Injuries on the job are unfortunately commonplace. Today we want to talk about the options you may have should you be a victim of a workplace injury.
First, it's important to understand you do not need to automatically settle for worker's compensation/workman's comp. This state-regulated insurance program differ from state-to-state, but they work the same in most jurisdictions. Workman's comp plans pay medical bills and replaces a portion of any lost wages for an injured employee. It does not cover everything associated with the accident or injury.
Typically, worker's comp does not cover such things as:
- Pain & suffering
- Lost earnings
- Loss of quality/enjoyment of life
- Permanent impairment/disability
- Lost earning capacity
More importantly, if you choose to go the worker's compensation route then you forfeit your right to sue your employer or any coworkers involved in your injury.
The situations in which you can sue for damages and forfeit worker's comp include:
- Defective Product—you may be able to sue the manufacturer
- Toxic Substance—you may be able to sue the manufacturer
- Employer does not have worker's comp insurance- you may be able to collect money from the state or file a civil suit
- Employer's "Intentional or Egregious Conduct"—if the employer "acted out"
- Third-party involved—if someone else caused the injury you may be able to bring a lawsuit against him or her
This type of situation, suing outside worker's comp, can become complicated so hiring a highly qualified attorney is of extreme importance. We at Pickard Parry Pfau know how to effectively handle and broad range of cases and are prepared to represent you.