Long ago, employees could take legal action against their employer if they were hurt on the job. However, workers compensation insurance put a stop to that by offering employees benefits without having to take the company to court. Now, only certain types of cases merit taking an employer to court. Read on to find out more.
Use Your Insurance First
Almost all on-the-job injuries are covered under workers compensation insurance. If you are hurt on the job, that should be your first line of action. However, some exceptions exist that are worth noting.
Your Employer Was Negligent
Sometimes, an injury was no accident. Negligence means that a party failed to do its part to warn or prevent an injury. You may have a case against your employer if you can prove that they acted negligently and caused you to be injured. Negligence can be difficult to prove, however.
Some workplaces are more dangerous than others. However, employees who work in hazardous environments are expected to understand the risks and follow safety rules. Some employers, though, don't do a good job of training employees. Some further examples of employer negligence are:
• The employer failed to perform proper maintenance on a piece of equipment, causing an injury.
• The employer promoted speed at the expense of safety by pushing employees past safe levels of work.
• The employer knew about a safety hazard but ignored it, causing an employee to be hurt.
When an employer negligently puts a worker's health in danger, they can be sued.
A Third Party Was Negligent
In some cases, workers are hurt at work by someone other than their employer. Third parties may include those supplying parts, equipment makers, third-party contractors on site, and more. For example, if you were permanently injured when a large piece of equipment failed, you may be able to sue the maker if the defect can be proven.
Some unique situations may also result in workers compensation and suing a third party. For example, if you are traveling for business and a convention center fails to ensure a safe electrical connection to your booth, you can sue the convention center for the resulting injuries. You may also be eligible for workers compensation benefits from your employer.
If you find yourself injured and wondering what you should do, speak to a personal injury lawyer to find out more. They will evaluate your case and advise you on your next move.