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Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit for Work-Related Injury

When is an injured employee allowed to file a civil lawsuit against their employer?

civil-lawsuite-work-injuryThe workers’ compensation law requires employers to provide compensation to employees injured while working. All private and federal employees are covered by the federal or state workers’ compensation laws. An injured employee cannot file a lawsuit for damages due to work-related injuries or illnesses. Filing workers’ compensation claims is the exclusive remedy for injuries or illnesses incurred while at work.

Filing a Civil Lawsuit

Some situations may allow employees to file a civil lawsuit against their employer.

Lawsuits can be filed if:

  • The employer deliberately hurt the employee: The actions of the employer should be intentional and deliberate in causing harm to the employee. For instance, an employee can be hit in the face by an employer, which indicates the injury was caused by an intentional act of the employer and not through negligence. Negligence may not be sufficient to provide evidence of intentional harm by the employer.
  • The workers’ compensation insurance is insufficient or does not exist: Whenever employers do not have or have  insufficient workers’ compensation insurance, the employee can file a civil lawsuit against the employer due to work-related injuries or illnesses.

Compensation From a Civil Lawsuit

When employees can file civil lawsuits against their employers, the compensation is not limited to the amount of the workers’ compensation insurance. Aside from lost wages, employees can also receive reimbursement for medical-related expenses and permanent impairment compensation. Employees may also be compensated for the pain they experience along with punitive damages. Punitive damages may be much higher than the actual damage experienced, particularly when it happened due to the actions of the employer.

Specific documents are needed for the lawsuit and a personal injury lawsuit should be filed in the state where the employee lives in, location of the business, and location where the injury happened. The employee should consult a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer if the locations are different. The complexities involved in such cases make it important for the employee to hire a lawyer.

A St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer should be contacted to check the facts and legalities involved in the case or whether to file the lawsuit or not. Deadlines for filing lawsuits are short and can be limited to one year. The extra compensation is often more than enough to pay for the services of a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney.

Winning The Lawsuit

Evidence should be shown that a civil lawsuit can be filed, including evidence showing the deliberate actions of the employer that hurt the employee. Intent is not easy to prove particularly if the employer has an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer working against you. The employee should prove that the injury or illness is work-related. Legally acceptable evidence should show the employer caused the injury. A typical workers’ compensation claim only requires evidence showing that the injury was work-related. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.

Photo credit: John Haynes Photography via Flickr

Updated: July 28, 2014