The workers’ compensation system is designed to prevent workers from suing their employers for injuries sustained on the job. It is also designed to protect employees who might act negligently and inadvertently injure themselves while performing their job duties. As such, it is generally not possible for an injured worker to file a lawsuit against his or her employer for a workplace injury. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, so we will review the circumstances in which it is possible to file a lawsuit against one’s employer for injuries sustained on-the-job.
Circumstances Under Which an Injured Employee Can Sue an Employer
Although most on-the-job injuries typically fall under workers’ compensation, there are some situations that permit injured employees the chance to file a lawsuit against an employer. Below are two of the most common exceptions:
- Your workplace injury was the result of extreme negligence. For example, if you were exposed to toxic substances, such as asbestos, and your employer was aware of the danger, this would be considered extreme negligence and warrant a lawsuit, allowing you to collect damages that go well beyond what workers’ compensation could cover.
- Your employer intentionally harmed you. For example, if your employer punched you, resulting in a broken nose, you would be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against him or her.
In some cases, it is possible to file both a workers’ compensation claim as well as a personal injury claim against your employer, so be sure to consult with an attorney to ensure you are able to maximize compensation. The workers’ compensation benefits are somewhat limited and typically only cover your medical expenses and a percentage of your lost wages. On the other hand, in a personal injury lawsuit, you would be able to obtain compensation for pain and suffering. Your attorney will be able to choose the best course of action for your case.
Contact a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Sacramento!
Being out of work due to an injury can be overwhelmingly stressful, especially if you are the primary source of income in your household. That is why it is imperative that you hire a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you are able to obtain the benefits you need as you continue to recover from your injuries.
At Smolich & Smolich in Sacramento, our team of workers’ compensation attorneys is ready to provide you with the fierce legal representation you need to effectively navigate the complexities of your case, no matter what stage of the process you are currently in. Moreover, our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you will not have to pay us any legal fees until we win your case.