This is a question that is asked a lot: Can you sue your employer due to an injury sustained at work? Most of the time, the opportunity to sue your employer for an accident is forfeited. Why? Well, because most companies give their employees workers’ comp insurance as a benefit of the employee, which usually shields the company against any personal injury claims filed against them.
Here’s how it works, generally. An employee who is injured during his or her work day no longer has the ability to sue their employer after obtaining the provided workers’ comp insurance benefit. This is true, regardless of who was at blame for the injury they suffered. This is what they usually call a “no-fault” system. There are exceptions, which a legal expert will have more details about.
So, if you work for a company in say, Paterson, New Jersey, and you are injured, you want to speak with a work injury attorney Paterson NJ to discuss whether you have a workers’ compensation claim or if you have legal grounds to sue your employer. Exceptions that we are talking about are laid out as you continue to read this article.
Employer’s Torts Lawsuit
If you were hurt while working and feel that your employer caused you injury on purpose, you may file a civil lawsuit for something referred to as “intentional tort”. When a tort injury is named, this can include bodily and non-physical forms of injury. Mental anguish may be an example of a non-physical claim.
These are some of the intentional torts that may come up:
- If you suffer from battery, this refers to being harmed by someone or something striking you.
- Assault is defined as attempting to commit a battery or threatening to conduct a battery against an individual.
- If you are held or restricted from leaving without your permission, this would be called “false imprisonment”.
- Intentional Emotional Distress is when you are emotionally scarred as a result of inexcusable behavior.
- If you are deceived and it causes you any harm, this would be referred to as fraud.
- Libel and/or slander are examples of defamation, which occurs when someone says something untrue about you and it affects your being, mentally or physically.
- When personal information or photographs are made public without your consent, this is an invasion of privacy.
- When someone steals your property and transfers it to themselves, “conversion” is the legal term for it.
- Finally, trespassing is when someone enters your property without your permission.
Third Party Injuries
If you were injured at work and think that someone other than you or your employer was to blame, you have the right to sue this third party. An example of this is if you were injured while using faulty equipment, a lawsuit may be brought forth against the maker of the equipment. However, in a lawsuit like this, your employer may receive a percentage off the payout, because you have to pay back for your workers’ comp. Or, maybe your employer and insurer join your claim to collect.
Wrongful Denial or Termination of Benefits
Workers’ comp claims are usually handled via the administrative system rather than the judicial system. You won’t be able to appeal your benefits award until the administrative procedure has been completed and all parties have exhausted all options for settling a claim. You must next file an appeal with a special workers’ compensation board or a specially appointed court. You may only seek remedies in the civil court system when you have met all statutory procedure requirements. Each state has its own jurisdiction over this procedure. To ensure that you are completely informed of your rights, you should choose an attorney who is experienced with your state’s workers’ compensation system.