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Suing an employer after an accident is complicated

Imagine that you go to work one day and you suffer an injury due to something that happened while you were performing your job duties. You will almost certainly get some workers' compensation benefits as a result of this incident -- but you may also be thinking that you should sue your employer for the incident.

While this may sound like a logical progression, it actually isn't in many respects. Accepting workers' compensation is the equivalent of absolving your employer of any liability. Workers' comp is insurance, after all.

However, this doesn't mean that you can't sue your employer. Instead, you are allowed to only under specific circumstances. Let's take a look at a few of these circumstances:

  • You can sue your employer if you are wrongfully denied workers' compensation benefits, or if your employer ends the benefits early or without cause.
  • You can sue a third party if they were somehow involved in the accident that caused you injuries on the job. A third party could be the manufacturer of some equipment that your employer uses. If that equipment was faulty and it led to your injuries, then the manufacturer could be sued.
  • If an intentional tort was involved in your injuries (in this case, it could be non-physical injuries), then you could sue your employer. An intentional tort is something such as physical assault, emotional distress or abuse, or fraud.

If any of these circumstances are involved in your work injury, then you should consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney right away.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Compensation: Can I Sue My Employer Instead?," Accessed Nov. 6, 2015

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