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Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation and File a Lawsuit?

Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation and File a Lawsuit?

Workers’ compensation systems are in place to provide hurt employees with the financial coverage that is needed to pay for injury-related expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages. To recover benefits through a state’s workers’ compensation system, an injury victim does not need to prove the fault of anyone else. No matter who is at fault (short of cases of extreme employee misconduct), victims can usually recover compensation as long as the proper procedures are followed.

Although fault is not necessary to achieve a successful workers’ compensation claim, there is often someone who can be labeled as responsible in the case of an on-the-job injury. Victims of a work accident often wonder if it is possible to sue the people who are liable for the incident, on top of collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

Suing Your Employer

The oversight of an employer can often be blamed for work accidents. It is ultimately their responsibility to maintain a safe working environment for their employees. A person who is injured may wish to pursue legal action against their place of employment to account for their oversight.

Unfortunately, the conditions of collecting workers’ compensation benefits usually include a waiver of the employee’s ability to sue. Unless it can be proven that the harm was intentional, suing an employer is generally not viable.

Suing a Third Party

In some cases, a third party is liable for causing a work accident: Equipment manufacturers, safety inspectors, or drivers (in cases of car accidents) are commonly involved. Unlike in cases of employer negligence, the injury victim can sue a third party in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits. The hurt employee will need to establish evidence that proves that the third party is at fault for their injuries.

Were you injured on the job? Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law is available to discuss the details of your case. Our firm is experienced both in traditional workers’ compensation claims, as well as third-party liability litigation.

To schedule a free consultation, use our contact form or call (505) 219-2176.


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