Is It Possible to File a Lawsuit and Claim Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of claim paid to an employee who is injured on the job. Most cases are resolved at the company level. You can file a lawsuit against your employer if your claim was rejected unfairly or if the benefits offered were insufficient.

The process, however, has several complexities and hurdles. Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer can ease the process. Your rights will be protected, and the compensation you receive will be fair.

When Should One Make a Worker’s Compensation Claim?

In most states, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. It covers when an employee gets ill or has an accident due to their job.

The law usually does not allow an employee to sue the employer for a workplace injury. They have to handle the worker’s compensation claim as per their agreement.

You can file a lawsuit if:

  1. Employer negligence caused the accident: If your employer intentionally ignored the circumstances that led to the injury, then you have grounds to file a lawsuit.
  2. Severe injury: If you suffer injuries worth more than your workers’ compensation claim, you might consider a lawsuit for additional compensation.
  3. Disputed claim: If your worker’s compensation claim is dismissed or denied, you can ask your lawyer about the available options. You will be provided with personalized advice on the issue.
  4. Your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage: If your employer does not have worker’s compensation coverage, you can file a lawsuit.
  5. Third party: If you suffered an injury at work, but it was as a result of someone else other than the employer, you can file a lawsuit. This can be another employee’s or a service provider’s fault.

What is Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation Claims?

  1. Injuries before employment: If you sustained injuries before you started working with your employer, the workers’ compensation claim won’t be paid.
  2. Nature of the injury: If the effects are due to an act of nature, e.g., lightning, there is a higher chance that you might not be compensated.

What to Do Before Filing a Lawsuit

  1. Report your injury to the employer as soon as it happens
  2. Seek medical advice as soon as you can
  3. Collect evidence showing how and when the incident happened
  4. Try to obtain a witness statement, if any
  5. Keep records of your medical reports
  6. Consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about the situation
  7. Fill out your workplace compensation form to start the process of receiving your compensation

If your claim still needs to be attended to, consult your lawyer. Your lawyer will start the investigation around your complaint. You must share the evidence you gathered, witness statements, and anything else they will ask for.

If your attorney finds your case viable, they will file a lawsuit. The lawsuit might have an outcome based on negotiation. If the parties disagree, the case might proceed to trial.

What to Expect in a Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit

  1. Settlement: The employee and the employer might get an out-of-court settlement agreement. In some cases, it’s a quicker way of resolving the lawsuit.
  2. Trial: The judge will determine the outcome if the employer and the employee cannot agree. The ruling could be a reward to the injured employee or the dismissal of the case.
  3. Appealing the Decision: Both parties can appeal if they feel the ruling is unsatisfactory.
  4. Compensation: If the injured employee wins the case, they shall be compensated for their medical expenses, wage loss, and the cost of medical expenses. In some cases, they can be given pain and suffering compensation as well.

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