Can I Sue My Employer for a Work-Related Injury?
Posted on behalf of Greg Coleman Law on Jul 18, 2017 in Workers' Compensation
If you are injured in a work-related accident, you are entitled compensation for medical bills and partial lost wages through workers’ compensation.
In exchange for this no-fault compensation, employees give up their right to file a lawsuit against their employer for work-related injuries and illnesses. However, there are some rare exceptions to this general rule that could allow you to file a lawsuit seeking additional compensation.
The licensed Knoxville workers’ compensation attorney at Greg Coleman Law can help you understand your legal options for obtaining the maximum compensation you need for your injuries.
Types of Claims Injured Workers May Be Able to File
Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may have several options for pursuing an additional personal injury lawsuit for a work injury. These situations could include:
Your Employer Intentionally Harmed You
If your employer intentionally caused you harm, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against him or her if you were significantly injured. However, this exemption is rare and only applies to the following scenarios:
- Assault and battery
- False imprisonment
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
Our attorneys will investigate your claim to determine if your employer was grossly negligent or reckless in causing your injury.
Your Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation
Employers in the construction industry and others with more than five employees are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Tennessee.
This means an employer must meet the legal obligation to provide you with sufficient insurance that will cover your medical expenses and partial lost wages related to a work injury.
If your employer fails to uphold this obligation, you may be able to recover the compensation you are owed by filing a personal injury claim. However, you will have to show that your employer was at fault for causing your injury.
You Were Injured by a Third Party
In some situations, you may be able to bring a claim against a third party that is liable for causing your injury.
For example, if you were driving in a company vehicle and were injured in a car accident while performing a work-related task, you may be able to pursue additional damages against the at-fault driver.
Another example would be if your injury was caused by the negligence of an independent contractor or subcontractor. You may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as damages for pain and suffering caused by your injury.
You Were Injured by a Defective Product
If you were injured by a defective product or toxic substance found within your workplace, you may be able to bring a product liability action against the manufacturer of the product or substance.
These claims could occur if an employee operated a machine or piece of equipment that did not work properly or was inherently dangerous and caused the employee’s injury.
What Damages Can I Pursue from My Employer or a Third Party?
If the circumstances of your injury allow you to pursue an additional claim against your employer or a third party, you may be able to pursue compensation for:
- Full lost wages
- Reimbursement for medical treatment
- Payment of future anticipated medical expenses
- Compensation for permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
How Can I Prove My Claim?
Filing a lawsuit for a work-related injury is extremely rare in a Tennessee. However, if your claim enables you to take further legal action, you will be required to prove the at-fault party was negligent.
This means you will have to provide proof of the four elements of negligence:
- Your employer or third party had a duty to ensure your safety
- Your employer or third party breached this duty
- Your injury was directly caused by this breach of duty
- You suffered financially because of your injury
This differs from a no-fault workers’ compensation claims in which you need only show that your injury occurred within the scope of your employment.
Contact Greg Coleman Law Today for a Free Legal Consultation
If you are injured in a work-related accident and believe you may be owed additional compensation outside of workers’ compensation, contact Greg Coleman Law as soon as you are able.
Our experienced Knoxville personal injury attorneys will evaluate your claim and determine if you are entitled to pursue additional legal options through a free, no obligation consultation. Our services are provided on a contingency fee, which means we only require payment if we recover damages for your claim.
Call (865) 247-0080 to get started today.