In most US states, there are strict workers’ compensation laws present. They aim to offer benefits to people injured while at work, regardless of the party at fault. Such laws are highly beneficial since they guarantee that an employee will always receive some compensation. This can include several possible benefits that would be available even in the situation in which the employee was responsible (even partially) for the accident.
Because of the fact that the worker receives the benefits without thinking about fault, suing the employer in a civil court is a right that is lost. This is often beneficial since suing means you need to prove that a party was at fault for your injuries, which is more complicated than it seems.
You should also know that you cannot pursue punitive damages and pain and suffering damages. As a worker, several options you might want to consider when working with personal injury lawyers simply do not exist. And you should be aware of the fact that permanent and temporary disability payments will often end up being quite low. This is true even for benefits that would be offered to dependent when workers are killed because of work-related illnesses or accidents.
What Is Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation
If you are injured by someone else except a coworker or the employer, you can directly sue that entity or person. If your injury was caused by using defective equipment, you can also directly sue the machine’s manufacturer. The manufacturer is strictly liable for such defects. In fact, it can even end up being liable for failure to warn about possible dangers and negligence.
In a similar way, when you are injured because of the presence of toxic substances while doing work, like benzene or asbestos, you can start a special toxic tort lawsuit. This can be against the toxic substance’s manufacturer or the company that created the safety equipment that was incapable of protecting you. A toxic tort lawsuit is meant to recover damages for immediate, acute injuries. This includes things like chemical burns. Also, you can receive compensation to cover damages, pain, and suffering for latent injuries like lung diseases and cancer.
Several injuries can appear when you are at work. Some of them are not serious and will be automatically taken care of by the workers’ compensation insurance of the employer. However, there are situations in which this would not be enough and you need to take into account all the other options you have available. Also, there is always the possibility that your employer does not have such insurance coverage.
What is very important at the end of the day is to be aware of all your options. Instead of blindly following the advice of anyone, the best thing you can do is to contact a personal injury attorney capable of offering advice about all the things that are available for you based on the laws that are applicable in your state. Hurrying often leads to receiving a lower compensation than possible.