At Work Injuries
If you are injured while performing your standard job duties you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is insurance paid by employers to workers who are injured at work and can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits.
Workers’ compensation eliminates the need for the injured employee to file a personal injury claim against the employer and prove it was the negligence of the employer which caused their work injury. Instead, workers’ compensation provides immediate compensation for the injured worker.
Benefits of Workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation is considered a trade-off: the employee does not have to fight a lengthy and costly court battle for benefits, and the employer does not have to fight a court battle or prove they are not negligent.
Critics of the program claim workers’ compensation, though providing immediate benefits, may not allow the worker to seek full justice or compensation for injuries and can eliminate or reduce a worker’s chance to find future employment. They also believe that employees may be stigmatized by filing work comp claims. Proponents argue, however, that workers’ compensation programs are a necessary part of employment, and they provide the most benefit for the most workers without the hassle of legal claims.
Who is not covered by workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation coverage is not universal. In fact, employers are sometimes able to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits to workers who are independent contractors. Other states, such as Texas, allow certain employers to non-subscribe to the program. Other workers may also not be covered if they are injured while committing a serious crime, violating the company’s employee conduct policies, or fighting.
At work injury can I sue my employer?
Due to states workers’ compensation laws most employers are immune to employee work injury lawsuits. In fact, states have instituted workers’ compensation statutes which generally protect employers from employee work comp lawsuits.
There are, however, some exceptions. For example, employers may be sued for work injuries if their state requires them to provide workers’ compensation coverage and they do not purchase it. They also may be sued if the worker’s injuries extend beyond the scope of employment. For instance, workers may be able to file a work injury claim if they are injured from sexual assault, sexual harassment, gross negligence, libel and slander, or intentional injury.
Third-Party product work injury claims
Workers injured due to the negligent actions of a third party, who is not their employer, may also be able to file a work injury claim. For instance, if you are injured due to defective equipment, an unsafe safety switch, or the actions of a subcontractor you may be able to file a work injury lawsuit against the manufacturer or third-party business and hold them responsible for your work-related injuries.