You may be able to forego workers’ compensation benefits and sue your employer in a court of law for personal injury.
If you own or operate a business or company in the state of Missouri, you are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation is a type of coverage that helps an employer when an employee is injured while working under the scope and authority of their position within the organization.
However, the disadvantage of workers’ compensation is that if you collect it, you aren’t entitled to anything besides economic damages. Unlike personal injury – where you are entitled to compensation for both non-economic and economic damages – workmens compensation is only available to cover things like medical bills and lost wages. You can’t recover for your pain and suffering or any emotional distress if you file a claim for workers’ compensation.
If You Can Prove Your Employer was Negligent
Another disadvantage is that you can’t sue your employer in a court of law if you file a claim with the insurance company. In most instances, if you are injured while working, you aren’t able to sue your employer. However, there are cases where, if you can prove your employer was negligent, you might be able to forego the workers’ compensation benefits and sue your employer in a court of law for personal injury.
Although workers’ compensation is not based on negligence, if you are injured while you are working and there is clearly negligence on your employer’s part, then you might be able to circumvent workers’ compensation and initiate a personal injury suit. The reason that it might be beneficial to do so is so you’re able to collect for non-economic damages, which you may be entitled to if you can prove your case.
What Do You Need to Prove Your Personal Injury Case?
Even if you were injured while performing work-related duties, if you can show in court that your employer was clearly negligent and that their negligence led directly to your injuries, then it could potentially qualify as a personal injury case.
You would need to prove that:
- a hazard existed
- that your employer was aware of the hazard
- that they did nothing to make it any better
- that you sustained an injury as a result
Although workers’ compensation is not guided by negligence on behalf of the employer, if you sustain injuries and can prove it was because of your employer’s failure to keep conditions safe, then you might be able to recover more. To find out whether you have a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury suit for your work injury in Missouri, it is best to consult a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to figure out a good plan of action to get the compensation you are entitled to.