Perhaps, the Workers’ Compensation insurance is not your mere recourse for an injury in the workplace.
If you have been harmed in your workplace, you have possibly been told that the mere compensation you can get will come from the workers’ compensation insurance of your employer. Though this is the common rule, there are numerous exceptions – cases wherein you could sue for damages due to your injuries. For instance:
- If a faulty product injured you, you could bring a product liability action against the product’s manufacturer.
- If you were harmed by a deadly substance, you could bring a toxic tort case against that substance’s manufacturer.
- If you were injured by your employer’s egregious or intentional conduct, you could bring a personal injury case against the employer.
- If your employer doesn’t carry the workers’ compensation insurance, you could sue your employer via the civil court or get cash from the state fund.
- If your injury is caused by a third party, you could bring a personal injury case against that individual.
Though workers’ compensation can offer cash and benefits to a harmed worker, permanent disability, and temporary disability payments are frequently rather low and do not compensate the employee for things such as suffering and pain.
Also, workers’ compensation doesn’t offer punitive damages to penalize an employer for dangerous conditions or poor safety controls. That is the reason it is critical for injured employees to know their rights to bring a lawsuit outside of the system workers’ compensation.
Aside from the cases stated in this article, you could get extra cash from government benefits like SSDI or SSI (Social Security disability insurance) if you have a disabling injury and it stops you from working.
If a Defective Product Harmed You
Once an employee is harmed by a piece of equipment or machine that’s defective, that failed to work right, or is innately dangerous, the machine or equipment’s manufacturer can be held accountable for the harm if it was aware of the danger or did not properly warn the employees or business of the danger. In such a case, the manufacturer would need to compensate the employee for things such as lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Bill is a worker in a factory that creates office products. Bill’s job is to administer a punch press that drills holes in boxes. And one day, when he places his hand into the punch press to adjust the box, which is the foot pedal used to stop the sticks, but the press squeezes his three fingers. His fingers aren’t usable any longer after the accident. He can get compensation from his employer. Also, he has a probable product liability lawsuit against the defective press’ manufacturer.
If you’ve been harmed by unsafe equipment in the workplace, consider speaking to a lawyer regarding your rights. Moreover, you can submit a complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Department of Labor) if there have been dangerous conditions aside from filing a workers’ compensation case. This step is particularly important to take if your employer still requires you or your co-workers to utilize the equipment.
If You Were Harmed by a Deadly Substance
From time to time, the chemicals as well as other substances that employees utilize are toxic and result in severe illnesses and injuries. These substances can take in things such as benzene, asbestos, chromium compounds, radium, and silica, but any material that ill you could probably be a lawsuit’s subject for a “toxic tort.”
In general, there are two types of toxic injuries — acute injuries are obvious, while latent one could take years to emerge. Acute injuries examples include poisonings and chemical burns. Latent injuries examples include lung diseases and cancers. Due to the time delay, latent injuries have a tendency to be harder to establish than acute ones, yet these cases aren’t impossible.
Employees have been successful in cases brought years following their toxic substance exposure. (Particularly, employees who suffer from mesothelioma or asbestosis nearly always succeed in cases since the causation between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma and asbestosis has been established in numerous lawsuits.