Can I Sue My Employer Instead of Pursue Workers’ Compensation?

Suing the employer when harmed in an incident while at the jobsite or working for the company is often not possible when a workers’ compensation package exists. However, it is possible to sue the owner, manager or supervisor when certain factors exist after an employee has been injured.

Usual workplace injuries do not provide the possibility of suing the employer. This is due to the insurance purchased through workers’ compensation packages by the owner that generally cover grievances and incidents while the person is either working for the company or at the worksite performing his or her duties. This means that even hiring a lawyer to sue the company or the employer himself or herself is not often an option. These workers’ compensation packages are a tradeoff for these issues which may give as much as two-thirds of a paycheck that the employee earned in a standard week before the accident.

The no-fault system is in place with these
incidents, and the employee is provided for even if he or she was the direct reason the accident occurred. However, there are some instances where he or she may sue a third-party, a vendor, a client or associate or the employer based on specific factors that were involved in the event. If a supervisor, manager or owner of the company directly harmed the person either intentionally or accidentally, there may be grounds to seek compensation from him or her. The same is generally possible of others not often at the site or involved only minimally.

Factors to Sue the Employer

Intentional harm against an employee by the supervisor, manager or the owner of the company is usually the only way a worker may sue the employer. These are torts in legal speak, and they may be applied in a civil case in court when a lawyer has been hired to assist with obtaining monetary compensation from the incident. This may come about from battery where the worker has been injured by the other from some type of physical abuse. This could be assault where there was a threat of battery or battery was attempted but did not necessarily occur. Another concern is false imprisonment when the employee has been confined against his or her will, and this is often without any legal authority.

Some more uncommon suits may involve less known crimes. There could be an intentional injury of emotional stress, distress or trauma. This could be from a number of elements, but the employee is left emotionally traumatized afterward. A form of fraud may cause another type of injury by the lies of the employer. He or she may have said or written to the public something harmful that could lead to a case of defamation. Some criminal activity involves an invasion of privacy. The employee’s property may have been taken and then converted to become the employer’s object. It is possible that one of the managers of supervisors entered the property of the employee without his or her consent.

Suits for Injuries and Third Parties

When harm occurs at work, it is possible the employer is at fault, another employee or a third party. If this occurs, it is possible to sue the third party even if a workers’ compensation package is available to claim compensation from through the incident. These third party issues usually involve vehicles on the road and when the employee is driving for the company, but these individuals could be a vendor in the company at some time, a manufacturer of equipment, a distributor of products and various other persons. If this person either intentionally injured the employee or was the direct cause of the damage, he or she may be supplying monetary compensation to the harmed worker.

While normal litigation involves standard and severe injuries, there are instances where the employee has died due to the actions of the supervisor, manager or owner. If this occurs, a wrongful death suit is filed against the responsible party. This is usually initiated against the employer by the family. However, workers’ compensation may take effect instead of or with the suit.

Suing the Employer with a Lawyer

It is important to hire a lawyer for civil suits even if the person is the employer. With legal representation, it is possible to succeed in proving that he or she was responsible for the injury either through intention or his or her actions. This could mean full compensation is received for the incident.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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