In general, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury if they offer workers’ compensation—whether you accept these benefits or not. Employers have this no-fault workers’ compensation insurance in place to protect themselves from liability and ensure their employees can receive care for a work-related injury or illness.
However, you can sue if you accept workers’ compensation when a third party is responsible for your on-the-job injuries. For example, if you work on a construction site with contractors from other companies, you could hold one of these contractors financially responsible if they caused the accident that injured you.
What does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
When claiming workers’ compensation for your injuries or illness, this program only covers certain costs and losses. These generally include:
- Doctor’s visits
- Specialist consultations
- Transportation to appointments
- Medical treatments and procedures
- Your weekly wages up to a certain percentage
The benefit amount you qualify for will depend on the severity of your injuries, what your recovery entails, and how long you will be away from work.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance policy, which means you can qualify for coverage regardless of who or what caused the injuries—as long as you were acting within the scope of your duties. However, if you’re interested in suing over your injuries, fault is a critical factor.
When Should I Consider Taking Legal Action for a Work-Related Injury?
If you were injured at work, fault determines whether filing a lawsuit is an option. Specifically, you can sue third parties for causing you harm even if you accept workers’ comp benefits. Here are a few possible scenarios:
- If a product or device you use for work malfunctioned, causing your injuries, you could sue the manufacturer.
- If a third-party contractor on your job site injured you, they and their employer could be liable.
- If a customer or other private citizen, such as a driver, caused you harm, you could file suit against them.
These are a few examples of when suing may be necessary and permissible for a workplace injury. If you bring your case to us, we will review the facts and let you know which options are available to you. Then, our personal injury attorneys can act on your behalf to seek compensation.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Comp Claim or Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit may result in other damages than what you can receive in a workers’ compensation claim. For example, whereas your benefits only cover medical treatment costs and income replacement, state law often allows victims to seek compensation for non-economic damages as well.
These non-economic damages could include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of society and companionship
Unlike economic damages, these non-economic losses must have monetary value assigned to them. The law recognizes specific methods of calculating these damages, which can be complex. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you avoid miscalculating the value of your case and other common mistakes while seeking compensation.
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Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help If I was Injured at Work?
Seeking compensation takes time, energy, and resources you may not have while dealing with an injury. Understandably, your focus will be on recovering so you can get back to work and keep providing for your family. Hiring an attorney to represent you ensures you have the time you need to heal without having to worry about your personal injury or workers’ compensation case.
It’s essential to note that both financial recovery options have strict deadlines you need to follow. We will identify the applicable deadlines when you retain our firm and file all necessary paperwork on time. Our personal injury lawyers will also:
- Explain what to expect throughout the process
- Investigate the circumstances that led to your injuries
- Identify the liable parties, if any
- Calculate the damages you suffered and will experience in the future
- Speak on your behalf with all parties
- Provide guidance and advice so you can make decisions confidently
Each case we handle may involve different factors, so we tailor our services accordingly. Whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit, the goal is to address all your damages so you can get back to life.
Learn About Legal Options for a Workplace Injury During a Free Consultation Today
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we regularly handle workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases. When you qualify for either option and decide to retain our firm, our lawyers can guide you through the filing process while advocating for your financial recovery.
If you are dealing with a work-related illness or injury, call us at (828) 286-3866 for a free case assessment. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages, and we want to help you seek them.