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Can you sue your employer after getting workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Many workers suffer injuries on the job that change the outlook of their careers and lives. Those who end up with serious injuries may have a need for disability benefits or be limited in the career options they can pursue moving forward.

One major question workers ask is if they can seek out further compensation after receiving a workers’ compensation settlement. Workers’ compensation is a kind of insurance that employers purchase to prevent workers from suing them directly. So, the simple answer is that it is unlikely that you’ll be able to sue your employer for injuries if you have workers’ compensation coverage.

That being said, there are times when you may be able to sue your employer despite receiving workers’ compensation. The most common time to do this is if you believe that you were intentionally caused harm.

Understanding tort injuries

In your case, if you were injured by your employer and believe that the injury was intentional, then you may want to sue for an intentional tort in civil court. Some common kinds of intentional torts include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • False imprisonment
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Defamation
  • Fraud
  • Intentionally inflicting emotional distress

With these offenses, it’s more likely that you will be able to seek compensation from your employer directly rather than relying on workers’ compensation.

What if you were hurt by a third party?

If you have received workers’ compensation but a third party was also involved in your injury case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that third party as well. For example, if the equipment you were using malfunctioned and caused an accident, you may want to file a claim against the manufacturer or the last team who worked on the machinery’s repairs. Keep in mind that if you are awarded compensation, you might be asked to repay a portion of the compensation that you received through workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation is there to protect you and to help you avoid having to sue. There are times when you may still want to. If so, you should look into your legal options, so that you know if you have a strong case.


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