After most accidents, you can file a lawsuit if someone was negligent or hurt you as a result of a failure to fulfill a legal obligation. For example, if you get into a car accident, you could sue the driver. Likewise, if an accident or a legal failure causes a loved one to die, surviving family members could usually make a wrongful death claim and go to court to get compensation. When an accident at work happens, however, the rules are different.
Most workers are surprised to find that they are not allowed to sue their employer after they suffer an injury at their workplace. Instead, they must make a workers’ compensation claim. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help with this process. While workers’ comp provides important protections to those who are hurt or whose loved ones die due to work tasks, the benefits available may not provide as much compensation as a personal injury or wrongful death case. As a result, it is important to understand that there are a limited number of situations where you actually can sue after an Atlanta workplace injury. Your lawyer can help you to explore whether your case falls into one of these special situations.
When Can You Sue After an Atlanta Workplace Injury?
Employers cannot be sued by their workers if the employee is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Employers typically but this insurance coverage for their workers because coverage is required by law. However, there are a very limited number of situations where workers’ comp does not have to be purchased. In addition, some employers break the law and don’t buy coverage. If you fall within one of these exceptions or if your employer has violated the law and not purchased insurance, then you are allowed to sue.
If you don’t fall within one of these narrow exceptions, you are not going to be able to sue your employer except in cases where your employer acted intentionally to injure you. This, of course, rarely happens. As a result, you’ll have to make a workers’ comp claim instead of suing. The good news is that workers’ comp benefits are available even if your employer wasn’t negligent. As long as you can show you got sick or hurt as a result of work tasks, you should get covered. The bad news is that you will only get medical bills paid and receive disability and/or death benefits- you won’t get compensated for pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
Because of the limits on suing your employer, you should consider whether there is someone else to sue after an Atlanta workplace injury. There may be others to blame like a non-employer project manager; an engineer or architect on a construction project, or the manufacturer of machines that you use on your job and that malfunction. Your lawyer will help you to carefully review your situation to assess whether any third party was negligent in a way that resulted in your injury or loved one’s death. If so, you can sue after the Atlanta workplace injury.
The Atlanta work injury lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC offer free consultations to injured employees. Call today or contact us online to learn more.