Workers’ compensation benefits will cover medical expenses and will offer a small amount of support in the form of disability payments, but these claims may not recover enough compensation to cover your expenses and emotional suffering. They also will not require punitive damages to be paid, if your injury was due to employer negligence.
You may be able to file a lawsuit if:
- You were injured by a defective product at work.
- You were injured by a toxic substance at work.
- Your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Defective Product Injuries
If you are injured by a defective product, you are most likely able to file a products liability action against the manufacturer of the product. If a product fails to work properly, is defectively designed or manufactured, or is inherently dangerous, the manufacturer of the product can be held liable. If your employer is the manufacturer of the injuring product, you may be able to sue your employer.
You may also be able for file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for an unsafe work environment, especially if your employer doesn’t take steps to protect employees from the injuring product.
Toxic Substance Injuries
Workers can be injured by toxic chemicals at work. If the company doesn’t have adequate safety measures in place for storing and handling chemicals, doesn’t provide appropriate training, or fails to enforce safe handling procedures, they may be liable for your injury.
You may also be able to file a toxic tort lawsuit, which can allow you to sue a manufacturer of the toxic substance or the manufacturer of safety equipment for handling these substances, which was proven to be ineffective. Toxic substances can cause injuries that take many years to appear and these injuries can be difficult to recover compensation for. An attorney who is experienced with toxic tort and workers’ compensation claims can help you discover evidence that can support your claims and help you to recover compensation for these injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Uninsured employers can be sued in civil court by injured employees. If you choose to sue your employer for compensation due to a lack of workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to recover a greater amount of damages that a workers compensation claim would provide, but you will need to prove liability in your claim.
Proving liability adds another layer of complexity to filing a claim. If it is necessary to sue to recover damages, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney that has experience in work-related claims. They can help you navigate the legal process of filing a civil claim, assist you in gathering evidence, and can represent you in court. Your lawyer is a valuable resource to help your claim.
Our Atlanta worker’s compensation attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve. At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we understand how difficult this process can be, and we offer compassionate and experienced legal support to all our clients. Contact our team to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (770) 629-9321.