Even if an injured worker may not be able to sue his or her employer directly, he or she may be able to sue a responsible third party.
If you are hurt while working in Missouri and are an employee of a business that has five or more workers, then you are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance. Workers compensation is a type of insurance coverage that is mandatory in Missouri and ensures that an employer has the means to cover any injuries that are sustained by their worker while the worker is engaged in work-related activities.
The way that workers’ compensation coverage operates is fairly straightforward. If you are hurt on the job, you are entitled to be compensated for economic damages like medical bills and lost wages from work. Unlike personal injury, however, you are not entitled to compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Although you can be solely responsible for your injuries and still be eligible to collect, you are not allowed to sue your employer.
Is there ever a way that you can sue for non-economic damages?
There are two ways that you can sue to have your non-economic damages covered. The first way is if you can prove that your employer was negligent and that it was their negligence that directly led to you being injured. If you can show either that they intentionally hurt you or did something blatantly negligent, then you might be able to sue them in a court of law for personal injury.
Another way that you can sue for non-economic damages is if there was a third party involved. For instance, if you are a delivery person, were delivering something as a condition of your employment and tripped and fell at some else’s property, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You may also be entitled to sue for personal injury.
The only way that you can sue the third party is if you can show that someone else was negligent and responsible for your injuries. In the example above, if you can prove that you fell while delivering something because the owner of the location at which you were delivering left water on the surface which created a slick floor, then you might be able to hold the property owner liable for your injuries.
Is it possible to collect both workers’ compensation and be awarded money from personal injury?
If you collect workers’ compensation for an injury and are also in the process of suing for personal injury, then it is possible for the workers’ compensation insurance to put a lien on any award that you get from personal injury. So, yes, it is possible to collect both, but quite likely, if you win your personal injury suit, you will have to reimburse the workers’ compensation insurance company for whatever they paid toward your economic losses. You cannot get paid twice for the same injuries.
Free Workers Compensation Consultations
Our legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation that they need. Contact our St. Louis, Missouri workers compensation law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300 or toll free at (888) 872-6795. You can also complete our Online Case Evaluation Form.