You've probably been hearing for years that you're not allowed to sue your employer if you're injured on the job. After all, that's what workers' compensation insurance claims are for; you can receive restitution for your injuries easily, without even going to court. That's the idea, anyway. In real life, there are several exceptions to this rule, some of which void the restrictions on suing employers and co-workers. Read through these four reasons you may be able to sue your employer to discover if a personal injury case may be right for your situation.
1. Improper insurance
If your employer doesn't provide the required workers' compensation insurance to cover your injuries, they've forfeited their right not to be sued for personal injury by their employees. In this situation, you can sue for the injury itself (for medical treatments, lost time at work, and emotional harm) as well as for anything allowed in the other exceptions to the rule, such as intentional harm.
2. Intentional harm
If your employer harmed you intentionally in any way, you can sue even if they do have workers' compensation insurance coverage. Workers' compensation is a no-fault settlement that doesn't provide redress for emotional harm and usually only covers a fraction of the expected income for any time you were forced to take off from work because of the injury. You can sue not only for the medical expenses and income for missed work, but also for less tangible harm like emotional trauma.
If you're denied the compensation that's due to you under the conditions of workers' compensation insurance, your only recourse may be going to court. But before you bring a lawsuit, consult your workers' compensation attorney as to your options; he or she may be able to negotiate a compensation settlement for you, which would spare the time and expense of a court case.
Some employers don't provide insurance simply because it's not required in their industry. In these situations, they're not breaking regulations, but suing is still the only way you can get compensation. Fortunately, these employers aren't protected against being sued by their employees, so you can feel free to bring a personal injury case.
In these four unusual circumstances, the employer's right to not be sued by an employee is no longer in action. If you feel you must sue, remember to follow the advice of your personal injury attorney closely so you have the best chance of coming out ahead.