If you’ve been injured in the workplace, your first course of action(after seeking medical attention) is likely to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Since employees in the United States are covered under federal workers’ compensation laws, they’ll be paid for their injuries, but they’re normally not allowed to also file lawsuits against their employers for damages related to the injury.
So the question becomes whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or whether you should sue your employer for wrongful injury in the workplace.
Workers’ compensation allows you to get money much more quickly than in a lawsuit that might be drawn out over several months and possibly years. You’ll get medical and monetary benefits almost immediately, if you’re eligible. This could include being paid for lost wages and any permanent disability benefits if you’re unable to work.
However, filing a workers’ compensation claim instead of a lawsuit means you can’t seek punitive damages, and your compensation will basically just be tied to a percentage of your wages.
When You Should File a Lawsuit Instead of Workman’s Compensation
Workman’s compensation, also known as workers’ compensation, is meant to cover standard injuries that might happen in the workplace at the fault of no one. However, here are five reasons you should consider filing a lawsuit against your employer rather than a workman’s comp claim.
Injured By a Defective Product
It’s possible that a defective product you were using during work caused your injury, which would then necessitate a claim outside of worker’s comp.
Injured By a Toxic Substance
You have a right to work in a safe environment, so if you are dealing with pain and suffering from a toxic substance in your workplace, then you can file a toxic tort lawsuit.
Injured By a Third Party
It’s possible a third party that isn’t employed by your company caused the injury, which would certainly be a reason to file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual or company.
Intentional Misconduct By Your Employer
Maybe your employer was engaged in some egregious conduct that caused your injury, or they intentionally put you in a dangerous situation. A personal injury claim is worth considering here.
Your Employer Doesn’t Carry Workman’s Comp Insurance
Finally, it’s quite possible your employer doesn’t carry this type of insurance, which means you should pursue a lawsuit against them in civil court. You also might be able to collect money from a state workers’ compensation fund.
Fears Nachawati, an experienced Austin work injury law firm, can help you figure out what the next steps you should take and discuss what kind of compensation you should seek. Give them a call at (512) 535-2206.