Filing a Workers Compensation Lawsuit

In the United States, most states require companies to have workers compensation insurance. This insurance protects workers if they’re injured on the job, providing them with several benefits. Typically these benefits cover medical treatment, payments during recovery, and the costs of rehabilitation. Being covered by workers compensation cancels out the right to sue employers for negligence. However, if employees feel they deserve punitive damages or payment for pain and suffering, there are ways to file a lawsuit against your employer.

A products liability action can be used to sue a manufacturer if an employee was injured due to working with faulty machinery or equipment. A workers compensation claim should cover medical bills and rehabilitation in this case. However, suing the manufacturer of the equipment that didn’t work properly can help cover extra costs as well as providing monetary compensation for pain and suffering. If an employer forced workers to use equipment knowing that it was dangerous, a personal injury lawsuit, which is explained in detail below, can be filed.  

Personal Injury Lawsuits

In personal injury lawsuits, there needs to be proof that an employer purposefully set out to hurt workers or neglected to them. This type of behavior is referred to as egregious conduct. If an employer is informed that something is dangerous or needs to be fixed and it isn’t changed, this is a blatant disregard to safety. If an employer causes direct harm, such as physically striking someone, then this is also grounds for a lawsuit. However, ten states do not allow employees to file personal injury lawsuits against their employers.

Additional Lawsuits

With so many companies and businesses using chemicals in manufacturing, there has been a rise in toxic tort lawsuits. These suits allow employees to sue if they were made to work with a substance that caused harm, whether through injury or sickness. Toxic torts cover both acute and latent injuries against workers. Acute injuries are ones where there is immediate proof that there was negligence. Latent injuries are ones that may take longer to appear, like toxins in the air eventually causing lung cancer. While latent injuries are harder to prove, both have seen success in court.

The majority of states require employers to have compensation insurance, whether state funded or private. If employees are injured while working and then find out their employer does not have compensation insurance, they can file a lawsuit in civil court. This lawsuit is harder for the plaintiff because the burden of proof rests on them. If an employer doesn’t provide compensation insurance, it is important to keep a very careful record of events and all communications to assure the proceedings go smoother.

Achieving Success

The best thing employees can do if they need to file a compensation lawsuit is to contact an attorney who specializes in that area of law. These attorneys will be able to guide workers through the steps needed to increase the chances of winning the lawsuit. Allowing too much time to pass in these situations only minimizes the likelihood of success, so the sooner an attorney is hired the better.