Obtaining workers’ compensation can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Due to the amount of paperwork involved, many people wonder if they can just sue their employer for damages rather than go through the workers’ compensation process.
However, usually this is not possible. According to FindLaw, If an employer provides workers’ compensation insurance, this usually protects the employer from lawsuits in the event that an employee sustains injury.
Why is this the case?
Generally speaking, businesses wish to avoid litigation at nearly any cost. workers’ compensation is the way that businesses and employees can avoid getting their interests tangled up in the courts. Essentially, businesses tacitly agree to provide workers’ compensation for injured employees, and the injured employees agree to not take the company to court in exchange for the workers’ compensation coverage.
This is the basis of a no-fault system. However, there are exceptions to the rule.
When can I sue my employer?
If you sustain injury at work due to your employer purposely causing you harm, you can take this to court. For instance, If your manager physically assaults you at the workplace, you would sue for this, not get workers’ compensation.
You can also choose to sue third parties if applicable. For example, if you sustained injury due to faulty equipment and believe the fault lies with the manufacturer of the equipment and not your employer, you can sue the manufacturer. However, you may need to pay some of the restitution you receive from the manufacturer if you get workers’ compensation benefits from your employer in the meantime.