Can I Sue My Employer for My Work Injury?
Find Out Your Legal Rights For Workplace Injuries
Have you been injured on the job? You’re not alone. Each year, 2.3 million workers are subject to work-related injuries.
You may feel scared, alone, and unsure of what steps to take, especially if your employer was at fault for your injuries.
Generally speaking, if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you cannot file a lawsuit against them if you’re injured at work.
This is because workers’ compensation is set up as a no-fault system that provides benefits regardless of who is at fault for the workplace accident. Employees give up their right to sue their employer in exchange for these benefits.
However, there are some circumstances where you may be able to take legal action against your employer.
Read on to find out when you can bring a lawsuit against your employer for your workplace injury, how long you have to file, and what to do after your injury to start building a solid case with your legal team.
When Can I Sue An Employer For A Workplace Injury
Every day, countless people bring lawsuits against their employers for sexual harassment, unsafe work environment, and wrongful termination.
But suing your place of employment for a workplace injury is tricky.
While a majority of employers, especially those in professions with a high injury rate like nursing, general labor, and trucking, offer workers’ compensation benefits that make them a protected class.
So if you’re injured, you can make a workers’ compensation claim to start receiving benefits that will help you recover from your workplace injuries. However, if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to build a case that can help you start moving forward.
Even if your employer has worker’s compensation insurance, there may be scenarios where you can bring a lawsuit to help cover the expenses you’d incurred from your injury.
- These unique situations include:
- If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance
- If your injury was caused by a third party, such as a defective product or equipment
- If your employer deliberately caused your injury
- Your employer’s actions directly violated company policy and resulted in your injury
- If your employer violated safety regulations, which led to your injury
The best thing you can do is obtain legal help to determine whether you can sue your employer for your workplace accident.
Even if you’ve moved on to a new job due to your injury, your former employer may owe you compensation for the medical bills and emotional distress you’ve encountered due to their actions.
What To Do After A Workplace Injury
If you get hurt on the job, there are several things you can do to determine if you can sue and how you will present your case.
Here are some steps you can take after a workplace injury to gather important information you can bring to a personal injury attorney for legal advice.
- Evaluate Your Workman’s Comp Eligibility: One of the first things you need to determine before you sue your employer is whether or not you’re eligible for workers’ comp. If you are, you most likely cannot sue your employer but should file a claim immediately. Review your employment contract for details.
- Secure A Comprehensive Medical Exam: To build a solid case, you’ll need proof of the cause and severity of your injury. Get an evaluation right away, but remember you may need to see an approved doctor to maintain eligibility for worker’s compensation. But if you are eligible to sue your employer, you do not need to see their doctor and can consult an attorney for the best physician for your needs.
- Consult With Your Doctor And Follow Their Advice: Follow your treatment plan closely during recovery. Be sure to obtain your medical records from each physician and specialist you seek treatment from. If you have concerns, you can seek a second opinion.
- Take Detailed Notes About The Accident: Write down as many details as you can remember of the events before, during, and after your workplace injury. Be sure to note if you’ve experienced a hostile work environment following your injury. You can consult a coworker who was present at the accident to ensure you don’t miss any information.
- Organize Your Documentation: You’ll need a paper trail to prove the extent of your injury and the timeline of the accident, so take a moment to organize all of your documentation. Include medical records, emails, texts, and specific dates to bring to your consultation.
Once you feel prepared, book a free consultation with an employment lawyer who can offer high-quality legal advice. You may even be entitled to emotional distress or compensation for wrongful termination for events after your workplace injury.
Is There A Statute Of Limitations For Suing An Employer?
When it comes to employment law, the statute of limitations varies from state to state.
In general, injured workers have about three years from the date of the original injury to file a lawsuit against their employer. But this timeframe can range from two to six years following your injury.
The amount of time you have will depend on the state the injury occurred in, so it’s best to consult an employment attorney for the most accurate information.
What If I’m Injured Outside Of Work?
Typically, if you sustain an injury off the clock or away from your place of employment, you cannot sue your employer. However, there are a few critical instances when this may be possible.
Here are some specific scenarios when your employer could still be responsible for your injuries:
- You were hurt while running an errand for your employer
- An injury occurred while driving a company vehicle that the business did not properly maintain.
- You were traveling for work and were involved in a car crash or accident.
- You were injured on a company retreat, conference, or other mandated event.
If you’ve experienced an injury away from your place of employment, you may still be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. You could also have the right to unemployment or disability benefits if your employer does not offer worker’s comp.
If you’re unsure, it’s best to find a highly-qualified employment lawyer who works with a law firm specializing in personal injury cases.
Find Out If You Are Entitled To Compensation For Your Injuries
Suppose you are unsure whether or not you can file a lawsuit against your employer. In that case, the best thing to do is speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Las Vegas to understand your legal rights and options.
At Shook & Stone law firm, our team of workers’ compensation law professionals has more than 85 years of combined experience representing injured workers in Nevada.
We have a proven track record of success and are dedicated to fighting for the maximum possible compensation for our clients. Our legal professionals strive to build an attorney-client relationship that fosters trust, action, and results.
If you have been injured at work, do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.
World Statistic . (2022). In International Labour Organization . Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/moscow/areas-of-work/occupational-safety-and-health/WCMS_249278/lang–en/index.htm