Workers' Compensation: Can I Sue My Employer Instead?


Posted by: Chris

Employers that provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees who are injured at work typically cannot be sued. However, injured workers who are eligible for workers’ compensation are allowed to take legal action against their employers in certain situations.

Intentional Torts

Employees are typically permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer if they can prove that the employer intentionally caused them harm. Intentional torts can include physical as well as mental injury. Some of the most common intentional torts include:

  • Battery (injury to your person)
  • Assault (an attempt or threat to commit battery)
  • False imprisonment (being confined against your will)
  • Fraud (false information that causes injury)
  • Defamation (something false is said about you that causes harm)
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Invasion of privacy (your private information was exposed)

Egregious Conduct

Employers can also be sued if their extremely reckless behavior or bad conduct results in an injury. For instance, employers are required to provide their workers with the safety gear they need to protect themselves while on the job. If an employer refuses to give you the gear that you need but demands that you do the job anyway, you could be seriously hurt. Not providing employees with the proper safety gear is an example of extremely reckless behavior. In this situation, the injured employee may file a personal injury claim against the employer.

Other Liable Parties

Injured workers may be able to recover compensation from other parties besides their employers after a job-related injury. Workers who are injured by defective products, for example, can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

Third parties can also be held liable for on-the-job-injuries. This type of personal injury lawsuit often arises after someone is injured in a car accident. For example, let’s say you deliver flowers for a living and are hit by another driver while making a delivery. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against him or her.

It’s important to work with an attorney to determine all of your legal options. Workers’ compensation benefits are often not enough for people who are seriously injured. Plus, you will not be compensated for your pain and suffering through the workers’ compensation system. But fortunately, a personal injury lawsuit can help you recover more compensation for your injuries.

If you have been injured at work, contact the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our experienced attorneys will aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you are awarded the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.