Everyone has a right to a safe and healthy work environment. Even in jobs where there are inherent risks, everything that can be done to create the safest possible environment must be done.
But what happens if your employer doesn’t do all it can to create a safe workplace? Do you have the right to take legal action? What happens if you’re injured because they fall short?
Can you sue your employer if you got injured while working for them?
Here’s what you need to know.
Workers’ Compensation Laws
The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that most employers must carry. It provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages due to an employee’s injury or illness caused by the job.
In general, workers’ compensation covers all medical costs related to the injury as well as some of the wages lost due to an inability to work due to the injury or illness.
In exchange for workers’ compensation benefits, employees give up their right to sue their employers for damages related to the injury or illness. Does this mean you have no right to sue if you’re injured on the job?
There are certain situations where an employee can sue outside of workers’ compensation law. For example, if gross negligence or intentional harm caused your injuries, you might have a right to sue.
Also note, workers’ compensation benefits are not available in certain industries such as trucking and maritime work. These industries use different types of insurance plans (like longshoreman’s insurance).
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
If you believe that your employer acted negligently or intentionally harmed you while on the job, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them for damages related to your injury or illness.
A successful personal injury lawsuit requires evidence proving that your employer was negligent. Evidence might include:
- Witness testimony
- Documents from doctors or other health professionals who treated you after the incident occurred
- Expert testimony
It’s important to remember that filing this type of lawsuit is only possible when there is proof of negligence on behalf of your employer. If not, then you will likely have no legal recourse other than filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
No one should ever have to worry about being injured while on the job. Unfortunately, it does happen sometimes. Can you sue your employer if you got injured while working for them?
If you suffered an injury on-the-job and believe that your employer may have acted negligently or intentionally harmed you in some way, then it is important that you understand your options. Familiarizing yourself with both workers’ compensation laws and personal injury suits is key to understanding how best to proceed in your situation.
To learn more about your legal rights in the workplace or to speak to an experienced legal professional regarding your rights, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.