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Can I Sue My Employer and File for Workers’ Compensation?

Regardless of the injury or illness you developed on the job, you will likely have to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover benefits. However, this does not mean that there are never any occasions that call for a personal injury lawsuit, wherein an employee can recover damages. Generally, it is more beneficial for employees to file a workers’ compensation claim since it eliminates the unpredictability of a potentially drawn-out lawsuit, allowing them to immediately receive monetary and medical benefits. If you were to win a personal injury claim, on the other hand, you would also be able to recover punitive damages. Speak to an attorney to find out if you have a viable personal injury lawsuit against your employer and if filing one would benefit you.

Circumstances in which You Can File a Lawsuit

The circumstances under which an employee can file a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer are extremely limited. That said, you would be able to file a lawsuit if:

  • Your employer purposefully caused you harm: To have a viable lawsuit against your employer, you must be able to prove intentional harm. For example, if your boss punched you in the face, this would be an intentional act of harm against you. Even in extreme cases of carelessness, employees are still typically only able to file for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Your employer does not have sufficient workers’ compensation insurance: Every state, except Texas, requires employers to have some form of workers’ compensation insurance. However, some employers break the law and either have no insurance or not enough. In this case, you could file a lawsuit to recover damages for your work-related illness or injury.

If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, this does not mean you can file a lawsuit against your employer instead. You would have to file an appeal with the workers’ compensation appeals board.

Suing Your Employer

Assuming you can file a lawsuit against your employer, you would no longer be limited to the benefits provided by workers’ compensation. Therefore, in addition to receiving reimbursement for lost wages, medical treatment, and any permanent impairment you might have, you could also recover compensation for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages. In cases where an employer’s behavior was especially egregious, the sum awarded for punitive damages could be substantial.

Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Sacramento

If you were injured on the job or developed an occupational illness, you need to seek the legal assistance of a skilled and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. At Smolich and Smolich, our Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of injured workers to ensure they receive the benefits they need and deserve. No matter what stage you are at in the claims-filing process, you can count on our legal team to effectively guide you through it.

Get the help you need today and contact Smolich and Smolich at (916) 571-0400 to schedule your free initial case evaluation. You will not owe us any legal fees unless we win your case!