Can I File for Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Against the Same Employer?
If you were injured on the job, you are entitled to restitution through workers compensation insurance. Typically, employees will file an accident report prior to filing their workers compensation claim. At that point, the injured worker is entitled to receive a portion of his or her wages, in addition to medical care until reaching the maximum level of recovery.
If all goes well and the employer does not fight the claim, compensation should begin within a couple of weeks. However, there are many cases where workers compensation benefits are simply not sufficient to compensate for the level of injury that an employee has sustained.
For example, workers compensation does not pay for pain and suffering, and it only gives an injured worker a portion of his or her wages—not the total that would have been earned under normal circumstances. This can create a financial hardship in addition to the physical stress of recovering from an injury.
Suing in Addition to Seeking Workers Compensation Benefits
Workers compensation benefits are something that you are entitled to by law. As long as you were an employee injured at work, you should be entitled to benefits paid through your employer’s insurance policy. In some cases, you may also have the right to sue for additional compensation from your employer. To do so, your case will need to meet one of the following criteria:
--You were harmed intentionally by an act of malice on the part of your employer
-- Your employer does not have an active workers compensation plan
An example of intentional harm—or malice—would be if your employer, a supervisor, or another employee were to either make physical contact with you in a deliberate manner that resulted in injury or physically assault you in any way. The key in this scenario is that your injury was not the result of simple negligence.
Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Compensation Insurance
In this unfortunate situation, the employer has failed to secure a workers compensation policy to cover hurt employees such as yourself. If you get injured on the job, workers compensation isn’t an option—even though it should be. There is no insurance company to file the claim with.
If your employer doesn’t have this insurance, your only option to recover your damages is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. While you normally would not be able to do so, since your employer has failed to uphold their end of things, you now have the option to seek compensation in this way.
Discover Your Options
Workers compensation cases can be complex, and trying to determine if you have the ability to pursue additional damages through a personal injury lawsuit adds an additional layer to things. If you have been injured on the job, you should explore all of your options for receiving financial compensation.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
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