After sustaining an injury at work, many people believe their only recourse is to file for workers’ compensation benefits. While these benefits can help the injured party greatly, unfortunately, there are times when they don’t receive the monetary compensation they need. When this happens, many people wonder when they can sue an employer for a workplace injury.
Fortunately for injured workers, there are situations where they can sue their employer for an injury they sustained at work. Situations include whether the employer intentionally caused the injury or didn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance. Another situation is if the employee develops an illness from toxic chemical exposure in the workplace. A workers’ compensation attorney can provide information about specific cases.
Situations When an Injured Worker Can Sue Their Employer for Their Injury
There are limited circumstances that allow injured workers to sue their employer if they sustain an injury while at work. Situations where an employee can sue their employer after a workplace injury include:
- If the employer intentionally causes the injury
- If the illness occurred because of exposure to a toxic chemical at work
- If the employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance
If any of these occur, the employee can sue their employer for a workplace injury. Hiring legal representation can help the injured employee build a solid case against their employer.
The Employer Intentionally Causes the Injury
Workers’ compensation laws cover the injured party’s losses for accidents that happen at work. However, if the employer purposely hurts their employee, it is not considered an accident. Therefore, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance would likely not cover the losses.
Examples of situations where an employer intentionally harms their employees include:
- Sexual assault
- Intentionally inflicting emotional distress
Another example is if the employer intentionally removes safety equipment from the workplace. If they knowingly remove the safety equipment and someone sustains an injury, the injured party could hold them liable, stating it was an intentional act. The injured party must prove they removed the equipment intentionally.
The Employee Developed an Illness Due to Toxic Chemical Exposure
Substances such as asbestos, benzene, radium, and other toxic chemicals can cause someone to develop an illness if they’re exposed long enough. If the worker develops an illness, they could sue their employer. These situations can arise if the employer doesn’t take safety precautions to prevent their employees from getting exposed to toxic chemicals.
For the employee to sue the employer, they must provide evidence linking the workplace’s toxic environment to the illness they developed. They must also prove the employer knew about their employees’ potential exposure to toxic substances.
With a toxic substance case, it can be very beneficial to have an attorney who can investigate and build a case proving there is a link between the illness and the toxic exposure in the workplace.
The Employer Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most employers need to carry workers’ compensation insurance—with few exceptions. If the employer doesn’t offer the employee workers’ compensation insurance when the state law requires them to, they could be liable for a worker’s injuries.
If the employee sustained an injury because of their employer but they don’t qualify for benefits, they can sue the employer. By suing the employer, they can seek the monetary compensation and medical treatment they need to treat their injuries.
Steps to Take to Sue an Employer After a Workplace Injury
After a workplace injury, there are steps the injured party can take if they believe they have a case. The first step is to contact an attorney. They can provide guidance on whether it’s possible to sue the employer based on workers’ compensation laws. In addition, a lawyer can take care of the following steps. They include:
- Determining how much compensation to seek by calculating damages. Damages could include medical bills, future medical bills, lost income, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Once they calculate the recoverable damages, the attorney can know how much the case is worth.
- Filing a claim against the employer by sending a demand letter outlining how much compensation the injured party seeks
- If the employer doesn’t accept the amount on the demand letter, the attorney can negotiate with opposing counsel to come to a fair settlement agreement.
- If the two parties cannot reach a settlement, a lawyer can file a lawsuit against the employer on the injured party’s behalf.
- During a lawsuit, an attorney can present a solid case to the judge and jury. They can advocate for their client by presenting evidence showing the injured party sustained these injuries at work.
Building a solid case is the key to reaching a successful outcome when suing an employer. Having a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney Los Angeles take on the case can give the injured party a better chance at reaching a successful outcome in their case.
Attorneys can also ensure they file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. The statute of limitations bars claims after a certain amount of time has passed. For example, in California, injury victims cannot file a lawsuit after two years.
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney From KJT Law Group Can Help
Contact our legal team if you’re wondering when you can sue an employer for workplace injuries. We can review your case and determine if it falls outside of workers’ compensation law. If it does, you could have the opportunity to hold your employer accountable and seek compensation for your losses. Our attorneys always work hard to help our clients receive the maximum compensation possible.
At KJT Law Group, we offer free consultations. This means you can learn more about your legal options without worrying about how much it costs. On top of that, we work on a contingency fee. You don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we help you reach a positive outcome with your case. Fill out our contact form, and a member of our legal team can contact you soon to discuss your case. Dial (818) 507-8525 to speak to someone on our team now.