Workers' Comp or Private Lawsuit? Some Things to Consider
Most of the time, you are only allowed to file a workers' comp claim after getting injured at work. You are also given the chance during certain situations, however, to file a lawsuit against your employer. Let's take a look at your options in terms of filing a workers' comp claim versus a private lawsuit.
Your Initial Options
If you get an injury at work, your only option is to file a claim through the workers' compensation system. You will be unable to file a lawsuit directly against your employer in most cases unless there is an exception in your case, such as if there is discrimination during the workers' comp claim results. You will also be unable to sue your employer to get back the money you put into medical treatment or other costs related to your workplace injury.
The No-Fault System
The workers' compensation is a system designed to be no-fault system, meaning that it doesn't matter if your employer's negligence or careless caused your workplace injury. The thing that matters in this case is the idea that you were involved in a situation that caused an injury or developed a disease during the course of your time of employment with this company. In some cases, your own negligence as the employee will not prevent you from getting benefits from workers' compensation.
If you do have any questions about this, however, you should contact a workers' comp lawyer to ask about your situation. They will be able to advise you on your proper next steps in your case. This no-fault system was designed to protect both you as the employee and your employer. It prevents your employer from the expensive and time consumed in lawsuits like your own. It also protects you as the employee by making sure you have proper medical care and time off to recover from your injury.
When Can I File a Lawsuit?
If you are covered by workers' compensation, then there are only certain situations when you can file a lawsuit against your employer. One of those situations is if your employer acted intentionally to harm you specifically. This means that your employer must have done something on purpose to harm you. During this situation, your first step must be to file a workers' compensation claim. Even if your employer was grossly negligent (by not repairing a broken ladder or left a piece of machinery in a dangerous place for you to get injured by it), this is not enough evidence to give you the option to file a lawsuit.
To be successful with this lawsuit for intentional harm against you, you have to prove that your employer acted with the intention to harm you. For example, they physically punched you or acted in another way to intentionally harm you. By proving this, you have a claim against the company and the person responsible for harming you. Make sure to talk with a lawyer to see about the next steps in your situation.
Greenville, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Greenville, NC. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at please call me at (252) 752-7785 or 800-387-6406 for free, friendly advice.
I am a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Founder of the leading personal injury website: http://www.riccilawnc.com/personal-injury/